His Holiness The Dalai Lama said it best when he described the paradox of our time . The hyper-connected world we live in has stripped us of authenticity and intimacy.
We have bigger communities but fewer companions. An acute awareness of our self-identity, but less recognition of who we really are. Even in our closest relationships, where we are quick to celebrate each other’s successes, our desire to look good and be our own PR agents can cause us to withhold our unseemly vulnerabilities – our failures, shortcomings, and personal challenges.
I think we could evolve humanity if more people started talking about the struggles of being human out loud and on display. Not like in reality TV, where it becomes a voyeuristic gawk-fest. I want to see earnest people taking on challenges and applying the best wisdom. Whether they succeed or fail, I’d like to know the story so I can learn from it and be inspired too.
If you are reading this, it is likely that you have both struggles and solutions, even deep wisdom. You have dreams for yourself and the world. The way to start realizing them faster is to start talking. I mean really talking about what’s not working, not only what’s going well.
Here is an easy way you can start this conversation today:
1) Establish your audience: a group of close friends, your family, your church group, business group, a class you teach.
2) Plan to speak about what you are currently dealing with or struggling with in an honest and vulnerable way.
3) When you speak, your goal is to show your true self. Be vulnerable and move people with your courage to face your demons and share about it.
4) Explain how you applied the wisdom that you teach/believe to your situation and how you triumphed or hope to triumph because of it.
5) Witness your audience apply it to their own lives. Feel the reward of community support.
6) Notice how you’ve put yourself on the hook for the issue that has been giving you trouble. Notice how you’ve put them on the hook for telling the truth, too. Notice how much more intimate and exciting things just got.
You do not walk through this life alone. The culture you participate in with your friends and community is yours to define, create, and nourish. Dare to create a place where it is safe to be vulnerable, to tell the truth about your dreams and struggles. Dare to create a culture of honesty, intimacy, acceptance, and love.