Our beliefs define what’s possible!

As I was reflecting on the quote of Anaïs Nin, in which he says,” We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are,” I was thinking about the current state of the economy. It seems that there are so many signs that the system within which we have worked for many decades is failing.

Every day there is news of layoffs or bankruptcies or another government bailout program. What’s interesting is that all of these steps are implemented from a belief that what we have been doing works if only we can temporarily bolster it.

What if that belief is invalid? What if we need to change the basic structure of how our economic system works? In times of great crisis, it is those who propose solutions that remake the landscape who often provide the most effective way out of the crisis.

In this time, we all need to assess our core beliefs about our individual economic situations. It is in these beliefs that we will find both our blindness and our strengths. To help you understand what I mean, I will use myself as an example.

I have a belief that “hard work” is the only way to financial success. This belief comes from a long history in my family that the men who worked hard were considered “good” men. So what is the problem with this belief? For one thing, it comes from an hourly wage labor perspective. The more I work, the more I get paid. Overtime (working harder) is a favorable consequence for hard work!?!

Now this belief may have worked well if I was a contract laborer when manufacturing was booming. What this belief does is not have me understand the value that I provide. This type of belief likens people to machines and the consequence of that is felt in every aspect of our lives.

When I think of the current economic situation, there is one belief that I find indicative of the challenges we face for change. This belief is that a corporation should live forever. When you think about it, corporations are formed for a specific purpose. This purpose was framed in the world that the corporation was serving. The world changes. A fundamental question that would be useful to ask is “Does it make sense for this corporation to continue?”

What happens more often than not is that the leaders of the corporation work diligently to find a way to shift the company. Maybe it’s new markets or a new technology approach, or whatever. This is fraught with challenges. For starters, the belief system that the corporation was founded upon is still in place. Simply making some changes in product lines or customer bases doesn’t change those now obsolete beliefs. So then, the company is struggling to succeed in its “new world” while unknowingly holding on to all the baggage of its past.

There are many other analogies I can draw. The point is, to borrow a quote from Albert Einstein, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” So why do we try? Probably, because it seems like the only thing to do. And yet it will fail.

What to do? Stop for a moment and let the true nature of life reveal itself. This can be done by quieting my emotions and ‘logical’ intellect. The key to this “essential looking” is to look with my intuition. For my intuition doesn’t have an agenda to further, or a point of view to support. It only feels what’s so.

When you feel you have the real truth of a situation, see if it “rings” in you. If it does, then you are on the right track. If it doesn’t, then stop and keep looking for the essence until you feel that ring of knowing.

Let me know your feelings about this.

Until later,


Author: Thomas White

Over the past thirty-five years, Thomas White has created and led private and public organizations that initiated breakthroughs in areas as diverse as computer software, publishing, printing, market research, leadership development and organizational change. The common ingredients in his success are simple. He looked beyond the limitations that others believed and found real solutions to needs that business leaders have. He attracted the best talent to translate these innovative solutions into practical products and services that were of high value to customers. He created cultures where people love what they do, work at their best and produce extraordinary results. In addition to his role as a business leader, Thomas has been a pioneer and inventor of technologies in the computer-networking field. He is a patent holder for innovations in business process and workflow technology. As part of his passion for educating others about the interface of human and computer systems, he was the co-author of “New Tools for New Times, The Workflow Paradigm”. He has also written articles for numerous publications. In 2001, he turned his attention from leading companies to supporting leadership teams in creating organizations of excellence. After many years of being a part of the machine of change, Thomas recognized that business is the most powerful force in the world. It has a major impact on public policy and governments everywhere. It is a key influence on how we use our resources and sets an example of the values that shape communities from local to global. He formed the consulting firm of Profoundly Simple to be a guide for exemplary leaders - leaders who wisely uses the power they are entrusted with to serve their constituencies first and themselves second; leaders who know that it is good business to treat people with respect, honor the environment and act with impeccable integrity – leaders who inspire greatness in those around them and by doing so create great organizations that are notable examples of success. Feeling the itch to get back into the game again, Thomas joined with two long time friends, to start the C-Suite Network. This network of business leaders offers an online network, events, services, and insights to its 500,000 member community. In addition, the C-Suite Network produces and distributes television and radio content to an audience of over 5M per month

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