Dear Why Team member,
Would you agree that the words we speak and/or hear depend on our upbringing and our present state of mind? I hope this week’s message finds you well and experiencing disruption :-)
When you think “disruption” is it a positive or a negative for you?
I’ve always thought of being disrupted as a negative - that we should seek peace and calm, and that which disrupts should be removed from our lives. Isn’t this how most of us feel?
Well, if there is anything I have learned on my life’s journey thus far, is to not believe everything you think - which is literally the title of my first book.
It was through all the disruption to my way of thinking that I learned new and improved ways of thinking.
How we think absolutely colors the way we see and function in the world.
There is a powerful list to contemplate toward the end of the book titled The Coddling of the American Mind by Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff.
It is a list of common cognitive disorders that can help explain the reactions people have to disruption.
When Tom Cruise said to Jack Nicholson in the movie A Few Good Men: “I want the Truth”, Jack Nicholson responded with a line now famous: “You can’t handle the truth”
The previous list of cognitive disorders may help us understand why so many of us are disturbed by thinking that does not match their own.
Recently, I hired another coach, a marine by the name of Mark McGrath - a good friend, prolific reader and with a spirit that largely matches my own. Our recent zoom meetings have opened me to some new and exciting revelations on how we all function in the world. A stand out for me was the all important Self Awareness. In Greece, on the Temple of Delphi, there is an inscription that reads, “Know Thyself” and what Mark helped me to see was the importance of disruption to become more self aware. And I have been thinking about this powerful awareness ever since. Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living - I think some of us ignore this because most of us prefer comforting habit. Who chooses to be disrupted, who wants to find out the errors in their thinking - but here’s the point, if the truth can end our life as we “know it”, isn’t that a life we want to end?
But wait, I’m afraid of life as I “know it”dying … if you want the truth and you think you can handle it, take the leap. Your life will not end but, what will sprout, is an opportunity for you to grow beyond your current belief.
Truth doesn’t need protection, it doesn’t need others to agree, but lies do - they depend on agreement to hold sway. However, it is the truth that sets us free and nothing like a good disruption to elevate our self-awareness, to grow. Nothing like a good fire to burn away the dross.
It occurred to me how recreation can be re-creation because we have disrupted our habituated lives. We go on adventure and return, as Mark reminded me, with statements like:
“I learned so much about myself”.
Yes! Exactly! And thus Why We Go.
Why do we disrupt? To awaken, to gain more awareness, self awareness - and by doing so, upgrade our views of self and the world. You could say it is our responsibility to improve our abilities to respond - and nothing improves our response-abilities more than disruption! And if we cannot handle being disrupted, we will limit our growth and allow what is likely a cognitive disorder to limit our lives and keep our potential locked up.
This week, consider the gift of disorder and the additional self awareness it can bring. Notice any resistance and remind yourself that you can handle what arises. It is only lies that die - the truth brings freedom.
Choose disruption for all it can reveal. Consider planning adventures in 2023 for optimal re-creation found outside your comfort zone. Make 2023 Your Most Disruptive Year Ever to make it your BEST YEAR EVER!!