Saturday, April 12, 2008

To discover not by seeking new landscapes but by seeing with new eyes. This idea is the basis of a new training programme I began this morning. From an exploration of our personal and professional motivations, inclinations and competencies, we will be learning to focus on our current goals in life and set new ones if necessary. The final stage will, of course, train us how to achieve those targets.

The overall premise is that if I'm going to take on any kind of leadership role, I have to learn to manage my Self better. Here, the concept of leadership is reduced to its most essential definition: to understand needs, set goals, construct a strategy, motivate the group (or Self) to follow and do their part, celebrate the achievement, evaluate the strategy and the goal achieved, reflect on the experience... and then the cycle begins again with a new awareness of new needs and new goals.

So I'm at the starting point where my first task is to look inward to understand my immediate context. Basically the 'who am I', 'what do I want', 'what am I doing here' type questions. This shouldn't be too difficult. I'm already so inward looking, the only way I can see out is through a chink in my navel.

No, wait. There is a small difficulty there after all. When I look inside myself I know I'm looking at an image that's as warped and distorted as a reflection in a circus funhouse mirror. A lot of what I perceive of the world and of my relationships with others is coloured with the hues of my personal neuroses and psychoses. I'm pretty sure reality is only half as dramatic and twice more mundane than I make it out to be.

In order to get started on this journey then, I have to start getting honest with myself. I need new eyes to see things and people as they really are. Clean out the palette, get a new, clean sheet of canvas.

From tabula rasa, let me begin again. Let me recognize that I have already arrived at my destination from my previous journey. I already am where I want to be. But I have new discoveries to make still. Right now, what they are is not clear, but it is time to start planning a new journey, even if all that really means is acquiring new eyes.

Most important 'takeaway' from today's session for me is the formula BE+DO=HAVE. It's trite, but there's some sense to it. We struggle to reach our goals by DOing so much and repeated DOing seems to get us nowhere except frustrated. Then maybe we give it up as a bad idea, when it may not have been at all. But DOing is only half of the equation. To BE is to put ourselves in a position or a condition to receive what we want. No point futilely DOing with a clenched fist if the hand isn't open enough to take when the opportunity comes. Also, DOing without BEing could potentially scare opportunity away.

Fine. I don't like motivational speakers or their programmes but I'll take a chance on these guys.

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