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Learning to Lead Your Own Path
What we choose to know...Mark Twain is credited with saying "it ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble, but what you think you know that just ain't so". I look at the world today, and find so many examples of things that we think we know that probably don't stand up to examination. These really tend to stand out when they are in the realms of stereotypes or prejudices, but also show up in many more subtle ways throughout our lives. One area of current interest is the economy. This is such a fascinating study, as the economy, as much as anything else, is simply a measure of confidence within a large group of people.

When the public is in fear, the economy suffers. When they are confident, it booms. I just talked to some people who were truly worried about "the recession". When we discussed what that means, their views were of great catastrophe, financial ruin for many, and periods of great lack, perhaps even rivaling the Great Depression. On further conversation, it turns out they actually didn't know any specifics about what it meant for the country, or for them. They had a notion that many people would lose their homes (maybe even them, although it is owned outright), their jobs, and that lots of businesses would close. Additionally, they personally couldn't really tell any personal impact they had felt from the current economy other than their fuel costs being higher. The issue is that they spend their time talking about this, and creating worried energy in the world. If we all begin to get worried, and approach the current times with fear, doubt, and trepidation, we can be guaranteed of negative outcomes. Another example, again related to the current economy, is one person I heard who had convinced herself that she needed to sell her house immediately, even taking a very deep discount to move it quickly.

When questioned, her response was that it is better to sell now rather than wait a couple of years and lose it all. Now the obvious question, why would she lose it in a couple of years? No reason other than "the economy", and that more people will be losing their homes. It is obviously all over the news, and without more data, coupled with fear, it can be an easy inferential leap that "I'm next". Multiply this thinking across thousands of other people, and you get collective action that creates the reality that they dread. As with any situation, we have to take our own personal leadership seriously, wherever we are, whatever role we are in, whatever situation we face.

This boils down to leading our own thoughts and words. It is about questioning what we know and acting accordingly. In every situation where we find ourselves acting from some limited amount of data, particularly when there is some element of fear associated with your thoughts, we need to lead ourselves into a higher point of consciousness. My request to all of you, is to speak what you know, and act with the highest possible outcome in mind. We need to make good decisions based on trust in ourselves, and continue to be generative and creative. If you listen to the news, recognize that the media thrives on fear.

Each of us has to take part in creating a positive and compelling future. This means that we step into our higher selves, we use our wonderful powers of cognition to decide what we truly know and what we are simply repeating. Before you sell your home, liquidate your portfolio, or just engage in a fearful conversation about the economy, question what you know. So, take a few moments, take some notes, and change your life.

Cheers, Jeff


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