Two of the most fundamental and profound philosophical questions we bump up against when we begin to introspect – even just a little bit – about our “life experiences” here are: “What is the meaning and purpose of my life?” and “What am I doing here?” In fact, these questions can begin to become a bit painful depending on our state of mind, or the perspective we are maintaining in the moment of asking. It is often only when we feel depleted or empty that we stop and ask those questions – those moments of feeling disempowered or lost visit. I want to address those questions in the paragraphs that follow – not from a perspective of all knowing, universal understanding, of course. I can’t presume to have the definitive answers to the questions humanity has been posing since the beginning of time (or, that which we perceive as “time” ). But I would like to put my two cents worth in – what I perceive to be the beginnings of the answers to these questions. My intention is simply to inspire you to new thoughts and new directions.
Now, although this analogy works quite well in describing what I believe to be the relationship between our higher selves and our physical selves, there are a couple of differences between the reality of this image and the classical story of the genie in the lamp. I will highlight the differences. In the classical story, the lamp is a prison for the genie and, in fact, the genie longs to be free. This is NOT the case with you and your higher self. Your higher self adores you – it created you specifically for the purpose of this experience. It intentionally and deliberately flows through you, it effervesces up within you from spirit, giving rise to your very existence.
Why is it doing this? Here is what we need to understand about spirit: the higher self lives in the absolute. It lives in pure spirit, pure being. There is no contrast there, there is only knowing, pure thought, conceptual understanding. All that your higher self is, all that it comprehends is in the realm of absolute knowing. There is no contrast, therefore there is no “experience” of this knowing. “Experience” can only be achieved through contrast. You can only experience yourself as tall in the presence of the opposite. You can only experience light in contrast to darkness, and so on. You have probably heard all of this before, but the thing to understand is that your higher self created you in order to experience itself and therefore to ignite new knowing, new understanding, new thought – and therefore growth and expansion. Your higher self created you in order to experience the contrast vicariously through you, the vessel. It’s like the difference between hearing about a roller coaster ride and actually being on one, or reading a story about true love and actually living it. Your higher self loves this experience no matter how you are perceiving it. No matter how much you feel that you may have messed it up, no matter how much you may feel that things aren’t working, your higher self is benefiting tremendously from it. If this were not so, you would not sill be here.
Who is your competition? Is it your fiercest rival? Is it your industry partner? Is it the small shop down the street? May I suggest, if it’s not within your very own department, you got a problem. Let me explain. If you and your personnel have not created an environment where EVERYONE is trying to excel and beat previous performance, then someone else out there is.
1st, Redefine Expectations with Input. The Input comes from your staff. Here is the tricky part. You have to separate the “whine” from the “chime”. The point is to get your personnel to chime in with good ideas and participate in the process of moving towards goals without letting the whine from the 3 M’s, Malignant, Malicious and Malfeasoned (seasoned malfeasance), kill the momentum.
Start with a brief history of accomplishment. Tell everyone what you have done well recently and in the past. Let them know that past accomplishment is indicative of Success but not a guarantee. Then let them know the expectation. Here is where we are, here is where we need to be. Now is the time to ask for everyone to chime in. Asking good questions throughout the process is important. Here are a few to get you started.
The point of these and similar questions is to get them to see the end result, the finished product. 2nd, Inform and Communicate. The number one reason why initiative stalls, why people become discouraged and why goals are not met as an organization is because you stop telling them where they stand. If they cannot get an answer to “How well are we doing?” they will stop doing. It’s the simplest law in team dynamics. You must tell them how they are measuring up. If the news is not so good, tell them it’s not so good, find the one nugget in the steamy pile you can build on, and use that as motivation.