Choice is Energy and Energy is an Investment for Action

Our choices have a life of their own.

One of the joys in life for me is when I deliver any personal mastery topic and a new learning or realisation came up for me because of what the learners obtained for themselves.

Two weekends ago is one such occasion.

I was with a group of lady entrepreneurs that for the first time in their life, they were given an opportunity to stop-look-decide what kind of life do they want.

One of the topics we looked at during the Personal Mastery workshop was that of choice. For this topic, I got two new revelations about choice.

The first is that a choice is not solitary. The choice we make comes with it a network of other choices; each one connected to one another. Imagine a Hoberman Sphere (shown above). Before we make the choice, this network remains dormant; waiting to be awaken by a choice being made.

Once a choice is made, the network wakes up and a cascade of other choices are made. This means in the whole scope of things, this network is never at rest. It is constantly dynamic; evolving, changing, forming, un-forming , expanding, contracting etc. Basically it is always in action.

So, say for the sake of explanation, at the beginning of time, the choice network is inert. A choice is then made. This choice will then results in another choice being made in response to the initial activated choice. This ripple sometimes is compounded; it is never a linear process where one only effects another. Sometimes an activated choice results in multiple other choices being made. Therefore, it is very likely, a choice being made will expound into an avalanche of choices, a ripple that impacts far and wide.

Now, what does this realisation means?

One is that when you make a choice, you will also need to embrace all the consequences of that choice because there will be other choices made by others that will eventually effects you.

The second is choice is energy. It ripples and transfers the energy into actions taken by others due to the choice we make. Every choice is a transfer of energy since every choice we make sets in motion some form of action or inaction (which is actually an action).

Therefore, when we make a choice, we shouldn’t be surprised by the actions that follows. These actions can be desirable ones or undesirable ones but should not be a surprise since we know it can go ways that is unpredictable. The tragedy is when we pretend to be surprised by the actions taken by others due to our actions. Why should we be surprise when we know fully well, just like energy, it is transferred in ways that we can’t predict dues to the numerous variables we are not in control of.

In a nutshell, be graceful in responding to the ripple of choices that permeates due to our own choice. I find that I am more allowing and at peace with myself in facing the consequences of my choices.

Empowerment & Accountability: The case of responsibility and ownership.

Feeling empower is an asset that goes a long way.

It is rather interesting that there is a common view out there that when you empower someone with something that you own, you are absolve of all accountability. I think not.

Empowerment involves gradually turning over the responsibility for direction and support to another. Empowerment is used by leaders to develop their team’s skills and knowledge while supporting them to use their talents. It is about sharing control but not ownership.

You will never have an empowered, self-directed team unless you are willing to share control. Empowerment is all about letting go so that others can get going. Letting go may cause you to face the fear of losing control, which is a prominent fear for many traditional leaders yet it is necessary to lead a team.

Therefore, a leader who empowers his team does so by sharing control (responsibility) but not by transferring ownership. This means the leader is still accountable for what the team does.

The Simplicity Series: Simplicity #7 – Conscious is our True North

Stay true to our True North. Don’t ever waver.

Humans as a functioning system, have a fail safe button that keeps us in check. It is called our conscious.

However, the ingenuity of human beings have created an over ride button to this fail safe button. It is called justification.

Be aware and be careful of this over ride button. It is a mighty button that have countless time produced undesirable and even evil consequences. It has lead people to do evil things. That is how powerful it is.

The Question of Motivation

Where is my motivation? 😦

As a trainer and a coach, one of the most common question I hear is “How do I motivate myself?” A lot also will make statements such as “I am not motivated”, ” I have lost motivation”, “I need motivation” or “I must look for my motivation”.

I am sorry to burst your bubble but motivation is not something you have that you can look for. It is not a singular thing to have. Motivation is a by-product not a product itself. It doesn’t come “alone”. It has to accompany something else.

One other thing about motivation is that you can’t give or bestow or provide motivation to anyone. It automatically comes from inside the person himself when the right condition is met.

So rather than focusing on finding motivation, let it find you when you have what I call the Parent of Motivation called MEANING. Look for meaning and motivation will come.

So how do I look for meaning? Fortunately, this is something that can be found or discovered. Stay tuned. This is for another article 😉

For now, I shall leave with the perspective that every moment in your life, you are motivated. There is no such thing as no motivation. We might not have motivation for a particular thing but we are always motivated. The question you need to ask is not “Why am I not motivated towards this?” but more importantly is “What I am motivated to right now that makes me unmotivated for this?” The later question will give you an insight to better create a solution.

