Now that we are well into this millennium’s second decade, three universal truths — facts or beliefs accepted as true and applicable across all cases — have risen to dominance in my life. Certainly 20 years ago (possibly only 10) I had considerable difficulty gaining agreement from friends, family and clients on their efficacy. Nonetheless, these universal truths transformed: me, how I work in/contribute to the world, and how the world is beginning to express itself. Granted not everyone is on side, but the three truths below have reached their tipping point. Enough critical mass now exists for them to be seen as the norm or at least to be seen emerging as so.
1. Focus on the positive.
Yes, it is true. What we focus on expands. So, if we want a positive experience, outcome, or life, we must be the positive we want to see. History has taught us, if we react negatively with anger, fear or aggression, reciprocity prevails. That is, we get what we give. As an example, when I work with an individual, team or organization utilizing their positive strengths to grow and develop, they are enthusiastic and energized for change. On the other hand, when I focused on their vulnerabilities and limitations, as I was taught earlier in my career, the resulting atmosphere and outcomes were heavy, deflating and depleted.
Ask yourself, why grow our problems when the real goal is to grow our gifts? By focusing on what we are good at and enjoy doing (our positives), we actually address existing problems without directly confronting them. So, play to your strengths.
2. Our feelings are our creation.
Do you believe no person or no thing creates (or is responsible for triggering) our feelings? Well, it’s true. What we feel — emotion — is an internal choice for which we are entirely responsible. Our emotions do not exist outside of us or, for that matter, without us. We fabricate our feelings based on how we perceive what is happening around us. Our feelings are our conditioned reactions to emerging events. Furthermore, our delusion that we cannot control our emotions combined with our past conditioning finds us blaming and holding others responsible for how we feel.
As a global society, we are still emotionally disabled, and the proof lies in the perpetuation of judgment and war. However, let’s stay focused on the positive silver lining — the recognition and belief that each of us is responsible for our emotional reactions. It follows that once we own our feelings, we can then reframe them into positive growth and development.
3. Growing self-awareness grows integrity.
The path to integrity (authenticity) is iterative and incremental. How we learn and develop personal mastery, and thus mastery in living, involves deeper and deeper cycles of awareness, practice and reflective analysis. I know being aware in the present moment has received mainstream recognition because individuals, schools and workplaces continually request mindfulness meditation as well as sensing and responding training from me.
Of course, mindfulness meditation’s immediate benefit is its ability to quiet our mind and reduce our inner experience of stress. Fortunately, with practice, being present also releases old negative habits like mulling over past regrets and worrying about an uncertain future. What ultimately develops is an increase in our capacity to sense what is emerging in the moment (in our external world) and thereby adapt (internally) and respond appropriately with what is needed. This alignment of our internal being and the external environment depicts wholeness — integrity of being — as illustrated in the image below.
For more on integration and transformation, click here.