Many people feel called to change the world and be of service to other, but they don’t know how to fulfill this calling. Well-known life coach Martha Beck shows how anyone can give to the world – while also realizing their destiny.
The Big Ideas!
- Knowledge is power, right? Not anymore! Knowledge is easy to access these days. The real power lies in what’s in short supply: human attention. Your true nature – which includes humor, authenticity, and playfulness – is what will allow you to prosper in the modern world.
- The most effective process for accomplishing a goal is to approach it playfully, within a cycle of play-rest- play. Trying to force results is much less effective (and a lot less fun!).
- Notice the difference between tangible problems (which are physically there in the room with you) and imaginary problems (thoughts that make us miserable).
- You have the power to change imaginary problems by re-writing your mental computer code – in other words, the stories you tell yourself about how things are.
Martha Beck draws from a play between ancient wisdom and modern science to help readers embrace skills which are embedded in the human DNA. She guides readers through four states of consciousness which allow anyone to create a state of personal prosperity and well-being: Wordlessness, Openness, Imagination, and Forming.
- Wordlessness: A shift out of the logical/verbal brain into intuition and sensory focus. In a computer metaphor, Wordlessness is like logging onto the Energy Internet.
- Oneness: Awareness that everything in creation is interconnected and that the energy vibrations of one person affect all other living things. Tapping into Oneness is like sending or receiving Energy Email.
- Imagination: A playful approach to problem solving that isn’t about thinking or forcing results. Using Imagination is like being a web designer who is building a website.
- Forming: Adding specific physical actions to Imagination, which leads to the occurrence of Imagined things or events. This works best in a state of curiosity – not trying to force things to happen, but simply creating a set of circumstances in which Imagined things can become reality.
The last few chapters of the book are about how to use these four states to create a life that nourishes your unique true nature. You can make a living without repetitive, laborious work – the key is to attract like-minded people who will help sustain your mission.
To navigate the wild world, you need to move your basic perceptual and analytical thinking out of your head and into the whole inner space of the body. This is how you begin to find your way through a terrible loss, a fulfilling career, a complicated relationship, or a broken heart, as well as through the ocean or the African bush.”
“You must unlearn almost everything you learned in school about what it means to be intelligent. The sharp focus you were told to sustain is actually a limiting, stressful, narrow attention field—something animals only use in the moment of ‘fight or flight.'”
“Tell me: What would you like to be normal for you? You can create it, starting in this moment. Leap.”
IMEO (In My Eudaimonian Opinion)
At first glance, this self-help book might seem a little far out. That’s because it’s revolutionary! Much of its advice will contradict everything you’ve learned about “normal” ways to achieve success and happiness. But we live a wild new world (as the author says) where the old rules just aren’t working very well anymore. The concepts in this book can be summarized with the expression, “Work smarter, not harder.” If you’re willing to give them a try, the four aspects of Wordless, Oneness, Imagination, and Forming can be a means to work less and achieve more.
Taken some action, humanoid!
Okay, so these aren’t your garden variety action steps – the real value is in the process of trying them out. You won’t necessarily see an immediate or obvious change. Just keep open to the possibilities and notice how it feels to do the experiment.
Wordlessness: Come up with a different memory for each of the five senses. Examples are the taste of a delicious food; a wonderful scent; a sound that you love; a comforting touch sensation; and a beautiful thing you have seen. Now try holding all of these sense memories in your mind at once.
Oneness: Spend time in relationship with an animal. Get down on the floor and play with a dog; or take a nap with a cat; or sit under a tree and listen closely to birds. Another approach is to enjoy communion with plants, such as by gardening or walking in the woods. Notice how it feels to connect with a creature whose world does not revolve around the use of language.
Imagination: Name a problem you are experiencing this very moment. Is it a physical problem (your microwave is broken) or an imaginary problem (anxiety about an upcoming meeting)? Write down any physical sensations that you notice when you think about this problem. Now write down the most miserable thought that comes up about the problem. How can you “change the computer code” of the problem by rewriting the thought? (Hint: Try writing down the exact opposite thought. Is the miserable thought more true than the opposite thought? Is it possible that they’re both true?)
Forming: Think about the major crisis or roadblock that you have survived in your personal life. Now brainstorm 10 ways that your own particular combination of skills, experience, and personality can help people heal from this same difficulty.
Finding Your Way in a Wild New World: Reclaim Your True Nature to Create the Life You Want
Author: Martha Beck
Publication date: 2012 (290 pages)