Evolutionary Blog

Distinctions to accelerate your personal and professional evolution

Intentional Relating in Community | Responsible Interpretive Rigor With And To Others

Some years ago I wrote some guidelines for an intentional community and what I felt would create the best convergence of wisdom and having a responsible "immune system" for a community for safety of those participating as well as the most freedom of self-expression possible, all while trying to maintain it as Evolutionary -- with constant upward spirals, part of which would certainly include plateaus in that "constancy".

Blah blah, blah.

Anyway, one of the rules I had [and hold] is that in a community with individuals engaged in personal development, where Evolution is present, it is our duty and responsibility to update our interpretations of others.

This is not so unique, and the need is obvious: people have brief interactions with others. "Snap-shots" of that person if you will. But they are brief and contextual. And yet, people then extrapolate out and assess [or judge] this person as X. They then share this interpretation of this person with others. Perhaps out of genuine concern. Sometimes just to gossip.

And those who are careful and responsible in their sharing may even say "I only interacted whit them in XYZ situation and you may have another experience of them", blah, blah, blah.

They may even check in with the person/interact with them to see if their experience/assessment/interpretation was still valid.

And right there is where we can improve this process.

The Evolutionary would check in to see where their interpretation was *no longer* valid. Observe first where we were (or could be) wrong or out of date--looking for difference rather than for confirmation--of and about their assessment.

It is uncomfortable and against human nature's tendency to go for familiarity, confirmation bias, safety, etc. but it is more rigorous in our own evolution and more useful for true human connection and more aligned with what I consider to be Evolutionary principles.

And we will be relating more accurately with the dynamic being in front of us, rather than the stale and static caricature of them in our heads.

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Evolutionary Thinking on the Evolution of Ego | Expand and Dissolve Rather than "Annihilate"

We have been sold a bill of goods around ego. One that creates internal division and conflict. One that creates internal dissonance. One that creates pain. One that, at its worst, can foster a certain degree of self-hatred. A dis-ownership of the self. A bill of goods that is 2,500 years old in terms of its story around ego, the nature of ego, and the "problem" of ego.

And there is a better way. One that can create the same intended result with a kinder, gentler more self-accepting approach that can accelerate the evolution of the ego through the radical acceptance of expanding the ego, rather than attempting the psychological and spiritual suicide of ego annihilation. 

You can also see some similar themes around ego in the business context, read this article:  Self-Esteem and the Solo-Preneur | Internal vs. External Locus of Responsibility for an even deeper cut, taken from an email I sent a client a couple years ago, read Your Self-Worth is a Settled Matter.

Ok...ready? ::: Heh.

A quote from Ken Wilber I posted spawned an in-depth, yet brief—discussion on the nature and evolution of ego, Spiral Dynamics, the Integral community, and related topics, including the difference between cognitive development and actual development ::: the difference being understanding vs emotional response and being, or stated differently ::: one’s “center of gravity”.

The style is conversational, as it was an actual conversation.

Below are excerpted comments in the thread that followed. The order of some of the comments have been changed for continuity of the discussion, and for flow. Some have been deleted for the sake of relevance. If you want to see the full, unedited thread for yourself, you can see that HERE. The edited and streamlined version is below for your reading enjoyment.

The quote that started it all :::

“The ego is not a thing but a subtle effort, and you cannot use effort to get rid of effort--you end up with two efforts instead of one. The ego itself is a perfect manifestation of the Divine, and it is best handled by resting in Freedom, not by trying to get rid of ego, which simply increases the effort of ego itself.” --Ken Wilber 

Of course, I cannot speak for Ken Wilber—nor will I attempt to.

Simultaneously, I have read and listened to most of his stuff. As a result, I can certainly imagine—to varying degrees of accuracy—what he is speaking to, so I will attempt to translate him.

AND this will be based on my own experience after 19 years of conscious work, clearing, and self-examination and evolution—AND based on my work with over 200 clients one-on-one in my Personal Evolution Program, which lasted [when I used to do that work]  about 7 months--designed to accelerate the evolution of their ego ::: to widen their embrace. To increase their ease. To reduce their fear. To eliminate most of their anger. To increase their esteem for the Self.

So I may be and will be projecting/hallucinating…and it will be accurate—to varying degrees. Your mileage may vary.

So…what is “ego”? Most in popular spiritual and psychological circles will say we must transcend our ego, or worse ::: “annihilate it”. Is this healthy? Is this ecological? Does it suit the ecology of the environment we exist in?

The ecology of the self?

