How to Become Wiser At Work. Part IV: Coming Home to Yourself

mic22

mic22

After writing Five Questions, a few people asked me ‘Why five questions? Why not five answers? How can an approach based around questions be of any value when what the world is seeking is answers? This is my response...

First of all, questions are much more powerful than answers. As long as you are asking a question, you are open to input and discovery. The instant you find an answer, you stop looking; you shut down to new input. Answers eventually lead to rigidity. Rigidity leads to certainty. Certainty leads to stagnation. Stagnation leads to the need for fresh thinking and that requires asking some powerful and world-opening questions.

The mind is basically a fast computer, designed to generate solutions for whatever question you put before it. Ask yourself, ‘Is this the right job/life partner/body shape for me?’ and your mind will scan its database for possible answers to that question. The answers you receive will be in the form of some kind of assessment of your situation: ‘On the one hand . . . but on the other hand . . .’ Ask another question, like, ‘What is present now in this job/life partner/body shape that is fulfilling and full of potential?’ and a completely different set of answers will show up. Garbage in, garbage out.
However, even having the right answers is apparently is not enough. Aristotle was wrong. His belief was that ‘Those who know the good will do the good.’ Not today. At least not so you’d notice. Virtually everyone on the planet knows that smoking can kill you and that eating certain foods increases your chances of cancer or heart disease, yet both behaviors flourish. Research indicates that only about 8% of people leaving their doctor’s office actually go home and do what the doctor prescribed. It seems that even when we know what we should do (read ’the answer’), we often don’t do it. Why?

Reason 1: Treating symptoms

Sometimes even your maximum effort to fix something fails to create sustained solutions because the ‘answers’ you applied were addressing symptoms and not root causes. You can change the way you dress, what you eat, how much exercise you get and so on, but as long as all of that is being done ’over the top’ of the same core system of beliefs about yourself and the world, nothing of any lasting value will change. It’s like papering over the old wallpaper or, to use an example that my colleague, Mark Yeoell, likes to apply from the environmental movement, ‘Make sure you are not working at ‘the brown end of the pipe’!’

Root causes need to be addressed, not symptoms. What is ’upstream’ or ’under the old wallpaper’ of the issue for which you are seeking an answer? That is what needs to be discovered and fundamentally addressed. If you do not get at that deeper reality, whatever your issue is will continue to exist just beyond your reach, rising to the surface again and again as the same or another problem.
The ’answer’ you are seeking must be something that:

  • addresses your fundamental issue, and
  • produces high-powered solutions, which
  • you actually carry out.

What you seek is an approach that creates the potential for transformation, a reality very different from that of merely making a change. Change can be accomplished by applying answers; transformation requires discovering and engaging the right questions.

Reason 2: You can’t really change yourself!

Not only are most personal change efforts aimed at symptoms, they are also based on the premise that there is something wrong with who you are now, the weight you carry now, the shape of your body now, the success you are having—or not having—now. Consider this: you couldn’t have any other kind of attitude, relationships, weight, shape, or success, given who you have been up to now. If you want to create any kind of fundamental difference in your life, the secret is not to become someone else (change), but to become more fully who you are (transformation).

One more time: You don’t need to change yourself—you couldn’t anyway. You need to come home to yourself—and that will change everything.

Each one of us is operating with a powerful picture of ourselves: how we—and the world—are supposed to be. That picture, given to us in childhood, is incomplete and woefully out-of-date. There are important aspects of you and your world that you need to look squarely in the eye, get to know and accept as important parts of your reality. If you live in Chicago and you are planning a trip from there to Los Angeles,you have to start in Chicago. Every transformation begins with you standing completely in the current space you occupy, exactly as it is.

New Water from the Old Well

The difference between ’changing’ something and ’transforming’ it is that changing implies replacing, or in some way negating, what is there now. Transformation, on the other hand, implies reaching deep within what is there now to find the seeds for a new shape, a new reality. It is more like the true meaning ofeducation: from its Latin root e-ducare, to draw out, as in drawing water out of a well. You can think of the kind of transformation described here as drawing new water out of your old well—by going deeper than you ever dipped before. The way to get your bucket deeper into your well is by taking on powerful questions, instead of jumping at attractive-looking answers. When you wrestle with life-changing questions, everything shifts inside and around you, starting with your understanding of who you are.

