We Begin by Going Backwards

In the arena of human development and evolution (transformations followed by development until the next transformation is called for), I find that there is first “backwards” to go. Otherwise, everything that will be said, new notions and new arenas of power, will be sucked back into what fits and is congruent with what didn’t go to the new places in the first place.

If we are going to dig into fulfillment, development and communication, the best place to start is with a hearty “not that” about each.

Fulfillment isn’t happiness, nor is it what people think they would be if they were. It actually takes a different kind of a self to be fulfilled– one that already is and is engaged in unfolding that fulfillment by going where fulfillment goes.

The idea of happy being a mood or a feeling is common sense. As we will see, I find “common sense” to be evil — to be suppressive and misleading. If you want to live at a level that isn’t common, well then, common sense is a bad bet. There is no need to manipulate mood or try to maintain a particular one in living from and toward fulfillment. Moods turn out to be trivial as regards fulfillment. Fulfillment has a different timing, a different self, and a different mode of steering one’s life than goal seeking, mood management, or calm seeking.

Development isn’t training. It isn’t getting more “able” or more “polished”, nor is it initially getting more “effective”. Those are the kind of outcomes that training looks for. Development cashes in the old self for a new one in which new levels of ability, power, and accomplishment can become available once the new connection with others and life is mined a bit. It is more like a “double-or-nothing” bet than it is “helpful information” (learning) or “better methods” (training). When no new moves in the old game will get you where you are out to go, it is time for a new game. That is a development issue, not a learning or training issue. If you make a development issue into a learning or training issue, you will wind up borrowing someone else’s moves that fit them and don’t fit your strengths and historical base — a bad and misleading deal in the long run.

As for communication, I don’t mean the exchange of information. The longer I have worked with people regarding communication, the more interested I become in both the remarkable nature of what we can receive from others and life, and in our ability to open to more of that. I like the idea that communication is always happening and always available and that occasionally someone is talking as well. Our most profound connections have little to do with the exchange of information.

Let’s just be willing to leave these three areas as more of a mystery than when we started. Then, we are likely to arrive at something more profound and meaningful and freeing than we otherwise would by adding to what we already have in place regarding “how to” communicate, “how to” be fulfilled and fulfill life, and “how to” develop.

About Ken Anbender

Kenneth Anbender Ph.D. has spent the last 50 years working with more than a hundred thousand people directly on the principles and methods that support the fulfillment of a human life -- in community and at work. He has developed a body of work that is licensable called The Contegrity Approach.
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