Phronesis (Practical Wisdom)

When discussing moral behavior, it is worth noting that some “virtues” can be faults if they are not balanced by wisdom. An individual may be honest, generous, or respectful, but if they do so “to-a-fault,” then potential hardships could result. A compassionate person might tell a lie in an effort to not hurt someone’s feelings. Yet in doing so, they relieve themselves of the virtuous quality because a lie is still a lie. And it is difficult to achieve high levels of human improvement internally and externally if we are not able to be brutally honest. When this type of situation presents itself with a client, I very carefully teach them how to say things compassionately while never altering the truth of what needs to be said. This is known as paralanguage, which can be defined as, “it’s not what you say, but how you say it.” The work I do is to create sound human relationships while going for our dreams. If all we wanted was to achieve our goals without also creating loving relationships, we would be missing the whole point of why we do anything. Whether an individual is willing to admit it or not, we are here to create loving relationships first and to fulfill our goals or desires second. Actually, practical wisdom, as I see it, is the process of fulfilling our goals and dreams as the springboard to better relationships. It is through “going-for-it,” that we learn about who we are as virtuous beings. We find out our levels of courage, compassion, empathy, faith, love, etc. by challenging ourselves to be all that we wish to be. Otherwise, we are left with gaps in these areas based on deep resentment that are often the result of choosing to be victims in regards to who we choose to be. It is far easier to blame our inability to do what we want on a situation, circumstance or persons than to take ownership of our plot in life. When I say “take ownership,” I am not trivializing how people, situations or circumstances have influenced (not caused) our plot in life. Yet, this simple distinction, between influence and cause, is the key to transforming these things for our benefit. If a client says “it” caused their negative situation, then he/she is left powerless because an outside force has the control. In seeing things from an influential standpoint, we are able to create a sense of fulfillment, growth, well-being and happiness (Eudaimonia) during the job search as well as other areas of our lives.


About Shawn Athanasios

A little bit about me. I received my BA from California State University, Northridge in Speech Communication and my MA in Culture and Communication from New York University (NYU). My Master’s degree was within the field of Interpersonal Communication and Conflict Management and my thesis topic was Meta-Cognition and Human Defensiveness. I wrote about the importance of individuals learning how to understand their defensiveness and negative thinking habits as a way to improve the overall cohesiveness within their human relationships. Curerently, I am an Adjunct Professor at SAE Institute, and my pasrt teaching experience includes several of the top Universities in the U.S. (NYU, LIM College, Pace University, Manhattan College & Georgia State University). My teaching experience includes the following courses: Interviewing Strategies, Intro to Human Communication and Culture, Interpersonal Communication, Small Group Communication, Principals and Theories of Communication, Public Speaking and Theories of Speech Communication I decided to create my own Coaching Business (JAAS Coaching) under the umbrella of Personal and Career Development for those looking to enhance their current profession, change careers, discover their deepest passions, communicate and manage conflict more effectively, achieve high levels of motivation, and find balance with their total self by offering a holistic approach to career and personal development. My eBook, "The Soul Search Before the Job Search," encompasses all of my work as a Personal and Executive Coach. My website/blog is www.JAAScoaching.comLinks to an external site. I have had many fulfilling experiences that include being raised in Laos, Ghana, India & Egypt by parents of the U.S. Foreign Service and Diplomatic community, teaching ESL in South Korea, serving as a Primary Counselor for kids out of Juvenile Hall, and mentoring grade school children through a Psychologist’s referred program. In addition, I am proud to have received a full scholarship for my Masters Degree at NYU, to have been the sole recipient of the Rosenberg scholarship and for graduating Magna Cum Laude upon completion of my graduate degree. I also presented two papers at the New York Speech Communication Association (NYSCA) conference while at Graduate School where I discussed the importance of taking full ownership of one’s shortcomings as essential to inducing change within oneself and one’s environment and how to be an effective interpersonal communicator. And finally, I was voted Faculty of The Year and Georgia State University after just one semester on the job! The article can be found on my website/blog. My volunteer work is reflected through participating in Buddhist Activities as a member of the Soka Gakkai International, the largest Buddhist lay organization in the world. Previously, I was the Young Men’s Division Leader for Houston District, I transcribed the World Tribune to audiotapes for the blind Buddhist members, I published an article in the Soka Gakkai’s Living Buddhism magazine and was a volunteer staff writer for the organization’s newspaper (The World Tribune). I continues to lead group discussions on Nichiren Buddhist Theory.
This entry was posted in Causality, Detachment, Fulfillment, Inner-Voice, Life Tools, Managing Stress, Success, Wellness. Bookmark the permalink.

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