Did you know that both pain and pleasure are nature’s learning curve?
Pain we know – it teaches us so much about being present, letting go, evolving, turning up, appreciation and vision …
Pleasure has the exact same gift
Sometimes we think pleasure is the state of mind we need to achieve in order to be inspired in life. However, this is not the case.
Pleasure is a built in honing device that hopes that there’s an upper without a downer. We get so keen to have that upper, it blinds us, makes us jump without a parachute. Make really short term highly emotional, ultimately time wasting choices.
Actually the idea that pleasure is the highest state of achievement is the cause of: Depression – Chronic Fatigue – Stress – Mental health problems – Suffering in frustration – Relationship breakdown – Leadership failure – Career collapse – Financial ruin and more
Even some yogi’s in India and the west teach the illusion that pleasure (they call it bliss or enlightenment or even “no return to the suffering of a body”) is a sustainable and non dualistic state of being. Just look at the vulnerability and emotional fragility of those who catch that “candy train.”
Pleasure hunting is complete nonsense and yet there are millions of teachers – life coaches, speakers who call themselves “thought leaders” – sharing this troublesome ignorance in the name of self-consciousness and global awareness. It contradicts everything we know about success, happiness, fulfilment, health and life balance and yet, it’s the core of most therapy and psychology, HR and motivational speak. It is even endorsed in corporate leadership where events are held to cause “pleasure” for the team in some way hoping that this will lead to loyalty, productivity and a healthy workplace.
What do do about it. Well it could become frustrating if you try to change the world. It’s equivalent to coating the world with leather rather than putting on a pair of leather sole shoes.
Pleasure hunting – nothing could be further from the truth and yet, it would be a brave organisation that gave an event organiser a brief for an inspired event rather than a motivational and pleasure hunting one. Can you imagine an event for a corporate group that did not have alcohol, but instead a juice bar? That got people to bed with more than six hours sleep instead of a boozy night? An event that had organic simple food instead of fancy and expensive “master chef” menus? I can but I think inspiration not motivation.
So it’s time to step up. We can’t change the world but we can lead by example. What if we became driven by an ambition greater than the trouble making pleasure hunt?
What if we were the quiet visionaries amongst those who are not aware of the pitfalls. I know it’s better not to preach the woes of “sugar coated” living but it can be good to practice it.
So what does a non pleasure hunting life look like?
First thing is that there’s an awareness that “love is everywhere” and we need to walk, talk, think, act at a pace that can feel it. This is Inspiration in a nutshell. The inner voice speaking louder than the outer voices.
Second, there are seven layers of mind – each with their own appetite for life. Give them all free rein and you’ll be chasing a vision on one hand and as much “sugar coating” on the other. Wild swings of “at work” and “after hours” diversity. That’s incredibly fun but at the same time, disheartening and ultimately, disappointing. So the overriding master class of the highest layer of these seven mind levels asks “what’s my vision and where am I going” what’s my vision and where am I going? what’s my vision and where am I going? what’s my vision and where am I going?what’s my vision and where am I going?what’s my vision and where am I going? what’s my vision and where am I going?
Third, when you wake in the morning, before sunrise the first thing you might do is ask “how am I?” How do I feel. This is critical. I call this “your royal “I” ness. It brings your awareness to your body and mind to be balanced, centred and calm. Great start to the day. You might even do some yoga, meditate, go for a run, eat… this is so important but if you stay stuck in this royal “I”ness, it is a pathetically small way to turn up in life, it has no resilience, no way to engage the traffic of your life, at work you’ll be a dropkick away from a stress breakdown. So, after your wake up “how am I” essential practice you might then step outside and take a moment to expand and connect to nature. That is so important. The key in this is to absolutely avoid the pitfall of being a bystander, like a news reporter, an observer saying “oh, great, look at those beautiful trees” because that’s just staying in your “royal “I”ness, disconnected but observing. That’s not connecting to nature at all, it’s the opposite. To connect to nature you have to become lost in it. This means that you and the tree become a part of nature. You and the sea become part of nature. It’s sort of losing the boundary between you and what you see. You connect meaning there is no fence to sit on, no separation, the light of the sun, in this instance, doesn’t come to you, it goes through you. Now you’ve expanded and this person will be totally available in a big way to deal with the ups and downs of the work and relationship world. But we’re not done yet with the third key. Now grab an iPhone, a newspaper, a tv, a computer and go to the global news service you choose to dish you up the world – how many beheadings, how many accidents, how many earthquakes, how many princess born, how many elections won and lost. This last step puts you back into the world and you must not shy away from this. If you shy away from this you have locked yourself into a self imposed prison. Can you read this international news “the Guardian” is a good source, and at the end of it, still feel step one, inspiration? Can you still feel your heart beat – step 2, what is my vision and where am i going? if yes, you are ready to to answer step three…. what is my purpose greater than self?
Vision, Inspiration and Purpose is a solution. It really does move a business, a community, a family, an individual to a not “sugar coated” ambition for life. There are trillions of ways to achieve the above. I believe that this is human nature at its natural state.
Every kid (and child within an adult) can benefit from the process … it doesn’t have to be formal – its a sequence of questions for a child…
1. Give them a hug or at least a compliment. (feel the love)
2. What’s the best thing you are going to do today? (Vision)
3. How you feeling (royal “I”ness)
4. Did you feed the cat and give the dog a scratch? (Connection)
5. There was an earth quake in Nepal today .. do you think we should send some money? Oh, and look the budget has some good things for the Australia Aboriginal people living in remote communities. (purpose)
Can you do that without being detected… “the Quiet Achiever”
Love and Wisdom