Have you ever read a book, or part of a book, or even watched a film again after several times and noticed something that you’ve never quite noticed with that intensity or level of insight before? That’s exactly what happened to me early yesterday morning and I found it both exhilarating and inspiring to be reminded of an important leadership lesson.
Many of you who have worked with me will know that I am a fan of Michael Neill. I admire his ability to put some challenging things into everyday language so that we can understand and change ourselves accordingly. He is also a very entertaining presenter! This weekend, whilst reminding myself of some of the key messages from his book The Space Within, he mentioned that so many of us are looking
how to “come alive” as we know instinctively there is more to life than what we are experiencing today, and that we wish to feel more connected to that feeling. I find this to be true also in my own experience working with so many groups and individuals that I speak to and love to take them towards this place when helping them build leadership skills.
What he said next was really useful to my work as a transformative mentor and leadership guide; that, in the back of his mind, he has two questions that inform him as to which direction to take in his journey with his clients (and their journey with him!).
Q1 – Do they know where their experience is coming from?
The truth is that most people think that their experience of life comes from their interactions with other people, circumstances, environments and the world in general. “It’s just how it is, there’s nothing I can do about it!” is a phrase I hear so much. When I’m working with people, I can certainly help them deal with these factors and situations, and that is of value to them for sure, but how much more valuable would it be if I could help them see where their experience is coming from such that they could, potentially, change or affect that?
When we can see the role that our thinking plays in creating our experience of the world, suddenly the world becomes a very different place! You see, we are not in control of what thoughts enter our heads. However, we are in control of the ones we pay attention to! The truth is that we do not experience other people, things, situations or environments…we only EVER experience our THINKING of other people, things, situations and environments.
Think about it (excuse the pun!): on two consecutive days you can have the same experience and react very differently (for all sorts of reasons). Two people having the same experience can react differently, so instinctively we know this to be true. It is ONLY our thinking that we ever experience and NEVER the thing itself.
The thing is, thoughts appear real but they are not reality. They are just a story in our heads and whilst in our heads they have no physical form. But thoughts create feelings and these feelings are very real. They make us believe that the thought therefore is real. We then REACT to our feeling and in doing so physically manifest the thought we had. We really do create the WHOLE of our own reality ( you can read another of our blogs on this subject here)!
Whilst this understanding has been at the heart of our leadership and mentoring work for several years, the fundamental shift to this being one of two key questions I find somehow obvious and yet amazingly clarifying.
This question is THE key step to realising our potential in this world, connecting to our deeper self and demonstrating true leadership in what we do.
So what about question two?
Q2 – Do they know that they are God?
Now I always get nervous about the use of religious words! These are Michael’s words and I get what he means, so please bear with me as I explain further.
“God” is a word for some universal energy that lies behind all life, brings the seasons, the circle of life and connects us and everything in this world in ways we kind of know but never understand fully. Some call it a Universal Mind or Universal Energy. It’s the thing that holds it all together. It is that which we have no control over. It is the energy that means that everything happens for a reason; it’s just we don’t know what that is yet. We are mind and mind is us. If we go looking for it then that’s as crazy as a drop of water (in the ocean) looking for the ocean! We are it and we are in it. We are “God” and that means we were born perfect and all have exactly the same access to the infinite energy and source of wisdom available to every human being on this planet.
The issue here is that when we live believing that everything we experience comes from outside of us, then we look to fix everything outside and also fix ourselves in order to change the way people treat us. This is not only a never-ending process but it is also exhausting for us. In addition when we are looking in this direction we switch off our connection and awareness of the infinite wisdom we are naturally gifted with all our life.
When we can understand both of these statements/questions, then we really do perform at our best, have more fun being ourselves than ever before and live life with a smile, gratitude and compassion. Surely this is the ‘home’ so many of us are seeking?
Michael explains it far better than me. I recommend the book! But in the meantime I will enjoy the renewed focus this has given me.
If you wish to hear more about this and realising your true potential then please do give us a call or email.
After all, iTS Leadership!