It is a crucial requirement that each of us become an independent thinker an independent person as an aware consciousness. Gregge Tiffen (The Language of A Mystic: Innovation - October, 2009)
Those who know me, would likely agree that I’m fiercely independent. A leader in the coaching community once labelled me a ‘contrarian’ (I would wear the badge proudly). And, some of you might be smiling or shaking your head in agreement about now.
This week though I’ve begun exploring independence from its opposite: dependence. The exploration comes forth from this musing in my journal in a couple days ago:
If the truth of lack is abundance, how can truth be applied to the budget of the local water district where I serve on the board? How can I apply this truth more powerfully to my own finances?
Warning: you won’t find the answers in this post. I’m still in the exploration. I have more questions than answers (and, that’s a good thing!). What I’ve come to see (in a BFO – blinding flash of the obvious) is that independent thinking leading to innovation requires experimentation. In our culture, we’ve erected numerous barriers … dependencies, if you will … to truly independent thinking and the action that follows.
These dependencies create a complex web that is often ignored. Take for example being dependent on a job (or having enough clients) for money to meet the needs of self and family. Or, in the case of public agencies like the water district, being dependent on generating sufficient revenue to pay the costs to keep each tap flowing. The complexity encompasses not just the issues on the surface, but a dependency that values knowing, order, and getting things right over curiosity, experimentation, and possibly needing to make course corrections.
Dependencies are embedded deep in our culture from systems and life experience. In school, we learned that good grades come giving ‘right’ answers. We carry this forward to careers, jobs, businesses, institutions – praising what’s ‘right’, condemning what isn’t – our dependency on being accepted and approved trumping our willingness to experiment, learn, grow, change and, yes, be alone in taking our stand.
Now that I see the challenge more clearly, what new possibilities will emerge? What would an innovative approach to public finance and a budget shortfall look like from the perspective of knowing that abundance (not lack and its associated fears) is a universal truth – that there is always enough? What conversation can open that door? What dependencies and pre-conceived ideas must I let go of to invite and engage the conversation? How will I tap into the courage to do just that?
Yep, more questions than answers. I’ll let you know what emerges in the weeks ahead. Meanwhile, what are you dependent upon that is in the way of living the independent life you were designed to live?