When I was collaborating with Randy Wight on the book he co-wrote with Phil Canville, the man who first discovered the Geomic Code, he shared with me his interest in Bruce Lee, both as a martial artist and as a student of human nature. He recently sent those of us at the Institute an article he read titled “Bruce Lee on Self-Actualization and the Crucial Difference between Pride and Self-Esteem” by Maria Popova on the site, brainpickings.
Popova quotes other thought leaders in the self-development arena but draws primarily from a compendium of Lee’s never-before-published writing. Popova tells us that this anthology points out Lee’s understanding of the difference between pride and self-esteem.
People who have a healthy estimation of self are keenly self-aware and self-accepting and therefore comfortable with the company when everyone else goes home. And, when self-aware individuals interact with others, they eagerly embrace the collaborative process that “lifts all boats”.
In her article, Popova puts forth several apparently contradictory ideas:
- “We can see through others only when we see through ourselves. Lack of self-awareness renders us transparent; a soul that knows itself is opaque.”
- “…the very people who are most self-dissatisfied and crave most for a new identity have the least self-awareness…those most dissatisfied can neither dissimulate nor attain a real change of heart.”
- “Pride is a sense of worth derived from something that is not part of us, while self-esteem derives from the potentialities and achievements of self.”
- “Our lack of self-awareness…makes us look to others to tell us who we are.”
- “We acquire a true sense of self-worth…by examining ourselves in order to identity our talents…self-scrutiny applied with kindness comes to mind…”
- “There is a powerful craving in most of us to see ourselves as instruments in the hands of others and thus free ourselves from the responsibility for acts that are prompted by our own questionable inclinations and impulses.”
- “When…self-esteem is unattainable, the autonomous individual becomes a highly explosive entity…[who] turns away from an unpromising self and plunges into the pursuit of pride…All social disturbances and upheavals have their roots in a crisis of individual self-esteem…”
Neither standing alone nor hiding insecurity behind the curtain of “group think” does anyone any good. The key to being a successful individual seems to come in integrating the best of the self with the best of the other in support of the common good.
These ideas excite us here at the Institute because they dovetail with what we are discovering from the results of Geomic Code Assessments taken by many individuals since Phil Canville’s discovery of the C.O.D.E. Here is where I will hand off this article to Randy Wight to talk more about how the Assessment can help people strengthen their understanding of the intersection of the self with the world around it:
Usually, when I am tasked with reporting on the intersection of self and the world around it, I tend toward a more granular approach. If I don’t trip over a giant “You are here” sign (bright red, of course), I do my best to describe my personal “where”. I do this while fighting the urge to say, “I am at the corner of ‘Walk’ and ‘Don’t walk’”, as described by a wise-guy friend of mine.
I peer inward first, taking my “life temperature”. Is it normal (98.6 to continue with the analogy), or is it running hot? Is my life moving at a fevered pitch? You know what I mean: You frantically dash about, trying to check off as many “to do” items from your list as you can. If you are like me, no matter how fast and frantically you work off those “To Do’s” (or calmly and efficiently, as the case may be), the list just seems to grow.
Your introspection has just turned into a mystery, a true “Who done it?” You find lots of suspects (the folks we like to blame for such things, including ourselves). Those of you with sensitive sensibilities should cover your ears: I am about to use the “R” word. Responsibility.
Ultimately, I have learned I am responsible for the “to do” list and its effect on my personal GPS coordinates (otherwise known as The Intersection of Self and Group). After I take responsibility for the list and how it got me to where I am, I start to look outside myself. You guessed it: I am hunting for the co-conspirators.
Who have I allowed to “help me” with my list? Parents, friends, co-workers, bosses, even mentors can contribute “ink” to your personal list. And once we have figured out the who, we can figure out the why (aka, “the agenda”). It isn’t that hard; just follow the payoff. Who was getting what they wanted or needed?
Finally, I arrive at a missing element, an as-yet-unrevealed element – something hidden in plain sight and coded just below our cognitive threshold. Without this variable, you are likely to fall right back into the Responsibility Paradox. Now, I know we’ve talked about Responsibility, but “What,” you may ask, “is a Responsibility Paradox?”
A Responsibility Paradox is what happens when you claim to take responsibility for your own “who” while failing to identify the hidden code that fundamentally may have influenced your unconscious choices. This code informs the “why” that affects your “where”.
The more responsible you claim to be, the more unconscious choices you make, and the less responsible you appear to be. Your only hope is to become conscious. Trying to navigate without this missing variable is a bit like trying to sleep-walk to your personal intersection of self and group.
Here at the Geomic Code Research Institute, we all major in getting you as conscious as possible. It is the only way to find the road, and the road will lead you to the intersection. I believe it was Lewis Carroll’s Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland who said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.”