LeadU presents the book – @F-L-O-W


From Nowhere to Now Here
End of Chapter 1

The problem is that while the blank slate idea sounds good in theory, it doesn’t actually work in practice for most people. For most of us, Blank Slate as a POS [Paradigmatic Operating System] does not afford the capability to achieve both success and happiness — or why would 1 percent of the population own more than half of the assets on the planet, if we are all the same?

This endless striving, which results in either loss of happiness or unrequited success, has become an addiction, and Blank Slate starts us out with the proposition that we are broken and therefore we need to be fixed; when in fact, it’s nothing more than misalignments brought about by the same BS that says we are broken, or flawed! For many, the belief that you can be anything you want to be has beckoned like a Holy Grail, leading to an endless search for transforming fulfillment that is never found, and fixes that don’t work, leading to endless striving for more, or better along a path strewn with seminars, books, pilgrimages, and gurus.

Sound familiar? I resemble that… how about you?

This addiction is no different than any other, whether to tobacco, alcohol, internet, sex, or drugs officially claimed in our favorite psychological list of pathologies. These pathologies often spring from a sense that you’re not good enough the way you are — that there is some other more desirable, better state.

This misconception blocks your path to equilibriating happiness and success, for it turns you away from yourself, the roots of happiness, which is based in your unique inbornness: a profile of unconscious motives, heritable traits, emergent talents, and maturing capabilities. Although we are likely all abusers of something, according to some BS composite standard, this addiction to the illusory possibility of being, doing, having, and becoming anything you want may be the most pervasive unstated pathology of all, one which, euphemistically brought about by our environments,.  Go find that one in your book of disorders!

Blank Slate is intuitive and seductively offers what appears to be a blank check with which you can write any future, just as described in the BS Brochure. The idea that happiness and success are achievable with the right attitude and mindset is promoted as an empowering belief for those who may come from the wrong side of the societal tracks, so to speak, or have blatantly lost nature’s lottery.

It is peddled to those who struggle against themselves to be someone else’s idea of “better” and offers hopes of fulfilled dreams as an elixir of hope for even the most disadvantaged — those who didn’t win nature’s or nurture’s lottery of intellect, talent, and capability. But does it actually work?

[Author’s note: I might remind you that almost 90% of the wealth in the world is held by the top 20% of the population!  Is it working?  For them, magnificently, wouldn’t you say?]

We all want to reach our potential and fulfill our dreams. These are truly important, relevant hopes and aspirations.  But what are your dreams made of?  Are they constructed with knowledge of your unique traits, talents, and gifts — a personal constellation of attributes that are designed to mature in particular ways?  Or are they made up of what some in society deems desirable and worthwhile?

Blank Slate conditions you to believe you are broken, that you are far from perfect, and that with enough _________, you can be, do, have, become, and contribute anything. [You fill in the blank with your favorite doctrines or teachings of gurus, self-help experts, motivators, or leaders.]  This book offers you a new paradigm of sense-making and gives you a system for breaking your addiction to the false promises of Blank Slate. It shows you how to journey first inward, to unlock the hidden secrets and foundation of your individual inborn happiness and success, and then forward to the realization of your right contribution.

A Prime @F-L-O-W is to stop pretending. If you’re not successful according to someone else’s standards, which are almost always composites — made up from best practices, not exemplars modeling the standards — then consider an alternative. The paradox is that you can be anything you want to be — as long as you can.  And if you can’t, why would you?

Put another way, you can be anything you can be… and why would you want to be anything else? But you’ll need to learn a few things first, and unlearn a whole lot of conditioning cleverly programmed into you by the true masters of propaganda — so masterful that you don’t even realize how much you participate in the process every minute.  This won’t hinder you from being, doing, having, becoming, and contributing anything you can be, do, have, become, or contribute. But rather than burdening the entire human race with being broken — with striving and never arriving — start first with you, be the change you seek.

You’ll need to learn to know yourself as you are, and now how the propagandists, PR people, and advertisers would paint you.  This includes knowing your own fundamental reasons why.  That includes talents which you underplay, or overplay — we call limitations — along with your emergent, innate personality style, as well as enjoining your maturation as you construct your particular life experience.

You’ll want to learn to say “yes” and “no” to the right things. And then, in the areas where apparent limitations arise, you’ll need to learn to reach out to other people whose profile of motivations and gifts complements, supplements, or scaffolds yours, now, near, and far, if need be. Because so many people try to be something they are not — conforming to politically correct, albeit composite standards — they spend (failing to invest) their whole lives wasting immense amounts of energy and effort trying to become something they simply can’t actually be, at an efficient, effective, and sustainable level — using up prodigious amounts of resources in the process!

Blank Slate (BS) has convinced you that you want those things, but in reality, you don’t need them at all, and like carbs you eat, produce even more hunger after having them.

