A corporate executive (Jack Welch, former CEO of GE) once wrote: “What determines your destiny is not the hand you’re dealt; it’s how you play the hand. And the best way to play your hand is to face reality – see the world the way it is – and act accordingly.” (Emphasis added.)
This statement came to David’s mind during his recent 10-day silent meditation retreat. Seeing reality for what it is – not as we wish to see it or to “spin it” or to only look at either the bright side or dark side to the exclusion of the other – requires a discipline and resolve to meet reality on its own terms.
It takes a Zen-like discipline. The online Urban Dictionary offers an interesting definition of Zen: “Zen… is a total state of focus that incorporates a total togetherness of body and mind. Zen is a way of being. It also is a state of mind. Zen involves dropping illusion and seeing things without distortion created by your own thoughts.”
As we often stress in workshops when working with Dynamic Tension, in order to move toward your envisioned outcome, you must tell the truth about your current reality – both what’s working and supports the outcome, as well as what is not working and is inhibiting your capacity to create it (including the problems you face).
This is especially challenging, for some of us, in reflecting on our own qualities, characteristics and behaviors. It is all too easy to delude ourselves by rationalizing or denying aspects of our current reality that may demand we own behaviors not to our liking.
We may “shade the truth” (i.e. lie to others or ourselves) about what we are doing or not doing to create physical, spiritual and/or mental health. Yet, if we truly hold a vision to live consciously and in a lifestyle of health and well-being, we must (as it is said in 12-step recovery systems) “make a thorough and honest inventory” in order to make choices and changes which result in the Baby Steps that move us in the direction of our true and healthy desires.
Another challenge in this discipline is not to judge or condemn current reality, but to be able to say “it is as it is.” To judge or condemn only serves to fuel anxiety and can easily throw us into the Victim Orientation and the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT) ™ and, most likely, become a Persecutor to ourselves or others.
The key, as Welch wrote, is to see reality for what it is and to act accordingly by taking Baby Steps toward the envisioned outcome.