No matter on what level you are on the evolutionary scale, the percentage of knowledge that you didn’t know that you didn’t know stays at 99%.
Sometimes it overlaps with what you think you know because, most of what you think you know, you mostly do not know, or it isn’t so: low truth value.
But to cut this part short, every breakthrough comes from the 99% that you don’t know that you don’t know.
There is a certain way of being, behaving in the world that triggers the 99% to ‘release’ that hidden knowledge to you. I call it ‘unfolding’. Seth Godin calls it ‘poking the box.’
Most people poke their nose into other people’s stuff (gossip) but never poke the box. So the breakthroughs are few and far between, though they could be frequent. I love the sound of popcorn popping: that reminds me of the sound of the breakthroughs.
Anyway, I habitually poke the box, and my breakthroughs are frequent, but this past 10 days I had big breakthroughs, and even one of my students almost had one, though she doesn’t know it was a potential breakthrough.
Sometimes good things happen to us, out of the blue, but we don’t call them a breakthrough. If we did, we would be in ‘trouble’, like the rooster in the joke.
Here is the joke: it is dawn and the dog observes that the rooster is sleeping in the hen house. He goes and nudges him, saying: ‘Rooster, aren’t you supposed to greet the sun?’ ‘Oh yeah,’ says the rooster, and gets up, staggers to the middle of the yard and does a wimpy ‘cock-a-doodle-doo’ and heads back to the hen house.
‘What was that?’ asks the dog. ‘Is that the best you can do?’ ‘All right, all right,’ says the rooster, and belts out a really magnificent ‘cock-a-doodle-doo.’
‘How was that?’ he asks the dog proudly. The dog answers: ‘Here is the good news: that was great. But here is the bad news: you have to do it every morning.’
As you see, once you know what you can do, and acknowledge it as YOUR result, now you have to do it all the time.
Humans shy away from any obligation or commitment, even if it is going to make their lives better. It is the passive nature of homo sapiens, the one that is on the same level as the animal kingdom. The lower ego…
Let’s see what element you need to at the same time to have a breakthrough:
- you would need to be committed to it
- but not know how to bring it about
- once achieved: declare it
If any of the three conditions are missing, then it’s not a breakthrough and you are off the hook.
So here is a potential breakthrough that failed to become one, by one of my students.
Maria has been helping me on the site: although her mother tongue isn’t English, she is an excellent proofreader. As soon as an article is published on my site, she goes, reads it, and sends it back to me with the familiar red marks all over the place… and believe me there are red marks. I am especially grateful for the note that says: Not clear.
If it is not clear for Maria, it won’t be clear for people who know my work less than her… so I rewrite it.
Now, if you know me, I am too busy and too focused to take time out to acknowledge pretty much anything other than a big mistake. Hey, I am a Virgo! lol.
After a few months of doing this work with scarcely any feedback, she was starting to grow resentful. My feedbacks became even more rare… I was avoiding her.
Finally in one of our classes she expressed, part of a homework, how she felt. She wanted to quit, but I suggested that that wasn’t a solution: she would just do it again in another relationship, and I asked her to make an agreement with me, whatever that might mean.
Next day I got an email from her explaining that working in the face of no feedback, working in the face of thinking that her work has no value, and doesn’t make a difference for me is not something that she would like to continue.
To which I answered (Listen up, the secret of breakthroughs is revealed in my answer!!!) is that she should look at the fact that people are leaving messages NOT about my English, and typos, and that my articles don’t make sense, but about the results they see they can produce. HER result is not my feedback, but how many people can connect to what I teach through the articles she marked up for me. That more and more people come to the connection classes. That is HER result. Making me happy, or get acknowledgment, is a puny result that she shouldn’t want at all. It is below her, it doesn’t match the difference she is making!
She got it, and she said ‘Wow, I didn’t know that was MY result.’ And she still quit.
Do you see that it could have been a breakthrough but it wasn’t.
What was missing?
She didn’t have a commitment to a breakthrough. A breakthrough in what? In how she perceives reality.
She thought that when you do work for someone, the value of the work you do is the value for that person.
My answer attempted to shift her CONTEXT.
Let me explain, with a story, how you can shift YOUR CONTEXT without having to go through hell like she did.
Werner Erhard, pretty much the first self-actualization guru, lived on a house boat in California. He had a butler whot took care of his house.
This butler had grown very unhappy, and was a real pain to have around: he did his duties disgruntled and with a long face.
One day Werner couldn’t take it any more and asked him what the long face was about.
Werner looked surprised and asked the butler: ‘What is your job here?’ ‘To keep the place clean and organized.’ answered the butler.
Ok, said Werner. Let me tell you the story of the three stone cutters:
A second stone cutter responded, ‘I’m the best stone cutter in the land. Look at the smoothness of this stone, how perfect the edges are.’
A third looked deep within, and said, ‘I’m building a cathedral. This stone I am cutting is going to be part of it…’
So, Werner asked his butler: ‘you need to replace the cap on the toothpaste every time I brush my teeth. What are you building with that?
‘I am building a clean bathroom…’ answered the butler still unhappy.
‘OK,’ answered Werner. ‘And what are you building with a clean bathroom?’
‘I am building a clean and organized house…’ said the butler.
‘And what are you building with a clean and organized house?’ asked Werner.
‘I am building a place where you don’t have to pay any attention to the house, you can just work.’
‘And what are you building with that?’ asked Werner.
‘I guess I am making it possible for you to make a difference in the world, to cause a world that works for everyone!
Wow, I am building a world that works for everyone! Wow, Thanks Werner…’ He turned around and trotted to the bathroom to replace the cap Werner left off…
So what changed? Nothing, seemingly, but the mood of the butler was not the same.
What changed is the context of his work. By putting the darn cap back, he was building a world that works for everyone.
And you can too.
Another student of mine is sending me big donations, regularly. She was hesitant how I would receive it. She said that she sent it because I work for free and I make a difference for her.
After reading this article, I bet she will change that to: ‘I am building a world that works for everyone, and this is how I do it. with my donations‘ Can you feel the difference it will make in her self-image?
Will she be lying? No.
Context is either
- default context, perpetuating your victim stance, or
- invented context, starting you on the path to bigger and better things.
No context is true or false: all contexts are invented, even the default ones. You just don’t remember inventing it.
When you participate in my programs, the most important thing you can learn here is to invent your own context.
And watch life change as a result.
Invented context is probably the most powerful way to poke the box.
Whether you can hear it or not, a context is a commitment. It both makes things happen, and it alters your perception of you, others, your life, what you can and can’t do.
It’s the biggest hammer I can give you for your toolbox.
What changes when you do the Soaring Method, whether it’s the live course or the home study course, is you change the context inside you live, for however long you can remain committed to the new, invented context.
Some people have a new view for a second or two. Others can walk around in their lives with this new context, and life changes, other people’s behavior changes dramatically in one or more areas of life.
I am in the middle of a Soaring Method live workshop and you can get the recordings, and learn the method and use it.
When I first advertised that course, I made it a requirement that someone has their anchor to doom pulled. That is an energetic surgery that unless you have it done, it is very hard to stay in soaring mode: the mode the new context creates.
You can buy the home study course, and do the course at your leisure. You can still get feedback from me which is, normally not included, but this course is so close to my heart, I am willing to swing it.
Get the Soaring Method home study course