Go figure!  The reason you want them is tied to the irrational beliefs that are massaged daily by thousands of advertisements and promotions about how to live the good life, be a better person, or accomplish your dream — all of which are mostly implanted by our environmental predators.

Is this the way you want to spend the precious days of your life?

Now, many people may have so much sunk cost (generations) in the illusory promises of Blank Slate that to unravel it is a serious, lifelong project. Because it might not happen overnight, it becomes lost in the noise of living — Blank Slate depends on that — leaving you to become a lemming in the crowd, the signals inborn in you, swapped for the pursuit of things, you believe you want.

@F-L-O-W there are things you’ll have to unlearn and skills you’ll have to build in order to function as your most capable self. You’ll have to release the old version, upgrading yourself, rather than playing to what others, or your own ego needs, want you to be. You, and me, we may have no choice perhaps, irrational or otherwise, to recurse again and again, backtracking ourselves through the labyrinth of an earlier time when we walked through a doorway of the maze where we find ourselves having gone, to get here!

You can’t get to effortless until you put in the effort!

The fact is, in this age of the quick fix, most people want to leap ahead to effortless while skipping the effort, another one of the recent environmental hazards implanted by BS. Although the journey to find, design, and use TALENT will require effort, living out of your natural talents, and unique gifts is effortless!

This is the real counter-intuitive notion @F-L-O-W.

@F-L-O-W is designed to leverage your efforts toward an effortless system of action, generating free energy to uphill and apply to difficult problems and use with challenging opportunities, where even nonaction can sometimes be more important as you learn what to say “no” to. Each step teaches you additional skills and behaviors you need to break the gravitational field of Blank Slate.

The purpose @F-L-O-W is to create the frequency and density (think of forming a new habit) of the behaviors that you will need to live automatically @F-L-O-W in a customized-for-you-design. Armed with this information you will gain the freedom to become the person you can be.

While this is a design that many of us fall into informally, and certainly grow into with age and maturity, when you develop and use it with increasing levels of self-knowledge, drawing on inborn leverage and other-scaffolded resources, living your life “in the zone” in which your time and effort consistently create the most effective, efficient, and sustainable results, becomes natural.

What this book enables you to do is build greater levels of adaptability and resilience by:

  • Understanding where you need to substitute more behaviors, usually driven by the talents of others in areas of capability to leverage your own talents.
  • Recognizing where you don’t have capability and need to ask for help.
  • Reaching out to others, which research has proven to be the number one key of resilience.
  • Finding, designing, and using your inbornness as life chooses you along the path of happiness and emergent success.

  • How to take this journey

    This book gives you the principles and roadmap you need to align your happiness, success, and the tensions emerging as a result of your alignment with each. At the same time, keep in mind the philosopher Alfred Korzybski’s maxim: “The map is not the territory.” @F-L-O-W is realized in the territory of your own life by continuously recalibrating your sense-making map.

    I strongly urge you to ignore any advice you have ever received about not writing in books (unless this is a library book)! This is a book to be read with a pen in hand, noting any thoughts and questions as they come to mind. At the end of each chapter, you will find an exercise or question to ponder that helps you relate the principles from that chapter to your own situation.

    And then, online at www.f-l-o-w.com/book/resources, you’ll find links to additional tools that further enable you to understand and apply these principles. They include the following:

  • A free assessment that will help you see what behaviors you already handle with high capability and where you may need to reach out for some additional capability.
  • A workbook that maps to the book’s chapters, with multiple exercises intended to enable you to create your own design for flawless living.

  • There are several ways you can go through this process to help you customize your design @F-L-O-W. You can read the book first, then take the assessment and work with the workbook. Or, take the assessment before reading the book, and use the workbook in conjunction with the book. Trust your own inclination.

    By investing MITEAM @F-L-O-W (Money, Information, Time, Effort, Attention, and Motivation) @F-L-O-W to both discover and recalibrate the inborn design in your life, you can expect less consumption, less stress, enhanced resilience, realization of your inborn gifts, well-being, and a sense of contribution and significance as a result of being scaffolded — and by providing scaffolding to others as we live and collaborate together in this emerging, complex world.  You, and then we, can gradually shift wants back to needs, and live together more sensibly.  At least that is my idea.

    Welcome to the Lens @F-L-O-W.

    If you have any comments, questions, suggestions, or need some additional help, please use the form below to submit them.  Someone will get back to you within 48 hours.  Or if you prefer, at the bottom of this page leave your comment and someone will get back to you.

      We hope you pick up valuable insights, ideas, and tools during this process, which you can use for your own development as well as your work and leadership with others.

      You, Me, and We @F-L-O-W

      Mike R. Jay is a developmentalist utilizing consulting, coaching, mentoring and advising as methods to offer developmental scaffolding for aspiring leaders who are interested in being, doing, having, becoming, and contributing… to helping people have lives.

      Mike R. Jay
      Leadership University

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