The Simplicity Series: Simplicity #6 – There is always another side

Which side is which?

Stories are a very powerful way of communicating. They can evoke emotions and can change perception. It is the power of story to affect emotions that get us in trouble when we are not careful.

Under a master storyteller, when we read or hear a story that affects us at an emotional level and it seems to make sense, we automatically take a side and more often than not the intended side the storyteller wants you take. In this way, the storyteller has achieved his goal; which is his original intent in telling the story.

Once this is done, the story becomes a ‘fact’ in our psyche.

What we have forgotten is the inalienable truth is that there is at least another side of the story. This condition is not a variable. It is a constant. Even history has many sides depending from who’s lens you are viewing it.

Therefore, remember, as truth seekers, we need to always seek the other side to have a balance view of the story.

The Question of Cultivating Faith

Two book by two journalist ocean apart discussing the same context of self-discovery through reflection and a dose of self-laughing.

Faith is more than just believing in something or someone. We know how faith feels and live in our body. We also know what it feels like when faith abandon us.

The common question about faith is how do we cultivate it. This is as famous a question as the one that asks how do we build trust; in ourself or in others or in others to us.

The question on how to build trust has been answered for me but the one on faith has eluded me so far… until now.

I recently read a book titled “Laughing All the Way to the Mosque”; a quaint ‘little’book by a Canadian Muslim journalist by the name of Zarqa Nawaz. Btw, this book was given to me by a dear childhood little sister-friend by the name of Nik Sunita (or Intan as she is to me). What a wonderful easy to read, funny and thought provoking little tale right with up there with the best of its kind of genre like Tiziano Terzani’s “A Fortune-Teller Told Me”; another journalist but Italian. Hmmm, now that I made that connection, i wonder if journalist writes the best stories compared to novelist? Ok. Enough of my rambling.

In Zarqa’s book, there was one passage that gives me a part of the answer to the question about cultivating faith. I admit it is not a full answer yet, for me, but a good one to start my quest.

In the book she wrote,
“Having faith is more than just believing; it is about living with fear and self-doubt and working through those feelings until they bring some sort of answer.”

That is how she thinks faith can be cultivated.

As I admitted earlier, I don’t think this is the whole answer I am looking for yet I think there is a lot of truth in what she says. I will take it for a test drive and maybe by doing so, in the journey of testing it out, an answer I am truly satisfied with will emerge. I have faith that it will.

Of Letting Come & Letting Go

Let come. Embrace or Let Go.

As I move into my 50’s (and my 30th year as an entrepreneur), some things in life I have concluded as truths due to my own experiences and observation. One of this is the ability of letting go which to me is as important as the ability to embrace; be it opportunity or challenges.

When I was younger, with the vigour of youth, invincibility and energy, I focus on ‘pulling’ as many opportunities I can get in order to get as much a chance as possible. Therefore, drawing in opportunity and grabbing it become one and the same. It was never distinct; both are mutually inclusive. The truth is that both are mutually exclusive because there is also the choice of letting go of the opportunity/challenge that comes. Just because we cause it to come doesn’t mean we do not have a choice of what to do with it. Consider letting come as the picker and letting go or embracing it as the sorter. We need the ability to let come so that we have options to embrace or let go.

For me, the skills or let come and the ability is not embrace is easier compared to the ability to let go which is a harder being to develop because as a human being, our ‘default’ mode is scarcity which eventually crystallise into fear; what if this is the only opportunity? This might be the only time! etc, etc, etc. Therefore, in order for us to be able to let go, the most important criteria is … FAITH; complete trust or confidence that it will work out.

How do we built FAITH? Well, that would be whole new article 😉

So critiques might equate letting go as giving up. Well, it is a fine line in my perspective. For me, there are two ways to see if it is letting go or giving up. The first one is where the choice is made. If the choice is made before any action is taken, then it can’t be giving up because the word giving denotes we have it in our possession which in this case we have not. The second instance is a bit trickier. What is we have taken possession of the opportunity or challenge and along the way we decides to drop it (let it go or give it up). Well, in this instance, it is giving up… if, the energy we have around the drop is of a victim and not of empowered.

In conclusion, the ability to let come is just the first phase. Once it comes, we do need to choose to embrace it or to let it go. Both are genuine choices that you can make. So feel free to let go for you have the sole right to do so.