There Must be More to Life than this

What is it that prevents most of us from reaching our fullest potential? As a personal coach to organizational leaders over many decades, two primary reasons spring to my mind immediately.

The first of these is habits. We accumulate them, likely for very good purposes including the basic need to conserve our mind’s energy. They’re comfortable and even reassuring but then they become invisible to us. So, when the time arrives to divest ourselves, or to change them for something better, we can no longer see them for what they are – millstones around our neck.

The second is our perspectives – the way we choose to view the world of which we are part. The resultant thinking processes become a part of us, just like habits. One of the most common is polarized or dualistic thinking, right vs wrong, mine vs yours – the either/or approach as opposed to both/and, or inclusive thinking.

The human mind often works on the logical principle of contradiction, according to which something cannot be both true and false at the same time. Should we accept this, then we stop our growth and development in its tracks!

Whenever we reflect on a conflictual situation, the truth probably lies neither in the affirmation or denial of either side, but rather in reconciling the two opposites.

My sainted Scottish aunt wisely alerted me to the fact that there’s truth in everything, everywhere, and all the time. No one is smart enough to be one hundred percent wrong, as philosopher Ken Wilber says. If my eyes are solely on what I can reject, just to preserve my current beliefs, then I’ll never find this truth.

To grow, I need to open my mind to at least consider input that is different from my experience. Since polarized thinking is common-place, I might even need to entice others to share, for they’re likely to believe that I’d not welcome their different viewpoints. Further, I might even need to understand better, using empathy, why they believe whatever it is they do.

I’m learning so much from those I try to help; and I’ve found this approach to be very enriching.

How about you?

Author

  • David E.C. Huggins

    David Huggins has fully enjoyed a lifetime of experience as a military officer and as a behavioural scientist, supporting businesses and similar enterprises, at both organizational and individual levels, through leadership coaching. A contemplative Christian, he is devoted to contributing love, value, comfort, and continuity to this diverse world. He resides in Campbellville, Ontario, with his lovely and talented artist wife, Judy.