As many of you know, one of the principles taught in The Ownership Spirit ® seminar, the Othello Principle, states “The Eye Sees What the Mind Looks For.” During the past two days I found myself deriving significant benefit from applying this principle, although it took me a day to wake up and use it.
This weekend I dedicated my time to attending a two-day conference that was geared in part toward helping people live happier, more fulfilling lives by shifting from self-centered living to other-oriented, unselfish service. Both days were replete with outstanding messages from outstanding speakers.
Knowing that nothing has the sure memory of a notepad, I planned on taking notes during the conference, so I could retain as many pearls as possible.
Throughout the Saturday sessions, I made copious notes. When I heard an enlightening idea, I wrote it down. Frequently, as I captured the thought, I said to myself something like, “Wow, that was brilliant.” Or, “There’s a superb insight.” And, “What a ingenious way to illustrate that point. Never heard it put quite like that before.” By the end of the day, I had recorded several pages of valuable ideas and concepts.
Later that night, I went back over my notes. As I did so, something dawned on me. I realized something about the way I had been participating in the conference. It was reflected in the way I had recorded the notes. My point of view was more like a journalist reporting on the concepts rather than like a participant intent on growing and improving by applying the concepts. I thought I had been earnestly engaged in the messages, but my viewpoint was more intellectual than practical. As a result, the actual benefit to my life was quite limited.
And, I thought about that. “Why was I intellectualizing so much? Am I afraid of change? If I’m truly seeking to improve, I need to look for and identify specific points of change.”
Without boring you with any more personal introspections, the end result was that I made a commitment to listen differently to the next day’s sessions. I decided to look for things to do, not just things to know and note. I made a commitment to convert any suggestions made by the speakers into actions. In fact that is how I entitled that day’s notes—“Actionables.”
I am still amazed at what a difference that made in my experience the next day. I thought I had gotten a lot out of the first day’s sessions. Insignificant, compared to what I gained from the second day’s sessions.
As I write this blog, I have, just to the side of my laptop, two sets of notes. One is a list of great ideas that tickled my intellect. The other is a list of meaningful action steps, goals, and changes that, when applied, will improve the way I live my life.
It’s amazing what I can either overlook or what I can see, just by how I set my mind.
Your thoughts about my thoughts…