Tag Archives: vision

Designing Anew

"Make sure you don't start seeing yourself through the eyes of those who don't value you. Know your worth even if they don't."

Know your value. Image via TheGoodVibe

I’m endlessly fascinated by how minority groups absorb majority standards as a measure of value, even when those standards press the minority to pervert its native expression and don’t elicit the best of what the minority group could bring to the common table.

I was heading to a work dinner with my favorite person yesterday when we wound up talking about a scenario in which I held a contrarian view.

“You’re not a very good sheep,” she concluded.
“I’m a very, very good goat,” I said.

We laughed.

Know Who You, What You Offer, and How You Thrive

If I’m in an environment that values the traits of sheep and devalues the traits of others, I simply won’t thrive, no matter how much effort I put in and how much I mimic or play-act to approximate environmental expectations. As Paul Batalden once said, every system is perfectly designed to get the results it gets. If I’m not thriving, then because I don’t skimp on effort, I need to ensure that my context supports the outcomes I want to produce. And I need to change it if it doesn’t.

Designing for my highest potential means recognizing that if I am not the kind of creature that the usual standards were made for, then I need to develop new standards—and this doesn’t make the usual standards bad, it only makes them incomplete.

There’s a lot of power in having the vision and ability to “design anew” with standards that take more of reality into account, lots of potential in creating new, sustainable worlds of experiment and experience within and beyond the systems that operate around us now.

What are some of the ways you’ve leveraged that power in your life? I’d love to hear your story.


From Beatrice Bruteau’s The Psychic Grid.

Why the tenor of your inner world matters and why you might sometimes be your greatest nemesis:

Viktor Frankl stresses the importance of having a strong value system and a convincing worldview in one’s own interior that is life-supporting, that does not encourage weakness. We must avoid the danger of giving up. If we give in to cultural pressures and admit to weakness and helplessness, we will internalize the destructive self-images being projected upon us. In the case of socially oppressed groups, as Mary Daly points out, we will then carry the oppressor within ourselves…

The conviction of a powerlessness that is “natural,” therefore unalterable and inescapable, leaves us defenseless before the power-wielding forces of social institutions and the darker, more hidden powers of our own consciousness.

Why new habits don’t always stick and why conversions—even positive ones—are often traumatic:

There is a heavy emotional investment in our supposedly pure theoretical constructs—the images in which we perceive the world and the attitudes by which we respond to what we perceive.

Images and attitudes are emotionally based entities, not dispassionate at all, and it is they which form the warp and woof of our epistemological frame of reference. Reality for us is what is consistent with this shared (sympathetic) primitive emotional disposition of our consciousness in the midst of the interacting universe. We cannot possibly abandon it without the most extreme anxiety. Our view of the world and our whole personality and action pattern stand or fall together, being commonly rooted in our fundamentally emotional perception of being.


What If The Kids Don’t Want Our Church?

“What happens when a generation comes along that doesn’t care about the game you’ve spent so much time buying equipment for, has little invested in the durable nature of the stuff you value? … You could spend your time trying to convince them that they have a responsibility to value the things you value… Convince them the stuff they value is pointless and shallow. That should work.” —Derek Penwell*

Heh. You could tell them they’ll value what you value when they get older, are truly converted, and/or mature. You could explain that their perspective has been skewed… because, y’know… Culture. Secular Education. Relativism. You could tell them that Jesus’s best intention when he wandered around with his disciples was to set up a 501(c)(3) 5-tiered corporation with leadership (s)election via closed-door committee. Yes, that was in the master plan; if only they’d had the system we have today.

Surely the kids will understand all of this when they grow up. Won’t they?

* Derek Penwell writes at The Company of the Eudaimon and tweets @reseudaimon.