20:20 self-awareness.

How something so fundamental as humans talking with each other can so often be mysterious.

When I composed this sub-heading, I wasn’t sure of what word to use to end the sentence.  Some of the words that sped through my mind were: complex, distorted, difficult, obtuse and …. well, you get the message.

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard Shaw is reputed to have once said!

Today’s essay on the challenges of speaking clearly to another, perhaps better described as communicating in a clear and unambiguous fashion, came out of a recent conversation with Jon Lavin, a good friend from my Devon days.  (Jon offers services for business owners and entrepreneurs under his business banner of The People Workshop.)

Jon was explaining that the number one hurdle for businesses that are managing change, and for so many businesses managing change is practically a constant, is having clear communications within the team.

Seems clear enough to me! 😉

Yet, what we hear and what we say are both modified, frequently unconsciously, by past events, experiences and trauma.  That being the case, then it is key, critically so, that we achieve the best possible self-awareness.  Because it is only through an understanding of our past that we come to learn of our sensitivities and our associated ‘tender spots’ and their potential for ‘pulling our strings’.  Here’s a personal story.

In 1956, when I was 12, I experienced a trauma that was interpreted by my consciousness as emotional rejection.  By the age of 14 that sensitivity to rejection had descended into my subconscious.  For fifty years, that sensitivity remained hidden yet continued to influence my life in many unseen ways, not all of them negatively by a long measure. In 2007 a period of counselling revealed that hidden emotional rejection; brought it to the surface.  It changed beyond imagination how I felt, how I behaved, how I was.  Nonetheless, that sensitivity to rejection is still there, albeit now visible.  Thus when I hear or experience something that tickles that sensitivity I still react.  But because I can now see and feel myself reacting, I can sidestep the emotional strings.

The following is a short, twenty-minute, documentary film about fear.  Do watch it.  The message that we are so profoundly a product of our past is beautifully presented.

12 thoughts on “20:20 self-awareness.

  1. Talking allows our minds to work in parallel and provide a multiverse of ideas, a super-mind where super ideas evolve as in a common jungle, a medium of culture. Nothing else would allow the rise of great intelligence.


  2. Fear is inherent in us all for that Flight or Fight mode.. But the F word has now been used and abused as it has been used as a useful tool .. Self awareness comes when we wake up to what our world is generating and we have a choice. We can allow ourselves to get embroiled within the Fear.. Or we can see it for what it is and who and what is creating that fear and why?…. Once that awareness kicks in we can see there is nothing to Fear but Fear itself… Living in the Now of a moment prevents us also from fearing the future, and fearing what has past..

    Easier said than done, I garentee you .. But once you can get your head around it all… We breath deeper and evenly and let all fear go… ( I am still working on this, I am not perfect by any means ) for as your video states its been ingrained within us for so long we know no other way, and we are a creature of habit!..

    Thought provoking post Paul thank you


      1. Hi Paul, This post is called So you choose Love over Fear?
        http://wp.me/p16xW7-QU .
        Interestingly as I was looking for it for you, ( you are welcome to reblog this post above by the way ) I followed some links to past posts I did within it..
        I had been wondering what to post this week as I am deep in study at the moment so don’t have as much time for WP for a couple of weeks.. So reposted one on the Law of Vibration I wrote back in 2008.
        Enjoy your week.. and see you soon..


  3. Thanks, Paul. Another piece of information to fit into the puzzle of what consciousness is. I enjoyed the documentary; I had not seen that.


      1. It will never be finished, but when it reaches the point where you can tell what the picture might represent, I’ll let you in on it.


  4. I have got into the habit of saying what I think as opposed to what I think people might prefer to hear.

    I suppose age is a factor – there is only so much time left and it seems a pity to waste it pussy-footing around with spin and obfuscation. But the thing is, many people really don’t LIKE hearing what someone really thinks. Of course, it could be just that they don’t like hearing what I think …

    An example. British, I live in Germany and was somewhat surprisingly elected as one of the two parent representatives of my son’s class. I took this very seriously and one evening went to a meeting of all the parent representatives of all the classes. The discussion turned to teacher absences through illness (long story), and people were whinging and moaning and finally I got up and said:

    “Look, this is a total waste of time. All you are doing is letting off steam but it won’t do any good. When I taught in Germany FORTY YEARS AGO it was EXACTLY the same. Every day I turned up to school and on the board in the hall was writtten a list of teachers absent, with of course no replacements as in Britain so that the class was cancelled. It’s your system: there is nothing to be done because inertia in education is so strong, especially when it is a matter of state teachers rather than private ones as in the UK. Can we please stop wasting time and get onto the next subject. The only way you might change something is to get ten thousand angry parents to go and barricade the local government in the town hall ………..”

    There was a stunned silence and after that I always felt I was regarded as something of a weirdo … and the following year they elected someone ELSE!!

    This is the reason of course why NO politician ever says: “We can’t afford that. The public’s demands are silly. For God’s sake get your facts right and be realistic.” Politicians prefer to tell people what they want to hear – AND to give them benefits paid for with borrowed money.

    I find all this a bit hilarious, but rather sad. Until we face up to and speak the truth (as we see it of course),. we shall stagger on ineffectively. UKIP in the UK has people who tend to say what they think rather than what is PC, and this may account for some of its growing popularity.


    1. Many mixed reactions to your last comment. One, integrity is key. Essentially the theme of this blog in a rather jumbled manner. The second is that in so many ways, the societies that we Westerners have created seem to be more about playing games these days than dealing with the many incredibly challenging issues now facing humankind. It’s almost as though the world is so scary that few can embrace the need to ‘hold up mirrors” on ourselves.

      Thought there was a third point but just been out to start Jeannie’s car (flat battery) and now forgotten the point.


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