I spend a lot of time pondering this issue. What is the predictor, in the Starting Point Measurements, or if it’s not there, what measure could I add, that would predict what someone can do, and is likely that someone will do.
According to Jim Camp, negotiation genius, vision drives decision… and action.
So to see how far someone is willing to grow, how far someone is willing to go beyond what’s the status quo, depends on their vision. That is not capacity… that is hardwired in their genetics.
Some 35 years ago I used to ask this question differently:
If you were stranded on an uninhabitad island: how far are you willing to swim from your island to find rescue, find other people and civilization?
I found that no matter what bombastic futures they talked about, really, when it came to put their money where their mouth was, the answer to that question was: not for enough for it to matter.
Of course it is a worldview thing… but in many interesting ways, your worldview is predetermined by your environment, your gender, and how much you identify with the people in your environment. Nature and nurture…
I watched an interesting TED talk yesterday by a father of an openly gay son… who, at 30% truth value, explained how nature intends to have non-reproducing members of society, members who are different. He says: it’s epigenetics…
Not surprisingly, gay people have higher vision, and consequently higher ambition that people who are more ‘fitting in’ with the ‘orderly’ order of life.
And then there are the oddballs… who just want more, don’t care if they fit in or not… their spirit just wants to fly. I became that… but wasn’t it for a long time. More about it later…
But by large the size of your vision and therefore the size of your ambition is going to match that of the people around you.
It takes courage to be different.
The people who stand out, who made a name for themselves were all courageous enough to stand out, and do different things, different from than their peers did: follow their vision, follow their curiosity, follow their inner tugs or the soul, without wanting anyone to approve of it, give them a nod, encouragement, etc.
One could say that if you want to fit in, if you want to be accepted, encouraged, agreed with, valued, thought of as OK, being the same, your vision is set to too low, and therefore your ambition will be too low too. Your ITCH was, most likely, born when the desire to encouraged etc. clashed with the desire of the soul. I see a lot of proof that this may be so.
Why does it matter that you want to get something from others?
Partially, because no one shares your spirit. Your environment wants to remain unchanged, unchallenged, and you will NOT get the support for the spirit’s flying from your environment, or maybe just not likely.
And partially, because in order to go higher in your personal evolution, you need to activate more spiritual (DNA) capacities, but if you have no energy there, vision and ambition, you won’t do what it takes to activate them, or if I activate them for you, to keep them alive.
Your ITCH is very important in this equation, but how?
Your ITCH is what you say you didn’t get when you were a child. And then you use your life to pursue this ITCH, to extort strokes with it, and to use your otherwise good life to this low level low vibration activity, exclusively. Chasing your ITCH, chasing the strokes is a very very very low vibration, maybe even sinister activity.
To the degree the ITCH is running your life, to the same degree you won’t have a vision, you won’t have ambition.
Ambition is the vision that you are willing to not just want but in fact work towards.
So your number one job is to neutralize the ITCH: to give yourself what you expected to get from the outside.
Not easy, but possible.
Once you remove the ITCH from jerking you around, or from keeping you in a small prison, you’ll be able to calm down and look around and within, and see if there is anything more interesting, anything worth going for… for you.
Accomplishment, curiosity, activity, building something… doing something, not because you have to, not because it makes money, not because it makes you famous, but for the joy of doing it.
The way people play musical instruments, write poetry, watch movies, build tandem bikes, invent new dishes, run with the horses or dolphins, adopt a child, take on teaching the less fortunate.
Passion is pain, suffering for what you burn for… Not something you enjoy doing… unless it is painful and you still love it, for what it leads to.
Writing is suffering for most writers… They have this ‘I can’t do no other’ relationship to it.
Almost anything worth learning, for example, is going to take walking on hot coals or broken glass to get to. Painful, painful, painful.
If you don’t already know that, then likely your vision number and ambition numbers are too low… or you have been acting counter to your inner forces because you wanted to fit in? Because your ITCH told you to get to things without work, without pain, without any investment of yourself?
Sometimes the original incident is too painful, so you want to have smooth sailing… and yet you want the result but without pain. You don’t understand the nature of reality: to get what you want you need to endure what it takes: pain.
No pain = no gain.
Neither in the gym, nor outside of it.
Whatever you can get without pain is not worth getting.
Back to the original inquiry: capacities… and the size of your ambition and vision.
Turning capacities on, or alternatively keeping them on if I turned them on for you is painful. No question about it.
Why? Because you also need to abandon what you normally do, what you normally crave, what makes you fit in with society. The mundane, the cheap, the easy, the familiar.
No one close to you will support you in that.
Why? Because of the crab bucket phenomenon. Unless you are doing it together, don’t even share what you are doing… it will be the death of your vision.
Most people marry the person whose racket fits in with their racket. Who will keep them angry, frustrated, feel alone, feel ignored, feel whatever your racket makes you feel. The name of your racket tells you what you’ll feel.
- You have a ‘I am nothing’ racket? You’ll marry someone superior to you in every way. In comparison you’ll feel like you are nothing… or you learn to become more through the association.
- You have a ‘I can’t get what I want’ racket? You’ll marry someone who is only interested in what they can get… And when there is nothing more to get, they will leave for the next chump.
- You have a judgmental racket? You’ll marry someone with a sweet on the outside, hateful on the inside person… who will micromanage you and clip your wings.
So you see, chances that your spouse will lift you up and help you fly are between zero and very little.
Your job is to fly… not to try to drag the other person with you.
They have to do their own work, in their own time, and you pretending that you can be, at least in this one thing, superior to them, is going to cost you your own life.
Don’t do it.
