Pay attention to your own advice. Episode 92. Brought to you by the universal law of nature number 4. The law of personal harmony – thought.
“The minute you get the idea that you are indispensable in business, you aren’t!”
“It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it.” ―by Mark Twain
Those who know do. Those who don’t, teach.
From the beginning of your journey with Innerwealth you have heard me say many times that if you wouldn’t pay for it and didn’t ask for it, don’t listen to advice. Opinions are the cheapest thing in earth and are usually not worth the paper they are written on.
But opinions and advice do have value. It is mainly a value for the person giving it. Firstly it demonstrates to that person their judgements, secondly it demonstrates to that person what they should be following or listening to themselves. You will notice that people who give advice are usually not following the advice they give
It has taken me nearly 30 years to be confident in the advice I give. I never give advice that I’m not ask for or paid for. But I do think what I would say to somebody if I was being paid or asked for it and then turn it back right on myself. For example, my neighbour was being very inconsiderate when he was using a motorised leaf blower at lunchtime on a Saturday when we had guests for lunch I wanted to get up and go ask him to be considerate. But I know that this advice would fall on deaf ears and then I ask myself maybe I need to be more considerate myself. I wondered firstly if this was the only time he could clean his house and I looked at my guest and wondered if I could be more considerate for them as well. I extended that consideration to people I may take more than my allocated hours for coaching not being considerate of their next meeting. I took the advice I was going to give my neighbour and it would have been with some degree of force, and applied that directly back on myself.
There is a funny quote which says “don’t do what I do, do what I say.” Basically it’s saying that I can give advice to anybody if I academically know what I’m talking about but it doesn’t matter that I’ve never been able to live the advice I’m suggesting.” That is really a license to spread foolishness. I don’t apply that. I think if I haven’t applied it and can’t live it better not recommended it.
The other side of this as a coach is to realise what works for you in your own life isn’t necessarily perfect for everyone. Every human being has a different set of values, they are thumbprint specific to the individual. And so advice that might be appropriate for one person is completely inappropriate to another because their values are different, also because, many people are not living their own values but the values of someone they are afraid of.
For example when we go to work, if a person is in a got to state of mind, they will be afraid of losing their job, afraid of opinions of their boss and others at work, and therefore they will not be operating at their most efficient state because their values will be compromised. With that compromise becomes compensation. If we are not living our values at home because we are afraid of the consequences of being authentic at home we will not leave them at work because we will try to compensate. This compensation model is very much the cause of a lot of disharmony and wasted energy at home and at work.
It is unrealistic to believe that everybody will live their core values. However, your body is doing all it can to make sure that you do. And so, people who say I am completely happy with my family and my job and my life and who get ill, might not be as happy as they are pretending to be.
There is no tangible way for me to measure what I’m about to say but, I see it time and time again. When some people sign up for 12 months of coaching the first six months of it they are more honest with themselves and me, than the last six months. In other words they share in the first six months their observation of the contradictions between their own values and values of others. The coaching becomes about how to negotiate the process of being more authentic. As time goes on and they realise the challenges involved in being authentic in the world, especially at home, and the next coaching phase with its associated bill for payment comes closer, idealism about living on purpose starts to challenge their willingness to invest in authenticity. And so they start to want to be more comfortable with the status quo then to be authentic with their values.
I really respect this glass ceiling. Once, this glass ceiling in life was blamed on males who were being chauvinistic toward females. But I see this glass ceiling applied equally to men and women. So it is not any longer, if it ever was, a ceiling imposed by others. From my observation it is a self-imposed ceiling. Emotions play a huge role in the development of our relationships with others. There are so many Memes and myths that we subscribe to in order to make a happy family and a great career. But at some point, not based on an age or a particular size of family, there is a turning point. And this turning point, is a choice as to whether to operate above or below the glass ceiling. There is no compulsory requirement to pass through it but many people spend a lot of their lives banging their head against it.
It is nearly impossible to generically describe what is glass ceiling looks like or, better still, how to pass through it. But I will mention a few of the variables.
The first one is that you are responsible for the quality of life of other people. As a coach, I find this obstacle to be one of the most difficult challenges people face. The obligation to solve problems for others and to therefore impact the quality of their life is also a self-serving thing because it is not pleasant to live with or work with somebody who is continually complaining that things are the way they want especially when that complaint is directed personally at yourself. And this is one of the turning points that revealed at the glass ceiling. At some point we must say to pass through that glass ceiling “your stress is not my stress.” This is a very big moment in life and causes the stressed person to become agitated even more and therefore cause even more trouble. In order to be willing to experience this increase of trouble and agitation a person needs a pretty big why.
To have enough reason to experience rejection we need a sense of purpose greater than ourselves, because while our mission on earth become self-serving, it includes our own comfort that we get from pleasing others. This is usually defined as the core of most relationships and is certainly how people are measured in the workplace. If we gave everybody permission to not be self-serving, and not please others by meeting their expectation, there would be a chaos beyond measure. And so it is absolutely part of the fabric of society that people try to please others. We are rewarded for it because in the most cases, your salary bonus and the amount of intimacy you have in your personal life depends on it. And I’m assuming we want both.