Is “ego what motivates us” as Pi asserts? Perhaps sometimes, yes. perhaps always—sure.

And the question for me becomes, motivates HOW? From what stage? Because, you see, we will be motivated differently from different stages, for different reasons.

For me, ego is essentially the seat of our consciousness. Where it rests and comes from. Not its Source. Its Source is the very kosmos ::: consciousness with a capital C. 

James Reidy suggested as a definition :::

Ego: n. a person's conscious and unconscious beliefs about their own identity. 

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Your Success Equation | Thoughts Action Will | Part 1: Thoughts

Thoughts + Action + Will = Your Dream or Vision Becoming a Reality

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There is much discussion about what it takes to be successful—and what it takes to be an entrepreneur. What it takes to succeed at owning your own business. Or stated differently, what it takes to “manifest” your vision in the world.

And while many people try to emulate personalities, rather than systems—which is a sure-fire way to fail—and there are certainly tangible, unique characteristics that have a Steve Jobs or a Barak Obama, or a _________________  succeed, there are those that want to sum it up to “luck” or “chance” or “connections”. Or “timing”. Or, “that is just them”.

While there is a certain amount of all of those that will aid one in bringing their vision into the world—they only help.

Even without those additional “helpers” we have a huge amount of latitude and control over the degree of our success—and even whether we succeed—or not; and to what degree. And often the successful management of the following aspects can assist those helpers in appearing and happening as if by “magic”. 

There are three components or ingredients to having your vision become a reality

1. Thoughts  2. Action  3. Will [The Will to Carry It Through]

Thoughts 

So many people reduce this to the Law of Attraction only, and worse, want to have you believe you have already earned your success somehow—before you have actually produced anything or taken any action. Essentially before you have produced anything of value to others in the world.

I reject that wholeheartedly.

While the Law of Attraction is critical—and demystifying it equally so—so that you understand not only that it does work, but also why and how—it is not the only way to manage your mind that is critical. There are others seldom talked about.

Because I cover this at length in my Outcome Inevitability audio and I provide my clients and those who are members on the coaches site have access to—and also on the free Evolutionary Sales podcasts on iTunes—and others have done so as well…

Because of that, we will leave that in this writing and go to the meatier subjects :::

Thoughts: The inspired IDEA

You must have an idea. It does not have to be original. However, it must be at the right place in the “curve”. In other words, it has to either be a proven business model but not yet saturated in the market—or it can be new, but the technology and the market must be there to support the idea. AND it must not be on the sloping end of the curve—an idea that is making a lot of money now, but whose course has nearly run out or is about to end.

One of the greatest skills an entrepreneur must have is the ability to accurately perceive where the market is headed. There is no replacement for this skill. It means the difference between great success, failure, or middling success—and likewise great profits, or great losses. And while an entrepreneur knows that “failures” can be the sharpest learning opportunities, they can be costly, and well, let’s face it—less fun 

Thoughts: Deeper Meaning | Purpose

Additionally you must be able to tie it to deeper meaning. You’re not just creating a cool product or service—you are improving the lives of others—and ultimately making the world a better place somehow. You are serving humanity itself in some deep, meaningful way. Even with a small piece of software. Or a coaching offering. Or a new convenience appliance.

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Motivation | Style, Structure, and Tasty Bite-Sized Morsels

One of the main challenges that small business people face—particularly solo practitioners or “solo-preneurs” in general--is the problem and the art of motivating oneself.

You are your own boss. If you have employees, then the game may be a little different for you as you have people depending on you.  However, if it is just you, there are often no external forces telling you that you must do any particular “thing”.  There are certainly exceptions to this—client deliverables, purchases that have been made, the general inertia of your business pulling you along at some point, but really, especially at first, it is an uphill battle for many on their own.

There are so many aspects to this problem of motivation that some never figure it out—or worse, they find solutions that compound the problem in the long-term because the “solutions” are ill-suited approaches. Ill-suited to them as individuals.

To really add fuel to the fire [or baking soda to the lack thereof] we have distractions, overwhelm, time management, prioritization, and the list goes on, and on, and on.

What works for one person in terms of motivation may or may not—and often does not—work for another. So it is with time management, goals, and the like. There is no one-size-fits-all or even a one-size-fits-most solution. Particularly for those who are more sensitive both emotionally and kinesthetically/energetically, many of the “take massive action” or “get present to the consequences if you do not” approaches create more internal dissonance, and if the tasks or milestones the individual is accountable for are not accomplished, this can lead to a build-up of that same internal dissonance, or worse, feelings of guilt or worse still, even shame, and with the principle of compound interest on the “debt” you have with yourself…well, we can see where it may and often does lead: overwhelm rather than accomplishment.

