- Do you know what helped me to get my head out of the mud and take a cosmic view of my life?
- Do you know what inspired me to go from school teacher to real estate developer to restaurant owner to book author (with several small successful businesses filling in the gaps between the big aspirations)?
- Do you know what helped me forcefully decline to go along with wrong ways of seeing things so the right ways could reveal themselves?
OK, let’s go!!!
While teaching school in a big city with a lot of problems years ago, I took a weekend seminar on how to improve my life. Don’t get me wrong, teaching is a noble profession (Jesus did it), but I wasn’t feeling satisfied; I’d become a malcontent.
I traveled 500 miles to New York City to participate in a seminar that was titled, ‘the needed light will shine’. I wasn’t satisfied with what I was doing, and I felt as though I needed the light, and I hoped it would shine for me.
The first evening of the seminar, I was told, “You don’t understand yourself or life.” Wow, now that really set me off; “How dare you!” By the end of the night I heard myself saying, “You’re probably right,” but my mind was still steaming with the idea, “What right have you to insinuate that I lack understanding?”
The next morning I learned that my mind is like a crowded hall of shouting voices, all vying for my attention. I heard myself say, “That’s absurd!” I then heard myself say, “Well that’s not entirely untrue.” And then, I heard myself say, “So, what’s it to you?” Could it be? Is my mind a crowded hall of thought-voices offering a dozen differing opinions?
The afternoon of the second day, the seminar leader went on to say, “You must stop wasting your life.” I thought, “I would like to stop wasting my life, that’s why I’m here.” Then I heard myself say, “How rude of you to say such things about me.”
The seminar leader must have read my mind because he called directly on me, and said, “It is apparent that you have not lived your life intelligently or constructively.” Wow, this guy was really starting to get to me.
In the next instant, the seminar leader said, “You can begin right now to find peace of mind.” I blurted out, “That’s what I want, plus success, too.” The seminar leader then looked me directly in the eyes and asked, “Can you see what a threat I am to your peace of mind? He went on to say, “You pretend you want the truth, but you resist with all of your might when you hear it. You’re like a starving man that throws away a perfectly good dinner because he doesn’t like how it was served to him.”
Now, I ask you? How delicate is your ego?
Are you like the starving man who throws away a perfectly good meal because your ego doesn’t like how the truth is being served up to you?
Do you really want the life you dream of experiencing … or … if the truth offends your delicate ego, do you walk away, making that other person wrong? I suspect if you answer this question truthfully, you’d have to admit that your ego gets in the way of your learning when its identity is threatened.
Are you ready for the lesson?
Here’s the lesson: Abandon your ego with its insistence that it’s right, not for the reward of learning more … and then the reward of learning exactly what you need to know will be just right.
Here’s the bonus lesson: Rightness always rushes in when wrongness is abandoned.
- Please share a time when you were more concerned with being right than with winning at life.
- Please share a time when you learned something important when you stopped protecting your vanity.
- Please share a time when you experienced your mind like a crowded hall of thought-voices offering a dozen different opinions.
- If you can’t think of anything to share – that’s your delicate ego having it’s
way with you. Consider sharing that.
The bridge that takes you to a new world is called ‘teachability’.
Illustrations by nick