Where lies true power? Who has power today and why exactly are they powerful? There is a tendency to externalize the idea of power. We look at other people and organizations and we call them ‘powerful’. Why? Because they seem to have a significant effect on the world around them. This gives us a simple but accurate definition of power as ‘the ability to influence future change’. And as we look out into the world we see so many are vying with each other to become powerful as they seek to become the ‘main influencers’ of future change in a particular sphere of life. But as we watch others attempting to exercise their power and attempt to change the world around them, we often forget the most important ‘place of future change’, the place where we always ‘potentially’ have maximum power of influence. And that is of course within our own consciousness. We don’t tend see consciousness, the self, as a place of power, a seat of power, a source of power. There are a variety of signs that tend to indicate how powerful you are in the universe of your own consciousness. These are only three.
Your first thoughts on awakening each morning indicate how much influence YOU will have over your thoughts and decisions. A ‘have to’ attitude to yet another day means you are likely to surrender your seat of power to forthcoming events and circumstances as you see yourself unhappily struggling to get through another day. Whereas a ‘want to’ attitude that accompanies your daily awakening to the world indicates you are more in charge of how you meet the world and the conscious shaping of your actions in your exchanges with others. The ‘want to’ person also tends to have greater strength and resilience in dealing with any adversities that may arise.
Whenever we ‘react’ to others it means our emotions are sitting on our inner seat of power and they are shaping the energies, the thoughts and actions that we create and give out. Whereas when we respond without being reactive it is a sign that we are back on our throne and ruling the inner kingdom of our consciousness.
Attempting to force someone to do something usually begets resistance in return. This is a sign of a lack of power, and it usually ends in conflict. Being influential and effecting change around us without invoking resistance in others is one sign that we are using our energy, our consciousness, intelligently. The enlightened soul knows the difference between force and power, never attempts to force things, using all their energies with the wisdom of acceptance and flow. So how can we fully exploit the power of consciousness, the power of the self? First we need to see the difference between energy and power. Come with me for a moment back in time to your childhood and school. Do you remember playing with a magnifying glass in the sun and setting fire to the grass or some other such material? Most of us did, but we didn’t realise at the time that what we did was going to be a powerful metaphor for the rest of our life. Notice the sun is freely radiating energy in all directions in the form of light and heat. What we did was as follows. With the aim of setting fire to the grass we focused the energy of the sun through a magnifying glass so that it became so powerful it could set fire to dry grass. We converted energy into power, which had the ability to change the form of the material upon which we focused it. This is also a great metaphor for human consciousness because we each have the capacity to take the energy of our consciousness and turn it into something very powerful. The equivalent of the magnifying glass is of course a clear sense of PURPOSE, this is what focuses and concentrates our thinking and informs our decision-making, empowering us to potentially ‘influence change’ around us and make a significant impact in the world. But purpose is not enough to turn energy into power, we also need a specific AIM and clear set of VALUES to guide the use of that power because, just as there are many ways to skin a cat as they say in some places, there are many ways to achieve a PURPOSE and an AIM, and if we don’t use the ‘right way’ then we will not only diminish the consistency and longevity of our power, but we may also affect others in a detrimental way along the way! For example once upon a time there was a fast food chain whose leaders were split into two camps. Each group shared the same sense of purpose for their company, which was to provide high quality fast food to the general public. But the two groups differed in how that service should be delivered – one group said they should be honest and transparent, open and clear, regarding how the ingredients were sourced and prepared, while the other group said they should spin, obfuscate, manipulate the facts and disguise both source and preparation. So there was a common purpose but a clash of values. For some time the company went down the route of obfuscation and the bending of the facts, until they were exposed. They lost ‘good will’ and eventually customers, and then attempted to turn it around by turning over a new leaf and opting to guide their purpose and aims with the other set of transparent values. Once upon another time there was a man who decided his PURPOSE was to make money. His AIM was to be a millionaire within a year. But because his values and principles were primarily founded on ‘speed’, on ‘the end justifies the means’, on ‘relaxation’, which for him meant staying in bed as long as possible, he robbed banks! To achieve his aim he took other peoples money, affected others lives in a detrimental way and when he got caught he lost his freedom. He had not realized one of his deepest values was freedom… until he lost it! If, for a moment, we connect this process and principle of power to the various challenges that we all now face in the current national and international context i.e. climate change, resource depletion, financial polarization, social upheaval, food shortages, homelessness, expanding and drifting populations, etc. We would probably find some, if not many, ‘flaws’ within the decision making process at the level of purpose, aim and values in all these areas, otherwise these issues would not be concerning us all so significantly today. No point in pointing the finger of blame as that only wastes our energy and thereby diminishes our power to influence future change here and now. We can influence these scenarios. But before that is possible it seems obvious that we need to harness and focus the energy of our own consciousness. Then perhaps we can influence future change in the wider world. And so your purpose, this very day, could look and sound something like the following:
you are a source of conscious energy, i.e. the energy of consciousness, with the potential to make that energy a source of power in the world….
that there are no limits to what that energy can achieve given the right purpose, aim and values which will shape your decision making process …
that your life today is far from perfect due to the possible absence of a clear purpose, perhaps the lack of a clear aim/s or simply the wrong choice of values with which to guide your purpose and aims into the world…. Your mission today, should you decide to accept it (!), ‘could’ be to give your self some time to review and reflect on your purpose, consider your aim/s and select the right values so that you are able turn the ‘energy’ of your consciousness, your self, into a power that may influence future change. What is your purpose? What is/are your aims? And what are your core values? And are they being translated into action? Not easy questions. No quick and easy answers until there has been time spent in reflection, introspectively living deeply within the questions themselves. But how else are we to influence future change than by beginning with the energy of our own consciousness. That’s where the future is created in the present. That’s’ where you can focus the energy of your consciousness into ‘the power’ that your life can be.
: What is your purpose and what are your aims?
You already contain the values you need to make your purpose a powerful force in the world - what might those values be?
Take ten minutes every day this week and explore purpose, aim and values, being patient and playful, until clear insight and answers emerge. © Mike George 2009