Even if it does not lead there for you, these levels of intense urgent styles of motivational techniques can cause a lack of balance at best, and at worst, hardcore burnout.

What is the solution? Custom design your own motivational strategy using a few basic principles and approaches.

 

Step 1: Discover Your Style

Find out what works for you at a base level. Since at least Aristotle was writing in the  300s B.C. we have known that humans are generally motivated in two basic ways or “directions” ::: away from pain or toward pleasure. Or both.

Stated in the context of goals and deliverables: away from consequences or toward a vision.

You will notice one creates leverage [and often contraction and internal dissonance] in your body—it pushes you. Compels you. Often uncomfortably. The other pulls you forward. It is expansive. It opens you and draws you toward it.

The danger is to judge one or the other. Urgency/away from/consequence driven motivation could be “bad” because it creates tension and dissonance. Vision is “good” because it is expansive. Or the reverse; vision/toward is “bad” because it does not create massive intense action, necessarily. Urgency/away from is “good” because it creates more instant [in some] results.

An additional component is style is how you like to be supported. 

This is also a critical component. While I am not an "accountability coach" per se, and never have been, quite often, clients ask me to support them in getting stuff done. Before I even begin such an aspect of our relationship, and since I can assume almost any style of coaching to serve them at this point, I ask them ::: how do you like to be supported.

No this before asking for external help--or be prepared to explore that inquiry with your friend, guide, coach, or accountability partner.

The truth is, whichever style works for you, as you become more aware, even now, at how you have created results in the past for yourself—when you found yourself simply motivated to accomplish what you wanted to accomplish—is the “good” style for you.

If an “away from” strategy works best for you, then create externally supported consequences to propel you forward. Engage a coach professionally, who coaches in that style. Or have a friend be your accountability partner—and someone willing to enforce uncomfortable consequences for/on you.

If this kind of approach has you feel overwhelmed, or has you feel like running from your entire support system [missing phone calls, not emailing them when you said you would, unaccomplished tasks building up, etc.], then consider the other approach: an approach that has you moving toward a larger vision. Toward a future you are creating. An approach that has you stay constantly present to the deeper meaning in the work you are doing; what your purpose of mission is, so you stay in the game. Plainly put ::: remember why you are committed to doing what you are supposed to do, in the grand scheme of things.  

As an example: you’re not simply “having a client session”. You are doing far more than that—you are helping someone have the life they have always dreamed of. And even greater or larger, you are contributing to the evolution of humanity itself—to a global vision of the Greater Good.

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Your Success Equation | Thoughts Action Will | Part 2 ::: Action

Part 1 can be found HERE.   Part 3 Can be found HERE.

 

Part II ::: Action

 

We covered the first variable in your equation for success ::: thoughts. And the third ::: Will.

 In this post we will cover the 2nd variable in your equation for success ::: Action.

 

Deliberate. Consistent. Action.

 

Many talk about the need to take “massive action”.  While this is useful, I disagree.  AND I disagree not because that approach is ineffective, but rather because it is harmful to the system ::: it is un-ecological.

Taking massive action can burn one out and then they must stop and take a breather. Then they go into massive action again. And they get burned out. And so it goes, the cycle infinite, ad nauseum. There is a fundamental lack of balance. Over time, this will lead to resistance to projects, significant health issues—a lack of lack of healthy being-ness with families, spouses, children, life partners, and lovers, who are lacking engagement from you—feeling a love deficit.

AND at worst, addictions—be they food or drugs or alcohol or relationships—so that people can detach and become disembodied.  So they can stop feeling how bad this approach feels in their body.

 

While those who advocate this approach are coming from a positive place, to be sure, I have only 1 question ::: “do we want to be advocating an approach that leads to the above pathologies?

Of course not.

 

This lack of balance and consistency pervades our culture to no good end—long term.

 

However, there is a more whole-istic [taking your whole system into account with a long term view added as an additional dimension] way of approaching action…

Think of your business—and your action around your business—like an extension of your body. Would you go to the gym for the first time and automatically try to spend 2 hours on the stair master? Of course not. Would you go to the gym for the first time ever and expect to bench press 300 pounds? Of course not. Even if you were actually able, somehow, to physically complete those “goals” you would be so wiped out the following day—and so sore—that you may or may not return.

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