On having strong foundations

Imagine setting an ambitious vision, working hard for results, and halfway through (or post goal realization), realizing it’s not what you wanted at all? That the vision was set on assumptions, emotional hangups or felt obligations that weren’t right for you or others?

Been there, done that.

It’s Joseph Campbell’s ladder up the wrong wall analogy.

It’s a humbling and very human place.

Why do we do it? Plenty of reasons, boiling down to the fact that we’re conditioned right down to core beliefs. This comes from our families, friends, cultures, life experiences as well as our predispositions.

It follows that sometimes the thing we say we want is a proxy for what we want underneath. The classic example is “If I just had more XYZ (e.g., love, money, influence) I would be totally content.”

In many cases what we truly want is a felt sense or way of being. We want to make good on our capabilities (for success, love, happiness, and peace).

Results are still critical. They’re manifestations of internal and behavioral shifts.

Checking foundations means checking your feet. What values and ways of being do your desired changes reflect? What makes it important?

We lay strong foundations when the things we commit to creating are heartfelt.

When our goals aren’t heartfelt or genuinely inspired — when they’re based primarily in fear, scarcity, greed, judgment and any and all forms of emotional baggage — pursuing them reinforces this as the place from which we operate.

This is where we get people putting their ladders up the wrong wall, by the way.

Strong foundations support great outcomes — and ending up in the right place.

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