Tag Archives: discovery

I do what I don’t want to do

Alice came to a fork in the road.  “Which road do I take?” she asked.
“Where do you want to go?” responded the Cheshire cat.
“I don’t know,” Alice answered.
“Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

There are all kinds of things people want out of life that they aren’t getting.   Life for many is a series of painful events or disappointment or lack of confidence or not knowing what direction to go.   What if all that could change?    What if you had direction?   What if you had purpose?   What if you were able to change sadness about life into hope and happiness?    What would that mean to you?

Let’s look at direction.   Life is going in the wrong direction and it’s tiring to have to fight through each day.   You might be screaming inside “I want something different … but I don’t know how to get what I want?”    The compass of your life isn’t pointed in the direction you desire your life to be going.   Deep within there is a compass for your life that points in your “true north”.   Living your life such that the compass isn’t pointing in your true north will be painful; you’ll be living out of character for you.   Getting your life aligned with who you truly are takes a bit of work.   It takes knowing what your values are and what your “virtues” are.  What are your signature strengths, values and beliefs?   

For some people the true self has been masked by years of being a fake person and not living the life they should be living.   There are a number of reasons that people start to hide who they really are.   It may have been an event early in life, a belief that in some way, in some manner they believe they aren’t good enough.   So, when someone doesn’t believe they are good enough they invent a new self, not the true self, but a fake self, the imposter, and they start acting in their new role as the imposter.     The imposter doesn’t make them any happier, but it does help them manage the pain of not living with the person they truly are.


Take a look at the image and you’ll see at the base are “values and beliefs”, those are a combination of experiences, events and the truth of who you are.   This is the starting place for thoughts.   Thoughts emerge from the values, beliefs and experiences of life.   Happy thoughts, sad thoughts, angry thoughts and peaceful thoughts and thoughts about who you are come from the values you have, the beliefs about who you are and what others said you were.   People who had to survive at some point in life started figuring out how to do that.   In order to survive some aspect of life they had to adapt, to start believing in what others said they were and in doing that pushed aside their own life.

Complete this sentence starting point:

I believe I am __________________________________.    (Find at least 5 endings to this sentence, more than likely you’ll find more).

Next time, we’ll talk about thoughts and feelings.

“All men should strive
to learn before they die
what they are running from, and to, and why.”
James Thurber


Any life, no matter how long and complex it may be, is made up of a
single moment–the moment in which a man finds out, once and for all,
who he is.–Jorge Luis Borges

The world tells us who we are and we believe it.   Teachers, friends, family, co-workers, and more are telling you who you are.   You are not those things.   You were created, uniquely with special gifts and talents that are inside of you covered up by the stories you’ve been told.   The authentic you is waiting to be discovered.

self-knowledge is power


Self-knowledge may be the most important discovery you can make. Not only is self-knowledge a necessary component of leadership, it is a necessary component of followership and a necessary component of self-leadership.

What are you doing today that enhances your knowledge of your self?



Seasons of the year tend to be what most people think about when they think of, spring, summer, autumn, and winter, and those are the seasons. We also have seasons in our life, discovery, accomplishment, significance, and sharing. We can have seasons in a single day, awakening, work, relaxation and sleep.

We are now in the autumn season with respect to how the earth precesses around sun. In life autumn is the season where many reflect on years of work, perhaps in a career only to realize that all that work wasn’t so meaningful. Maybe there is a feeling of restlessness which fuels a desire to do something meaningful during the next few years. Is there a gap in your life where you may be feeling like all life has been is work and without significance? What would make your life significant?

Learning as a way of being

“A man’s life is interesting primarily when he had failed, for it’s a sign that he tried to surpass himself.” — Georges Clemenceau

This brief piece of text is excerpted from “Learning as a way of being” by Peter Vaill, the quoted section is part of another book written by Chittister called “Wisdom distilled from the Daily”, pg. 24, The Rule of St. Benedict,

“Benedict teaches life is a learning process. Western culture and its emphasis on academic degrees, however, has almost smothered this truth. We have made the words ‘graduation’ and ‘education’ almost synonymous. We measure achievement in academic credits. We discount experience, depth, and failure. We believe in action and results and products and profits and youth, so we come to regard the elderly as essentially useless.

But in the end, all of that kind of achievement is nothing but a spiritual wasteland if along the way we have not attached ourselves to the discovery of truth, the cultivation of beauty, and the recognition of the real learnings in life.”

If you believe that things are passing you by perhaps it is time to slow down and reflect on the beauty that surrounds you. Action, results, products and profits are seen as the currency of value when in reality the currency is truth, beauty and joy. Which do you pursue with the most fervor?

Value significance – value your significance in a turbulent world.

Introduction to Appreciative Inquiry

appreciative – feeling or expressive of gratitude; “was appreciative of his efforts”; “an appreciative word”


1. The act of inquiring.

2. A question; a query.

3. A close examination of a matter in a search for information or truth.

One of the definitions of Appreciative Inquiry is search for the best in people. That definition is pretty powerful don’t you think. Why would we want to search for the best in people?

The AI process is designed to be one of creative expression, something that many people rarely experience. All too often people are told what to think, how to think and what to think. AI really turns the current reality upside-down and allows people to design solutions from a point of view that is not critical but rather creative.

The AI model is based on four concepts, discovery, dream, design, and destiny.

Next time we will talk about the discovery phase and how that is used.

Attitude is everything

William James wrote, ‘The greatest discovery of my generation is that
human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes
of mind.’

What does that mean to you? How do you alter your attitudes? What does it take to change an attitude?

It takes conscious effort to change an attitude. It takes a heaping spoonful of humility to change a bad attitude into a good attitude.

What is your attitude like today? What can you do to change it?