Dear Why Team member,
Thank you for your interest in becoming more - for yourself and for others. This week we explore becoming more.
All our brain can know is what has already become, what has already been brought into being, if not literally, figuratively in our minds. Thoughts are things, and while they come to pass just as material things have come to pass, where do they all come from? There is no argument that we literally came from nothing into being; we, once, did not physically exist. When this awareness awakens in a child, it begs the questions, why am I here, and where did I come from?
It is powerful to contemplate that we physically came into being from nothing, from nothing but potential. Life brought us into being from potential, and I believe it is our individual responsibility to continue bringing into being from potential. In this manner, we align our life with life itself.
For the past several weeks, we have been exploring several keys for unlocking potential; this week, let’s explore why it is important to unlock potential? It appears that many today care more about what has been brought into being, as they see it, rather than what they can bring into being. Beware of conformity- it’s the biggest risk to individuality and progress. This reminds me of Gandhi’s incredible invitation to BE the change we want to see. Notice he said be (become) the change we want to see. Which implies that we see more what we are than what is. Just this past week, after one of my speeches in Northern California, an audience member slipped me a piece of paper that read:
“We see life not as it is, but as we are.”
When we don’t like what we see, it’s only natural that we would desire for it to change, but how much of that change requires us to bring into being the potential that lies within us?
If we have issue with the movie on the screen, it’s less the screen and more the projector that needs attention; we are the projectors of what we see.
In Byron Katie’s book “Loving What is” she provides a very powerful insight for great personal reflection. She says that whatever prescription you have for another isn’t for the other, it’s for you. Ouch! That is certainly a tough thing to hear - especially in a world where so many believe they know better what others should or shouldn’t be doing. Even Abraham Lincoln himself said: “Everyone is responsible for their own happiness.” Which means that no one else is responsible for our happiness; that no circumstance outside of ourselves is necessary for us to be happy. But this invites us to relook at how one becomes happy, and in all my reading and experience, it’s not happiness that is found via pursuit, but rather that happiness ensues when we, individually, bring into being our own potential. I often quote Victor Frankl, Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist, and Holocaust survivor, because he has so profoundly impacted my life. In his book “Man’s Search for Meaning” he says:
“Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue.”
“What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.”
We, humans, are anxious creatures by nature, living with the reality of impending death. We literally all live with a death sentence knowing there will be no reprieve. Even just reading this might uptick our blood pressure.
Yet, in the midst of this brutal truth many live extraordinary lives - could it be that focusing more on becoming than on passing is the secret; living with a responsibility to bring into being our own potential – living out our “why we came into being” in the first place?!
Consider your life, has not happiness ensued for you when you took action to bring into being your potential? Some of my best days are on the heels of writing these weekly posts. Only through the disciplined action of writing can the potential post come into being. Just as our own lives have come into being from potential, I believe our purpose and responsibility to life is to bring into being our potential. And life’s reward for doing so is the joy that comes from living a meaningful life.
Life has given us life, what do we give in return? Complaint or Action? Let’s consider focusing more on how we can be a life-force serving life - rather than on how life can serve us? As an example, consider the famous words of JFK: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”
This week and beyond, consider all the more what you can bring into being - knowing that happiness ensues when we align our life with life.
As an expression of gratitude for being brought into being, may you be all the more enthusiastic about bringing into being the potential that lies within you!
Make it a great week,