In the fall of 2001, my life imploded along with the bursting of the Dot-Com Bubble and I ended up on the street corner questioning the way that work worked, as it felt like it was no longer working for me but was beginning to work against me instead.
Over the next two decades, this questioning of the way that work worked evolved into a lifelong quest that took me far and wide, exploring unconventional domains of knowledge that shattered and shifted my perception of reality, helping me to see the wisdom of it in a much broader and human way.
And yet with each exhilarating step of this adventure, as I climbed this metaphorical mountain, gaining more advantageous vistas to understand myself and my world better, the more I felt like I was stepping away from the very people I wanted to help back in the conventional world I had left behind.
In fact, over the past few years, I’ve felt like I’ve reach this impasse where I feel like I can no longer go forward and no longer go back because I’m stuck in trying to figure out how to communicate this unconventional knowledge to a conventional person. Put another way, how do you communicate a larger perception of reality to someone who doesn’t have the larger perception to understand it yet?
Yesterday it finally dawned upon me that you can’t. All you can do is “meet them where they are at”, as the saying goes. In effect, there is no way that a conventional person can understand the meaning of what I’m talking about from my perspective until they go through similar life experiences that cause them to “level up” their perception of reality and see it from a broader viewpoint as well.
So until they experience a dramatic life challenge that causes them to actually question their world and themselves within it, reimagining it in a broader way, they won’t be able to grasp the meaning and understanding of my life’s work from my own higher vantage point.
But here’s the beauty of it. To help them, they don’t need to do so. Why? Because I can meet them where they are at. And where is that exactly? Where I was two decades ago when my world came crashing down around me. For that’s the exact very same place many people are at today. They feel like the world that they know is collapsing around them, no longer works, and they don’t know what to do about it…well besides channelling their anger at someone and blaming them for it, which really doesn’t help you constructively speaking.
So all this time, while I’ve been off adventuring beyond the edge of the known, conventional world and wishing others could see and understand what I’ve been seeing, I had the completely wrong perspective. To begin helping others, it’s not about getting them to understand me and my perspective. Rather it’s about me understanding and empathizing with their perspective and where they are at.
So I need to now walk back down the mountain of wisdom and experience I have climbed and return to the base of it. In doing so, I’ll be able to remember and clarify the essence of what it felt like for me two decades ago, my fears and uncertainty, so that I can help others understand each stage of the journey before them. In effect, they’re not alone and there is a way forward, regardless of how uncertain it feels to them at the moment.