“People, like all forms of life, only change when something so disturbs them that they are forced to let go of their present beliefs. Nothing changes until we interpret things differently. Change occurs only when we let go of our certainty.” – Dee Hock
Illusions are False Beliefs
They are notions and ideas that we have inherited from our culture, our families, and almost every institution with which we’ve been associated. Illusions take up residence in our minds because we receive them, for the most part, when we are young, impressionable, trusting, and open to the ideas being handed down to us. They are part of our social conditioning, but they do not serve us.
Illusions are, in fact, the only cause of our unhappiness. To be a Thought Warrior in any arena, we need to be free and original thinkers, capable of focusing on how we are thinking as well as what we are thinking.
The Indian philosopher Sri Aurobindo said, “In order to see, you have to stop being in the middle of the picture.” This means we have to step outside of ourselves, put some distance between ourselves and our thoughts, so we can assess their heritage and test them for authenticity.
Because the consciousness of a Thought Warrior has a tremendous impact on the consciousness of the organization, every Thought Warrior must do the deep and personal work of clarifying their own thoughts, so that when we speak, every word has a ring of clarity, every statement has a purpose and air of authenticity.
This requires a looking inward that both grounds and balances our outward actions. When we look within and mine our own experience for feelings that not only mesh with our message, but are actually the source of the message, then the delivery itself carries an integrity of authorship that is convincing, compassionate, and compelling.
When we manage to rid ourselves of inherited voices and speak from the heart, our very speaking is a force that can change minds, lives, and the direction of any community to which we belong.
Freeing ourselves from illusion may seem like an esoteric concept that has nothing to do with personal success, leadership and being a warrior, but that’s because one of the biggest illusions we suffer from is the notion that what goes on inside us has little to do with who we are on the outside.
We’ve become so good at compartmentalizing our lives that we think our corporate selves are distinct from our private selves, that who we are on the golf course has nothing to do with who we are at home, or that the persona we project in the board room ought to be different from the persona we project in the family room.
Anthony De Mello, a Jesuit priest, psychotherapist, and retreat director, taught that all our negative emotions are caused by illusions that we allow to obstruct our thinking. If we’re sad or angry, it’s because there is some underlying illusion preempting our natural state of joy. He says: “When the eye is unobstructed, the result is seeing; when the ear is unobstructed, the result is hearing; when the palate is unobstructed, the result is tasting. When the mind is unobstructed, the result is wisdom and happiness. Drop your attachments and you will be free. Understand your illusions and they will drop.”
It is awareness, not effort, which dissolves the illusions. When we experience an upset, if we look to see what underlying belief or attachment is behind it, we can begin to see what illusions have us in their grip. If I make the mistake of thinking someone else is responsible for my happiness, I’ll discover this when I back up and begin to explore my negative feelings about their behavior.
Why am I upset?
Because they didn’t do so-and-so.
Why should he have done so-and-so?
Because it would have made me happy, and they’re responsible for my happiness.
That is my illusion.
To be a Thought Warrior, an original thinker, we have to move and think and speak from our own personal knowing. Our power comes from our ability to transform what we have felt into what we know. It’s an alchemy of sorts, where we acquire the skill of transforming the lead of our experience into the gold of our wisdom.
Each of us knows what no one else knows because no one else has lived our lives, seen what we’ve seen, felt what we’ve felt. The great Persian poet Rumi writes, “The throbbing vein will take you further than any thinking.” This is a great clue.
Who are the speakers who have really inspired you?
Who are the ones who have changed your thinking, altered the course of your own life?
Are they not the ones who speak and write from the heart?
Are they not the ones who stand before you, not with notes and memorized speeches, but with the courage to be simply who they are, to share their visions, their struggles, their fears?
This is the stuff of being a Thought Warrior – this transparency, this risking, this willingness to say it’s a new frontier here, and not one of us has a map, but with what we know together, we can surely make it.
“As leaders we must help people move into a relationship with uncertainty and chaos.” – Margaret Wheatley
Start to become a Thought Warrior and request your Introductory Consultation today.
Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.