It takes energy to get anything done. Even to lose weight. Even to sleep… to sleep well. Getting that everything needs energy and that energy can get weakened, dampened, is a distinction.
When you get a distinction, when you really get it, it starts to show up everywhere. You start noticing. Ah, yeah… there it is again!
I know, I know, I have said this many times, and I will many more times. It is that important. And you are not getting it.
When you really get a distinction, you’ll see it everywhere. You’ll recognize it even when it only shows partially. Getting a distinction requires mental effort, and the ability to see the big picture, to see back and forward on the timeline, and to recognize things for what they are, without any noise.
Landmark Education teaches through distinctions. There are four levels of “getting” a distinction. Only one in 100,000 actually gets a distinction on the fourth, the highest level. It is not their fault… getting a distinction on the fourth level is like being able to perform brain transplant surgery.
Experiencing a distinction, seeing examples of a distinction, requires less effort… Four people in a thousand can do it consistently.
For example: when you are happy, you have eyes to notice that the world is beautiful, people smile, and that is because you experiencing the distinction for yourself “being happy”.
My work is distinguishing, if you want to be really really to the one-wordy about it.
Distinguishing is a mental process where a phenomenon is seen in all its “glory,” cause and effect, and its dynamic. The result of distinguishing is a distinction. The more distinctions you have the closer your map of reality is to reality. I measure this “closeness” in your vocabulary in the Starting Point Measurements. We could also call this your astuteness.
Each distinction doubles the world you can see accurately. That is why I stayed in Landmark for so long (26 years).
In the past six years, I have doubled the world I see accurately a few more times, with distinctions I distinguished.
I am in the middle of doubling again smack on the shoulders of having doubled it as a result of reading Atlas Shrugged.
The distinction is “intrinsic motivation”, or more importantly, what dampens it to the degree that people do nothing from intrinsic motivation.
Why this is an issue? People who lose this intrinsic motivation have nothing or not much left to harness, to work with, to produce results with, to benefit from.
We are born with different amount of intrinsic motivation. The main visible part of intrinsic motivation is curiosity. Not asking questions of other people curiosity, but discovering things for ourselves.
This intrinsic curiosity that is forcing us to find out, to test, to see it for ourselves. A motivating curiosity. Motivating you to read, to climb mountains, to squeeze into caves, to dive, to test.
To squeeze, to prod, to pull, to push…
The culprits? Well meaning parents, well meaning siblings… well meaning at least on the surface.
But under the “well-meaning”, people just want that annoying little creature to be quiet, well-behaved, and not get into any trouble.
They kill the spirit. They kill the fire. For their convenience.
This is the first distinction you want to notice. That at certain age there is still curiosity, and then there is none… If you are lucky enough to be around little kids. And what replaces is some hunger for some reward.
You’ll see the later results of this in advertising.
Success coaches claim that they make Olympians more successful. Or CEOs more winning. Like Denis Waitley…
When someone is already a winner, when someone, by some “mistake” has some of that original fire remaining, it is easy to help them use their fire more effectively.
Denis Waitley 1 is like a chef who has a huge pantry, great recipes, and then he claims that he is a master chef… I would love to see him produce results with YOU, with a pantry of two items… lol
What no one talks about, not in ads, not anywhere, is what to do with people who have no fire.
I call that intrinsic fire “Ambition” and I measure it in the Starting Point Measurements.
Now, thank to Edward Deci’s book that I am re-reading now, I know how it was dampened. I also know what “they” could have done to not let it go out.
But the question: how do you stoke that fire to a level where it can make a difference? The answer to that question I haven’t seen anywhere, anyone document it, anyone claim they can do, and have proof.
I have known, at least through their voice, or through their videos, a whole many of coaches.
Coaches, if they are good, if they have their fire, suffer.
Good coaches, if they could transplant their fire into you, they would… But it is like trying to wake the dead.
But whether someone will rekindle that fire or not depends a lot on another factor: how controlling the people in your life are, and their own desire number. 2
Desire is for an outcome… the end result. Desire is for having. For Getting. Ambition is for the doing, the process, the joy of discovery, victory over matter.
These two forces, ambition and desire are your energy source. The healthier is when your ambition number is higher than your desire number. They work at cross-purposes. 3
The more you do activities from ambition, the brighter that flame becomes.
The more you dream of your desired outcome, the lower your ambition becomes. Its effect is dampening. Why? because it takes you out of the intrinsic, and put you into the extrinsic.
The horizontal plane of the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
If you do something for the result, the intrinsic motivation dies.
If your family is only interested in the result (money?) then your intrinsic motivation dies, because “love” is now dependent on your result.
So unless your family starts loving you for yourself, unless they start supporting your ambition, you’ll be burned by desire.
So what’s wrong with desire?
Desire is a trap. It projects into your mind’s eye the finished product, the result, the way it will feel, and blinds you, turns you against the process.
In the best case you’ll get your desire, but your days will be horrible, the price you pay is your life. Your everyday.
I am working with one person who is teetering around 10% ambition… it goes up and it comes back.
For men it is all about sex, all about love. If your wife has a very high desire number, then you have your job cut out for you… they won’t even know about ambition.
So what can you do?
My client is repeating, like an affirmation, he commitment to process, but like affirmations, it is not working.
I have noticed that scientists publish papers while they are not married, and stop publishing papers once they get married.
Publishing papers is hard work, and a reflection of work done… One could say, a married man doesn’t strive for much… unless their marriage is bad… But I don’t wish that on anyone.
The effect comes from the controlling nature of women, the controlling nature of marriage.
So what can you do? Is it all lost?
What I learned from the book, Mind Parasites, is incredibly valuable here.
The mind parasite, which we can call civilization, or society, or the chicken coop, won’t notice what you are up to unless you put it on a loudspeaker.
In 2003 I was in a bad, controlling relationship. I had a regular gathering of my Wisdom Course group at our home. My boy friend piled up all our books on the dining table to make it impossible for me, for us.
Other people are more subtle at their attempts to fail you… I was lucky.
So I set out to get well, set out to get physically well too, and to make some money to be able to move. I said nothing about it to anyone. Mum was the word.
I walked uphill every day. I did my breathing exercises. I found two modalities that shook my brain up. I made some money. And at the end of July I was out of there.
People are not on your side. People are on their own side.
It’s not that they are bad people, it is that humanity is not evolved to of human being level yet, where they can be on your side and on their own side at the same time.
So don’t blame your spouse… Just be smarter than you have been.
And having a non-controlling support is priceless. Just watch your word how you explain it to your spouse.
Lying, where it is to protect your autonomy and authenticity, is mandatory.
Not just good: it is mandatory.
- From their point of view, their desire will be fulfilled by your actions… you are the one who will dig out the baked potato from the fire… so to say. Not themselves. That is the nature of desire: desire is the hallmark of looters, moochers, and second-handers.
- I have some artists in my circle of students and ex-students. They probably will argue, so I measured Van Gogh’s ambition number. It is 7%. Unless your ambition fires you to also conquer yourself and make a life and a living, you are going to be wretched, like Van Gogh. Sorry to break it to you. In s society more honest than ours, you would be dead… If Van Gogh’s brother didn’t provide him with a living, he would have never created art… so, on one major level, Van Gogh was a moocher, and so are you.