One of my favorite comedy albums as a kid was Robin Williams debut effort entitled “Reality – What a Concept!” The only thing I can really remember about it besides the title was a Martian haiku which went “Red sand between my toes/Summer vacation in outer space.”
I hadn’t thought about this for years until this weekend when I had the privilege of co-presenting at the 3 Principles Global Community conference in Minneapolis alongside both teachers and graduate students from Supercoach Academy. One of my favorite presentations was by Ken Manning and Mara Gleason as they shared their experience of working with an inside-out, principles-based understanding in business.
A phrase that jumped out at me as I listened was when Ken answered a question about what they actually do in a business conversation:
“We explain to them that the world isn’t what they think it is – it’s what they think it is.”
This speaks to the heart of what I find in my own work with clients – the moment a person begin to see a bit of space between their own thinking and “reality”, new thought comes into that space. That new thought may take the form of a creative solution to a longstanding problem or an inspired vision of a new possibility. As I explained in a recent radio show, it may come in the voice of Charlton Heston or the voice of Homer Simpson, awing us with it’s insightful nature or making us go “doh!” as we realize how long we’ve been missing the elusive obvious.
But there’s another way it can show up, one that’s often subtler and seemingly more magical:
Sometimes we get a new thought and the world just looks different to us after than before.
We may not even know what the thought was – we just know something has shifted at a fundamental level. What was once scary doesn’t look scary anymore; what had us stressed and tied up in knots seems funny or inconsequential. And the beautiful thing about these seemingly inexplicable shifts is that they are what leadership author Joseph Jaworski calls “predictable miracles” – we have every right to not only expect them but to actually count on them.
As we step out of our own certainty that the world is what we think it is and into the humbling realization that the world is what we think it is, we begin to recognize that no matter how bad/hard/hopeless things look in any given moment, we are never more than one thought away from living in a different “reality”. What we thought was an immutable obstacle turns out to be no more than an objectified thought. And the moment we melt down what one of my clients called “the jewelry of thinking” in her mind, we are left with the raw material of our thinking – pure fluid thought, as precious and malleable as 18 karat gold.
Have fun, learn heaps, and step back into the unknown – the space where miracles happen!
|With all my love,