Come Home to Yourself

Perhaps you have a recurring thought that your life could—and should—be more than it is, that it just isn’t adding up to what you always thought it would be. When you look beneath all the busyness of your day, is your soul joyful, expanded and alive? Or is the drone of life numbing your heart and its yearnings?
The simple act of stepping on this new/old path—even though you may not know where it is going—will feel like you have come upon some fascinating new thing that just might bring you what you are searching for. In the process, it will also unleash you into greater impact beyond yourself, out there in the larger world, which is waiting eagerly for you to show up fully as you are.
The approach is actually very simple. Not easy, but simple. Here it is.
Come home to your Self. Come home to your Self. Not the little self, the one that worries all the time, and tries hard to impress people, and keep up the illusion of safety and control. I’m talking about coming home to the huge Self, the one that truly lives and loves and knows why it’s here, and can’t wait for the next sunrise. The one that yearns to encounter the next challenging person or situation, because of what will be learned in that fire. Your true Self, your higher or deeper Self, the one that understands where your interpretation of this life comes from, that knows how to shift shapes and shift states. The one that has not given in to the default trances of this world’s concepts about life.

Let’s take a walk together and discover—or re-discover—that path of turning work—and life itself—into spiritual development. When you were born, you were a master of that way of learning. In fact, it was all you knew how to do at first. You were a learning being, designed to grow and develop and discover yourself and the world in every moment of every day.
Born to be learners, most of us have turned into knowers. The work-in-progress we believe ourselves to be has stopped progressing, and every day can feel like ‘more of the same only different’.
As you will see, taking on profound questions will keep you fresh, vital, engaged, and alive. Living inside a world of answers—even good ones—will eventually lead to feelings of stagnation, helplessness, and anxiety—the opposites of purpose, power and peace.
Let’s walk together a while, and let me show you how to turn anything and everything that happens to you into a spiritual development moment, a flash of awareness that deepens and expands you more fully into your huge Self, and maximizes your contribution to others, and to life itself.
I’ll say it again: You don’t need to change yourself. You need to come home to your Self. That will change everything.
Where we are headed is nothing less than the unleashing of the human spirit at work—starting with your own.

The contents of posts are only visible to members

Premium membership

Monthly subscription
$ 20 Monthly
  • Access to 5 courses
  • 30 day money back guarantee

Premium membership

Yearly subscription
$ 50 Yearly
  • Access to 5 courses
  • 30 day money back guarantee
  • $190 yearly savings
Popular
Leadership

Turning moments at work into lessons for life

Reading Time: 5 minutes Imagine two people going to work every day, side by side, having virtually the same things happening around them. One goes home, upset yet again, blaming colleagues or themselves, not having learned a thing – about who they are, about their relationships with others, or about life.

Czytaj więcej »
Creativity

The Role of Chaos in Personal Transformation

Reading Time: 5 minutes As a change artist, whether I am working with individuals, groups or organizations, one approach is to figure out a way to get them to the point where they want something badly and don’t know how to get there, and are in fact, fed up. We need to create a situation where the client confronts the impasse which their situation represents.

Czytaj więcej »
Uncategorized

Your Job as Self-Expression

Reading Time: 3 minutes Going back to my roots again, let’s take a look at the Genesis creation story in the Biblical material. (I’ll be translating from the original language—and taking some literary license, but we have to do that to get the essence of any ancient material.)

Czytaj więcej »
Uncategorized

A Deep Dive in the UN: The LDI in Service of Changing Leadership Culture

Reading Time: 2 minutes The LDI is being offered to selected leaders in the United Nations! Two of our most experienced Facilitators, Jean Ogilvie and Ingrid Richter both from Ottawa, have created a custom version called ‘Deep Dive’ that is having profound personal and organizational impact not only on the participants in the room but via ‘ripple effect’ outward into their departments in the UN.

Czytaj więcej »

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Did you like the article?

Get notified of future posts