Reveal Your Choices [Seer Crawl day 45]

This is how I have been reading books lately. A few paragraphs at a time. Maybe a page or two. To really read and not just consume. Recently, I decided to re-read my book in the same manner. So, your thought from The Seer to ponder for today: a slow read through THE SEER. Day 45. [all material from the book appears in italics]:

In THE SEER, I end each chapter with 1) a study, 2) an action, and 3) an exercise. Today’s chunk-to-ponder is the study and action from the conclusion of the 5th Recognition. Beware – the action suggests that you can own your story.

The Fifth Recognition: You are the teller of your story

Study: Actions reveal choices, choices reveal story. Study your actions and your choices: what story do they reveal?

Action: Own your story. Continue to distinguish the difference between circumstance and story. Eliminate the “things happen to me” story: at the end of each day choose an event from the day that was challenging, frustrating or made you mad. What if your response within every circumstance was a choice? What did you choose within your circumstance? Track it each day in your journal. What changes when your choices become conscious and intentional?

What do you choose? A great business as well as personal question, especially if growth and change is what you seek.

 

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See Your Business Story [Seer Crawl day 29]

Your thought to ponder for today: a slow read through THE SEER. Day 29. [all material from the book appears in italics]:

 

In our next chat Virgil wrote:

Virgil: There are nine recognitions, three loops of three recognitions each. You’ve closed the first loop. It is called “patterns.” The next three recognitions form a loop that we’ll call “story.” This doesn’t mean that you leave patterns behind. Continue your practice of “not knowing,” seek to see patterns, choose your language, and always be aware that you are telling yourself a story.

Me: Is there a deeper reason for talking about business through the lens of story? I understand it for my personal growth. Why is it important for the success of my business?

Virgil: The idea that they are separate things is an old world notion. Compartmentalization, the idea that you can separate your emotions from your work, your ethics from your actions, your values from your interests, belongs to the age of the iron horse. You are living in the greatest era of personal and professional revolution since Gutenberg invented the printing press. This is the era of connectivity, not component parts. Your story is living, dynamic, and fluid. How you conduct yourself in life is how you do business. Entrepreneurship, like artistry, is not about what you do; it is about how you orient yourself within your life.

 

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Walk Toward It [Seer Crawl day 18]

cropped-curvy-lines.jpgYour thought to ponder for today: a slow read through THE SEER. Day 18. [all material from the book appears in italics]:

I scribbled this note on the yellow pad next to my computer:

Words matter. A problem exists like an island in isolation. It is mechanistic thinking. Call it a problem and you will assume that you know a solution: cause and effect – and all you can do is fix or solve. There is an end. A pattern reveals connections. It is dynamic and reveals structure, composition, and design. Call it a pattern and you will assume that you don’t know because there is no end to the improvements you can see – it extends into the future beyond the vanishing point. The best you can do is walk toward it.

The 9 Recognitions of THE SEER serve as the framework for my coaching and consulting. Learn more here.

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Practice Curiosity [Seer Crawl day 12]

Poet

from the archives: Sam The Poet

a slow read through THE SEER. day 12. [all material from the book will appear in italics]:

Virgil: Humor me and entertain this notion: your thought, your story, is not passive. It is a creative act. What you think IS what you see. Most of the time people create what they see based on their rut. They see what they expect to see. To practice curiosity is to suspend the assumption of knowing. To practice curiosity requires us to step out of the rut. Stop assuming that you know and you gain the capacity to see beyond what you think.”

A glimmer of light pierced the dark recesses of my mind. Suddenly I was back in front of the Sphinx and I could see the answer to the riddle. It was so clear! I typed:

Me: Wait! Is this why I need to distinguish between problems and patterns? If I tell myself that I have a problem to solve, I am telling a certain kind of story. If I tell myself that I have a pattern to change, I am telling an entirely different kind of story. Is that true?