If you have the vision, if you have the ambition, then have the courage to go it alone. That doesn’t mean leave your family… Family life is family life. Personal growth is personal growth. Career growth is career growth.
Fly when you fly, roost when you roost. Don’t get confused. Please.
Grit your teeth, and bear the pain. It will take pain, I promise.
Your TLB will grow as you go for it.
Can you see that someone has a vision, or someone has ambition? No. They are part of the invisible reality you cannot see directly.
Putting together ambitious and non-ambitious hinders the ambitious person: they’ll experience hate, envy, slights, because from the vantage point of the ordinary low ambition/low vision person they are weird… and they need to be punished.
My father enrolled me in an elite school when I was 16. I went from a high level school to a school where my ordinary behavior: ‘just do the minimum you have to to get by’ attitude bought me being almost the worst student in my class.
I did what I had always done, expecting a different result.
They asked my father to take me out of the school… and my father saw an opportunity for me. My father was a very ambitious man, and he saw that this may be the thing that will lift me out of the ‘misfit’ category to the ‘genius’ category, so he bribed the school so I could stay.
It wasn’t ambition that was born first: it was gratitude and a certain loyalty to my father’s vision of me.
I became, from an almost worst, to an almost best in a year. It took all I got… 4-5 hours of studying every single day, but I learned a lesson I never forgot: It takes pain. And a second lesson: If you invest yourself, you’ll fall in love with what you invested yourself in.
This was the second time I learned it… but this time I learned it for life.
Now, if your environment is low ambition, if your ITCH wants you to fit in, or if your ITCH, like a confused puppy, wants you to stand out and yet not paid attention to…
What can you do?
Your job is to neutralize your ITCH.
Make peace between your two selves… by not making wrong how you have been. It is not wrong, even if it is ugly.
Wrong is a value judgment, while ugly is an assessment. If you remain in the systemic judgment of right and wrong: you can never grow. NEVER. Impossible.
So rise above it, and start assessing instead of judging. Yourself, others, things, situations.
It is painful first, I promise. Every action that allows you to grow, is painful first. Letting go of the notion that something is wrong is VERY painful.
It’s like giving birth… it takes pain, unbearable cramps to push the baby out.
And for you men, who haven’t given birth: imagine giving birth to a kidney stone… got it?
Once it’s gone, the pain is gone. If you didn’t quite let it go, you have to go through it until you do… The pain.
Some of you will want to hold on to what you have, saying ‘the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t…’
You are stupid… sorry to break it to you.
Some of the things you can practice on are current:
- this COVID 19 outbreak and global epidemic is not wrong, it’s whatever word you want to put here… From my personal vantage point, watching my feelings, it is scary. I am not scared, visibly, but as I looked at what it is, fear is what I felt.
- The people who behave differently in this situation, still with the epidemic, are not wrong, they are instead ‘use whatever word you like’. Given that I have opted to stay at home and not go anywhere, my friend who is still going to the store, just to pick up some oatmeal, is stupid, a daredevil, and insane person, an irresponsible rubble rouser… And will spread the infection before she dies really generously, given her social butterfly nature.
- Watching the crowded beach in Clearwater Florida… say and mean it: it’s not wrong… or whatever your persuasion is… It is just stupid, Epicurean, lacking foresight… whatever. Just make it an assessment, not a judgment.
Easy? No. Once you are done with that, start on yourself.
Your attitude, your behavior, your results. Not wrong… and find some words to assess what they are.
Assessments are words that can be proven. Judgments are unprovable, and depend on a moral value system, like right and wrong. Even black or white is an assessment. Nothing is perfectly black, and nothing is perfectly white.
Some religions are highly judgmental. Christianity is. Islam is. The proselytizing religions. According to their moral value system, if you are not with us you are against us. Stalin’s moral judgment was like that too. The Chinese official line. Even Hitler was more flexible. Hitler.
Are you worse than Hitler?
Hitler just didn’t see the person… but Christianity, Islam, the ‘communists” don’t even see extrinsic value… so in this regard Hitler was a higher vibration, higher consciousness person: he honored production, extrinsic value, while Christianity, Islam, and the ‘communists’ don’t.
Is that wrong? No, it is just low vibration, low consciousness, bigoted.
Some twenty odd years ago what jolted me out of my habitual being and behavior is comparing myself to Hitler and finding similarities. I grieved for a week, and then I changed. It is still not automatic, but it is today easy.
So start a practice like this. Make sure you extend your attention to everything: people, even in books and movies, things, even in books and movies, events, ideas, plans, opinions…
Do it as long as it takes… or it will not do much for you. Make it a passion, a hobby, a spiritual practice.
If you will, it will, at some point, cause an ‘epigenetic’ shift in your DNA, that will unlock you and make you available to grow as a person, to open up new capacities.
It takes activating capacities to climb the Tree of Life…
PS: I just listened to a few episodes of Jim Camp’s teaching on youtube. And had an insight: that your vocabulary score, not the number of words you think you know, but the number of words you actually accurately know is just as important as your ambition… though, no question about it, you won’t increase your accurate vocabulary, unless you have a reason to… ie. vision and ambitions
Jim Camp says: we walk around using the word need to describe simple things that don’t fit the definition. we program a mindset that drives our emotions falsely.
We, as a species, are intellectually slothful (lazy) and we are paying the price.
The specimens of the species that are NOT intellectually slothful, are the winners.
Yesterday I got tears in my eyes, because one of my students asked for a book I talked about on a call… and if he actually reads it, and becomes a reader, he may become someone who can grow.
Want to find out your relevant numbers: your Starting Point Measurements? Here you go… Please make sure you send me a picture that shows your eyes, so I can be sure that I am connected to you. I connect through your eyes…
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