Negotiating this transformation between living with purpose and therefore being inspired and therefore inspiring others by our life in pleasing others and making them motivated by being dependent on us to make their lives happy, is a very big step in life. It’s what I coach but I also have incredible compassion and empathy for the cost if it is not done correctly. Living on purpose was never meant to be done at the cost of anybody. Salary increases, bonuses and the amount of intimacy we have were all included in the transformation process. In fact, I would go so far as to say that these are the consequences of finding a life that lives on purpose rather than finding a life that meets the expectations of others as a mission. That difference between self-serving motive and a purpose greater than self is part of the fabric of that glass ceiling.
What else in business defines that glass ceiling? Language defines it. A person who is saying, got to, should, need to, want to all day is going to be listening to a lot of mind noise. That mind noise is the complexity of a human life that is operating below the glass ceiling. It totally reminds me of my time as a glider pilot. It would take me three hours to drive to the airport where the gliders were stored and in that period I would be on a highway wrestling with all sorts of traffic and trucks. I would arrive at the gliding airport and fill in the required forms and then do my safety check which involved another co-piloted flight. Before I was given the release to exercise my license and fly solo. Nervously I would walk out to the glider which usually was waiting on the airstrip, hook the toe rope to the aeroplane that was waiting, do all the necessary security checks inside the cabin and then give the thumbs up release for the aeroplane to start taxing and take off. The aeroplane would climb and climb and I had the job of making sure that I didn’t get too close or off to the side of the plane and therefore cause everybody to crash. As my altimeter reached the agreed height I needed to soften the Rope between the plane and my glider and then pull the release. This procedure was for me quite automatic because I understood the mathematics of it. The plane would then take a certain path which was predictable and I would take the opposite pass which was equally predictable and we would be separate. About five seconds later there would be this absolute silence. My guts would rise up towards my mouth and the feeling of being absolutely alone all in the air with nothing except the joystick to determine my fate was so amazing. I would then do all I could to stay airborne as long as possible by finding the updraught from trees and hills and unploughed farm land until I got to a certain altitude which was required of me to surrender my flight and return and land the glider. There are no second chances when landing a glider if you don’t have enough altitude on approach you are going to land in the trees if you have too much altitude on approach you are going to overshoot the runway and so this process of landing a glider especially in a crosswind was always a challenge for me. Unlike pulling the towrope which was in my mind quite a mechanical and mathematical process that I understood completely, the landing was the opposite.
So you can see in this example there was a need to be in the noise of my mind to get to the point where I could pull the toe rope on a glider and be airborne for just 15 or 20 minutes, before going through all of that plus ceiling and coming back into the real world of noise. No I professional glider pilot would no doubt live 5 km from the airfield, they would probably have a support crew to get the glider ready, they would be in command of the takeoff and landing process and could therefore be above the glass ceiling the entire day. That is not just a matter of nerves. It is a choice. If you asked me do I want to die flying as glider pilot, the answer was a categoric no way known José.
So the truth of it was I was flying the glider to get some jollies, to compensate for some other aspect of my life that wasn’t going the way I wanted to to and therefore appease my ego that I was doing something fantastic and what a hero I was and I could talk about it with everybody. Probably that’s what was going on and therefore I spent 90% of the time of glider flighting, below the glass ceiling in a unconscious state of mind. Simply, I was reinforcing the emotions and the mindset that kept me under the glass ceiling. I never questioned the comparison between the glider flying and living on purpose. I never questioned the waste of money and time and resources flying a glider which could be spent more authentically. Yes, I did not want to spend my days lying in bed or working in my business day after day. And so it is completely understandable, in the realm of options under the glass ceiling, that I found myself something to compensate. But the truth of it was my life was spent meeting expectations, it had no real purpose other than self-serving. Even when I served my business and my team and my clients, I would have measured it by the amount of money we spent on the new pool at home or the new range Rover. Part of the branding of my engineering business was that we were environmentally conscious and that we save the world bye reducing air-pollution control from factories, but this was marketing rhetoric at the end of the day flying the glider revealed that my real purpose was, me.
So to close this episode, pay attention to the advice you give others. Sometimes we are trying to solve the worlds problems but really we are trying to solve our own. Sometimes we are trying to fix things so that things don’t annoy us. Maybe it’s better to deal with the source of that annoyance rather than the thing. The source of all our annoyance is ourselves. And it is really important to realise that the vast majority of the world live below the glass ceiling. And it is, when you are talking to those people like talking through a glass ceiling. All they hear is muffled tones. I it’s like when you say to somebody who is very much attached to the should and should not of life that there is balance in the world. And the first thing they will saying is how can there be balance in sin?
The key here is to realise the work that is involved in living above the glass ceiling. The rewards are unbelievable both in financial remuneration and intimacy. But there are so many Memes we need to address that have built themselves up in our mind as to how to be above that glass ceiling. These Memes are no greater observed than in our behaviour towards our own children.
That is the end of this episode. If there is anything in this episode that you would like to discuss in your coaching session this week please feel free to make note and bring it along.
With Spirit, Chris.