Saturday, September 19, 2009

What's beyond knowing?

I've always been curious. I don't know what made me that way, I just know that since I learned to read at age 3, I've had an insatiable appetite for information.

But what I'm finally starting to realize is that it's not the information (in form) that fills that appetite anymore - it's inspiration (in spirit).

I used to believe that there would be just one more article, one more book, one more blog that I could read to get the information that would stop the curiosity - fill the hole that I seemed to have inside of me. I wanted desperately to connect with others, but I think somewhere deep down what I really wanted was validation for my questioning nature.

Asking better questions gives us better answers. I think we all can agree that is true. "How are you?" is a question, sure, but the answers we get when we ask that question in passing are about as revealing as a bundled up kid in a North Dakota winter.

One of my "aha moments" around my questioning was when I realized that I've always searched for answers outside myself to determine who I really am. If I can find something that resonates with what I believe about myself from someone with more authority, I can get validation from that source to back me up without revealing too much about myself specifically. If someone else has thought something I think, then I can't be too strange or odd.

But Helen Keller said "What I am looking for is not 'out there,' it is in me."

So, if I know that, I mean really KNOW that, does that change the questions I ask? What does it mean to KNOW something? This blog's title implies that you do know more than you think (and maybe the way that statement itself is worded opens up possibilities in dialogue). But if I really KNOW things, then I wouldn't have to ask questions anymore. And I wouldn't feel the need to defend a position. And I wouldn't feel the need to prove a point or debate a position or need to be right. In essence, if I really KNOW things, I would have peace.


So the fact that I continue to blog - and ask questions - tells the world that I haven't really found peace and I don't really KNOW anything.


Monday, September 14, 2009

The Lost Leadership Skill

If you were asked about the characteristics you believe true leaders exemplify, what would be on that list? (Go ahead, take a few minutes and do that. I'll wait.)


OK, do you have a list in your mind? What's on your list?

Trustworthiness? Respect? Knowledge? Passion? Integrity? Confidence? Intelligence? Compassion? Inspiration?

Now before we get on to the one skill I think is really important, I ask you: do you consider yourself a leader? Do you exemplify those characteristics on your list? Are you hoping for those traits to be given to you by those you consider to be leaders but not ready to step into that role yourself? Just something to think about.

Now, onto the one skill I think could move us lightyears forward in our communication abilities and skills in anything we endeavor: the ability to listen first, and then to "get" each other. Listening is a skill we can certain improve through practice. But even beyond the ability to listen is the ability to examine our own intentions and go beyond listening to what people are saying to what they are communicating beyond the words.

True communication involves the ability to create dialogue - suspending previous assumptions in order to learn something from everyone. When we begin to step up our own leadership characteristics before expecting them in others (and add true "getting" to our own list), then I truly believe we will change the world.

Look at your list again. Which of those characteristics you're looking for in others are you willing to take on yourself? I like how Marcia Wieder says it in "Beyond the Secret": What is your WOW - something you can do Within One Week?

I'm developing my skill of "getting" other people this week. Not getting something from others, but getting others. There's a distinction.

I had the pleasure of attending the Sunday night Landmark Education session for my two amazing friends Kelly and Steve last night. Each of the participants was encouraged to take on two new ways of seeing the world based on what they had learned during the course. I'm taking on being charismatic which, according to their definition, is giving up "in order to" and trying to get somewhere; and also being peaceful, which is giving up the notion that "there's something wrong here."

If I'm really WITH the people I'm with this week, I'll begin to GET them. And that's deeper than just hearing them or even listening to them.

What would our businesses, our schools, our governments, and our churches be like if we all just practiced GETTING each other? Reminds me of a John Lennon song somehow ....

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Brand New Mind on 09/09/09

TODAY, 9/9/09 is the day for setting powerful new goals, leaving the past where it belongs, and turning over a new leaf. What will you pack for this journey and what will you leave behind? Make up your mind to transform your mind and get ready for whole new outlook!

As adults, we have some work to do to change our minds from the way we have seen the world. Children have only to make up their minds, so now is a great day to wake up to your life.

One way to hit the reset button on your old programming is to ask new questions of yourself. One really great place to start is by asking yourself “What keeps happening to me? What do all the seeming problems in my life have in common?” It’s simply a matter of changing the way you look at things – changing your mind – to create entirely new perspectives.

Our mind thinks in pictures, not in words, yet most of us , when asked “what does your mind look like,” have never even considered it. Many will conjure up a picture of a brain, yet your brain is part of your body. Your mind is really an activity evidenced in every cell of your being. In fact, it's really the BEING behind the human.

And your mind consists of the conscious mind – the part that can think, can accept, reject or neglect any thought that comes to it; and the subconscious mind – the part that has no ability to reject a thought and must accept whatever comes to it as fact.

The stark reality is that when you were a baby – and some researchers say that this is true up until your early 20’s – the conscious, thinking mind is not even fully developed. So everything that gets programmed into that subconscious – FEELING – EMOTIONAL mind is accepted and conditioned. All the information there gets turned into your PARADIGM – your worldview – and anything that doesn’t fit there feels uncomfortable, even if that worldview doesn’t work anymore.

Your mind is perfectly programmed to give you the exact results you’re getting in your life. The universe works 100% of the time and the way to alter your results – starting TODAY – is to change your mind. SIMPLE … not always EASY.

So today, make up your mind to change your mind about your results. Be willing to undo the subconscious programming that has given you the results you’ve been getting and know beyond the shadow of a doubt that your present results are absolutely no indication of your future – whether your present results are positive or less than positive.

The really fabulous news about that is that by simply waking up, you begin to realize that you have the ultimate control over absolutely everything that comes into your WIDE OPEN mind. You have the ability to accept, to reject or to neglect any thought that occurs to you, REGARDLESS of your past conditioning.

Today, 9/9/09 is a perfect opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start all over with a Brand New Mind!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Reflections on Labor Day

There are so many thoughts going through my head today, not the least of which is the stark difference between what this day meant to me as an employee and what it means to me today as an entrepreneur.

Although I had a great career during the time I was an employee (great pay, good benefits, interactions with various co-workers which made life interesting), I remember distinctly looking forward to vacation days and holidays so I could do what I wanted to do for myself.

As an entrepreneur, I really do have that opportunity every day. Sure, there are things I don't enjoy doing as much as others, but for the most part every day is a product of my creation and my invention. (Today, for example, on my "day off," I'm going to a coffee shop to work on my next book. Who knew I had that in me? And who knows what that will turn into - or not? Either way I'm learning and growing.)

So why is my mindset so different now than it was 6 years ago when I gave up my W-2 and the perceived security of that steady paycheck? Why can't we find a way to bring our whole selves to the workplace when we're employed by someone else? I have a feeling that's what my next book is going to be about - the pursuit of happiness (spelled correctly!) at work. Or maybe the decision to be happy in life and then show up at work or something like that.

We'll see what happens. I'm grateful to the idea that's found me, at least for now. If in everything I take on I continue to grow and learn, then no project or activity can possibly have been in vain. What will I have to show for it? An expanded mind that serves me better than ever in absolutely every endeavor.

Thank you to everyone who works to make this country grand ... and this world a better place to live. I'm dedicating my career to supporting the folks who believe in their workplaces and want to make each day an exciting growth opportunity for everyone employed there. Please let me know how I can help. At Bock's Office we are committed to creating memorable and effective learning experiences that expand peoples' thinking and allow them to live their capacity.

Watch for more information about the new book (which, I think, was just created during this blog post!). Now I'm accountable for keeping my word so, here goes.

It'll be a labor of love conceived on Labor Day!

Enjoy the day - I know I will!