Virgil: Yes. It sounds too simple, doesn’t it? A problem is a story. It is a lens that filters your sight. A problem does not exist unless you insist that it is there. You say that you are an entrepreneur. How many great products and services were the results of an accident in the lab? How many innovations were missed because the ‘solution’ did not fit the ‘problem’ as identified? A problem is a rut that separates you from possibilities. On the other hand, a pattern connects you to possibilities. See the pattern not the problem.

Me: But, how does this help me in my business?

Virgil: The pattern or story you tell will determine the possibilities you see or don’t see. The story you tell will determine the actions you see or do not see. For instance, you said that once you started looking you saw patterns everywhere. You saw connectivity; everything seemed part of a greater pattern.

Me: Yes. It was a discovery. It was wonderful.

Virgil: What did that discovery lead you to do?

Me: Well, I slowed down. I looked. I saw things…I started seeing a bigger context. I saw relationships between things. I saw how things were shaped…. I saw how things could be improved. I was seeing through different eyes.

Virgil: That would seem to be an important skill for an entrepreneur, don’t you agree? What potential would become visible to you if you flipped from seeing problems to seeing patterns?

The Bottom Line: How you ask the question will determine the answers you see or don’t see. How you define your circumstance will determine the paths you see or don’t see. It is the idea beneath The First Recognition of The Seer: you don’t have a problem, you have a pattern.

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Story Yourself [Seer Crawl day 11]

a slow read through THE SEER. day 11. [all material from the book will appear in italics]:

Virgil: Hi. Yes. Welcome back. How did it go?

Me: I learned a lot about patterns.

Virgil: Tell me what you discovered.

Me: When I started looking for patterns I saw them everywhere. It was as if everything was connected through some type of pattern. In looking for patterns I started to see things that I’d never before noticed. It was as if the world came into a clearer focus.

Virgil: Good. What else?

Me: Looking for patterns made me move slower. I think that was part of practicing “not knowing,” though I’m still not certain that I’m doing what you asked.

 Virgil: Lol! And in this way, for now, your uncertainty is a great way of practicing “not knowing.”

I hated that. In my present circumstance there was nothing great about uncertainty. I ignored him and wrote:

Me: I realized that I think in patterns. I think the same stuff over and over. This is a puzzle: the act of looking for patterns opened my eyes. So, patterns reveal. And yet, later, when I became aware of the patterns of my thinking, I recognized that those patterns were like ruts or grooves. It’s as if I am playing the same song over and over again so no other music can come in. My thinking pattern, my rut, prevents me from seeing. So patterns also obscure. Make sense?

Virgil: Yes. It must seem like a paradox to you. Think of the song or rut as a story that you tell yourself. Your thoughts, literally, are a story that you tell yourself about yourself and the world; the more you tell this story the deeper the rut you create. So, a good question to ask is: what is the story that you want to tell? Are you creating the pattern that you desire to create? We will return to this many times. This is important: the story is not happening to you; you are telling it. The story can only control you if you are not aware that you are telling it.

Me: Can you say more?

 Virgil: We literally ‘story’ ourselves. We are hard-wired for story. What we think is a narrative; this pattern (song) that rolls through your mind everyday is a story that you tell. You tell it. It defines what you see and what you do not see. What you think is literally what you see.

There was a pause. That was a lot for me to take in. When I didn’t respond, he continued:

Virgil: So, what you think is nothing more than a story; it’s an interpretation. You move through your day seeing what you think – instead of what is there. You are not seeing the world you are seeing your interpretation of the world. You are seeing from your rut and your rut is a pattern. So, your patterns of thinking, your rut, can obscure what you see. Make sense?

Me: Yes. I guess 😉 So, when I started looking for patterns outside of me, I…stopped seeing from within my rut? I stopped assuming that I knew what I was seeing. So, I was capable of discovering new patterns and connections?

 Virgil: Yes, something like that. You said that when you looked for patterns you slowed down and felt that you could see. I would say it this way: you stopped moving through your world and for a brief period you were actually in your world. For a brief period you were no longer lost in thought but present with what was right in front of you. You suspended what you think you know so you started to see again. You were curious. To be curious is synonymous with “not knowing.”

 

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