"At a very early age we begin a process of conditioning. There are many facets to this process and its influence on all of us, and I have written about much of it. However, there is a particular form of conditioning that can set us up for disappointment and failure. I am thinking of the conditioning that teaches us we should have an answer... It's as though we are addicted to "answers" and need absolute answers to be happy."
There is a beauty in life that we are so in danger of losing - it is the sheer pleasure of an open mind. To be honest, my mind likes nothing more than a good answer. I don't know if I am addicted to answers in order to be happy, but I may be attached to the idea that others will see me as a person who knows. That's an attractive proposition if I believe that what people think of me should form the basis for my life decisions.
I notice that enjoyment arrives through the open door of a 'let's find out' attitude. Stress tend to dissipate. I see options and possibilities.
Many people who come to coaching do so for this very reason, because there seem to be a lot of closed doors and a dire shortage of exits. Opportunities don't arise to closed minds. So we use conversations to pry, wedge or gently nudge open, not the doors, but the mind that sees only those doors.
If only we could see the parallel realities... if we could see what doesn't happen because of our own attitudes and how things happen not for the reasons that we are quick to attribute. A genuine 'not knowing' conversation sounds like "tell me more about that" or "how would that work ?" or "why don't we try this and see?".
To have this kind of conversation you need to shift to inquiry and listening and give yourself a big shot of willingness to not take things too personally. These behaviors arise more easily when we are feeling well in ourselves and not consumed with worry.
An "I know" mind will never know as much closeness or find as many solutions and opportunities as an open one.
At least once today I'm going to say, "I don't know. Let's find out." Join me if you like.
(Eldon Taylor appears with me on the show on Friday, April 16th. Tune in on Contact Talk Radio at 10am Pacific. For more information see the main page or visit the Radio Pages for this and other show archives)
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