Ordinary living: we play ‘victim’, we avoid responsibility for what is so and what is not so, we are left complaining
Engaged in a conversation on leadership, my partner in this conversation asked something like “What is the cause of poor leadership and how is it that poor leaders stay in power?“ I replied something like “Us”, he looked puzzled so I continued “I am the cause, you are the cause, we are the cause!” This response took him by surprise. So I continued “By following ‘poor leaders’ we tell these leaders that they are ok, their leadership style is ok. And as such we encourage them to continue being who they are being and doing what they are doing. We are the cause of poor leaders and poor leadership”
He got it instantly and dropped the conversation – the ‘complaint’ around/about poor leaders stopped instantly. I saw that my partner got access to the ‘truth’ and that this ‘truth’ opened his eyes and set him free – free from his ‘complaint’. This got me thinking that it is time for me to share, with you, some powerful distinctions and insights which are the pillars of this blog.
‘Extraordinary’ living: what is the access to living powerfully, living a transformed life?
The access to ‘playing BIG’, living powerfully, living an ‘extraordinary’ life and generating a transformation in the quality of living requires that one creates a map of the territory (of our lives, the situations we find ourselves in, the world at large) that is both ‘accurate’ and which leaves one being an ‘author’ rather than a character (or characters) in the play of Life.
Let’s listen, profoundly, to a master of living – Werner Erhard. Why? Because you want to have your life work. Right? Because you understand that you only get one go at living and you want that living to count. Right? Because you don’t simply want to live you want to feel ALIVE. Right? If that does not resonate with you then stop reading and go do something else. If it does then stop everything, be silent, be present and soak in the mind-blowing insight / wisdom that Werner Erhard unconceals for us. Why? Because you and I are locked inside the prison of ordinary living and Werner is giving us the keys to our freedom, to living an ‘extraordinary’ life.
Responsibility: is the access to being powerful and living an ‘extraordinary’ life?
“Responsibility is not burden, fault, praise, blame, credit, shame or guilt. All of these include judgments of good and bad, right and wrong, or better and worse. They are not responsibility.
Responsibility starts with the willingness to experience your Self as cause in the matter…… Responsibility starts with the willingness to deal with the situation from the point of view, whether in the moment realised or not, that you are the source of who you are, what you do and what you have. This point of view extends to include even what is done to you and ultimately what another does to another. Ultimately, responsibility is a context – a context of Self as source – for the content, i.e., for what is.” Werner Erhard
Wow! Do you get that? Responsibility is a choice. It is a choice that only you can make. It is gift that only you can give yourself. Why is it a gift? Because choosing to view yourself and operate from the context ‘I matter, I have a say in how I am being, how I live, how the world works, how the world turns out’ transforms your being, your experience of yourself and your living. It moves you from being a ‘victim’ and ‘complaining’ to a creator of possibilities, the Director of the play called ‘My Life, My World’ and this leaves you being powerful (powerful as opposed to forceful) in the world. It is really important that you get the distinctions ‘context’ and ‘content’.
Accountability: the access to joy, fearlessness, energy and satisfaction?
“Accountability is the opportunity to live at choice rather than accidentally. Accountability is the opportunity to carve out a future rather than sit back and have it happen to you. Accountability held as stand ‘as one’s word’ is the ground from which one’s own transformation is created ongoingly. Transfomation lives in accountability. Without accountability, without committed speaking, without promises and declarations, there is no transformation…..
A promise has real power. A promise made from the stand that ‘who you are is your word’, engages you as a participant. You cease to be a spectator, and your words become actions that impact the world. With a promise you create a condition that supports your commitment rather than your moods. When motivational dialog comes up about your preferences versus your commitments, and you disregard the dialog in favour of doing what you said you would do solely because you said so, you distinguish yourself from your psychology. In that moment you are your word as an action, rather than only an idea you have. In that moment, the promise becomes who you are rather than something you said and your relationship to the world shifts. You find yourself producing results that seem discontinuous and unpredictable from the point of the view of the spectator. The experience is one of joy, fearlessness, irrepressible energy and satisfaction. “ Werner Erhard
If you get this, really get this then you, your living, how you show up in the world, your experience of living will never be as it was before you read this. If you didn’t get it that way then go back and read it again – read it out aloud to yourself, read it slowly savouring the words. Let the words sink in. If after that you are still left untouched then move on: the master will appear when the student is ready – always.
Integrity: why it matters and the price we pay when we give it up
“You and I go through life and you would be surprised how much of the time, in life, the question, ‘How can I live and have integrity at the same time?‘ is present. It’s very difficult for people to live with integrity. Usually, there seems to be a conflict between integrity and living. The fact is that you give up your life when you compromise integrity.” Werner Erhard
Be careful how you read this because when Werner speaks ‘Integrity’ he is not speaking what you are most likely to be thinking he is speaking. When Werner speaks ‘Integrity’ he is not referring to morals and virtues – being a ‘good person’ or a ‘upstanding citizen’. No. Werner is pointing out / speaking on the subject of wholeness; the match between your word, your being and your actions; the fit between who you hold yourself out to be for yourself and the world and how you show up in terms of your being, doing and having. If I say “I am going to drive over to your home and smash your car tomorrow!” and then tomorrow I drive over and smash you car then in a sense I am in Integrity. Yet, it is not as simple as that. If I declare myself to be “kind, calm, considerate and law abiding citizen” then I am out of Integrity when I say “I am going to drive over to our home and smash your car tomorrow!”
Making a difference: what does it take to make a difference?
“All it takes to make a difference is the courage to stop proving I was right in being unable to make a difference….. to stop assigning cause for my inability to the circumstances outside of myself….. And to see that the fear of being a failure is a lot less important than the unique opportunity I have to make a difference.” Werner Erhard
There it is! If you and I are serious, as in moved-touched-inspired, about making a difference in the world then Werner has left us nowhere to hide. Werner is telling us that we have the capacity to make a difference and to make a difference we simply have to quit ‘playing small’ – quit making excuses, quite playing ‘victim’, quite being small in life.
Summing it up
You and I want our lives to work. You and I want the ‘world to work’. What does it take, what is the access having a a life that works and a world that works? The access, according to Werner Erhard as I understand Werner Erhard, is Responsibility, Accountability and being in Integrity – as explained in this post not as commonly understood and spoken about in our day-to-day living.
Incidentally, when you live into and from these distinctions, and the context that is intimately associated with these distinctions, then you will show up as a leader. Showing up as a leader in the world is simply a side effect of living from/out of Responsibility, Accountability and Integrity.