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Part 4 - Can You Succeed? Creating the World You Yearn For

Every morning as I face my sleepy self in the mirror I ask myself "Can I succeed?" I may be thinking about being a good mom, a good spouse, a successful writer. I'm really asking myself "Can I have an impact in the world?" I'm sure you know the drill! This is when my chattering mind begins its endless patter.

We are standing amidst many unprecedented US and history-making events. Today's morning NPR headlines read: Nunes Memo: What's In It And What's Not, a partisan document made public which some say could trigger a constitutional crisis undermining the FBI and national security. This headline was followed by Dow Has Hit Its Worst Week In 2 Years where we see the American public voting on the decision with their wallets. Reading these I recommit to my own efforts at creating a better world.

This article is Part 4 of the blog series Creating the World You Yearn For intended to help us collectively build a world we are proud of, worthy of our children and based on integrity of spirit and creative innovation. In Part 3 - The Abyss, we acknowledged that our own vision of a better world left us standing on a ledge overlooking a vast territory between life today and the world we yearn for. By now we have a clear and abundant vision of what we desire and an unclouded solution that seems, at first glance, quite simple. We know that to act in support of our vision requires us to go in the right direction and cross the Abyss.

Easier said than done, right?

Assess the Abyss

Before we step off the ledge and doggedly pursue our vision, it is important to assess the challenges that await us. Will our ideas, or projects, be accepted by those around us? Are there already similar efforts underway? There are always 'nay-sayers'; what will they be saying? How is the timing? Will you begin with baby-steps or jump in the deep end? Are you a leader, or a participant? What are your biggest bottlenecks? If you have a misstep how will you jump back in the game?

It is important to spend some time exploring what the Abyss will present and how you will meet the challenges if, or when, they present themselves. Research all sides of the issue and your solution; know the pros and cons and be able to address each thoroughly. Know how you fit into the world around you - draw pictures; take personal notes.

In a recent discussion on cross cultural diversity in our community, for example, I encountered several strong factions, or groups, taking firm positions on different sides of the diversity debate - in this case inclusion vs identity. Some participants wanted to cross cultural divides through eclectic conversation, others simply wanted classes about diversity in their own group. These factions came as a surprise to me, and I am sure many other challenges will trip me up on the journey. The goal is to keep moving - in the right direction.

Right Perception

We all have the capacity to view our world without bias, to rationally (and emotionally) separate fact from opinion. However, we are so easily swayed by our opinions, our conditioned thinking, that we do a mind meld of fact and opinion - can we call it a 'fauxpinion'? - giving us an unrealistic read on what is happening and what is possible.

Perhaps if we could discern a verifiable fact versus 'spin' or opinion, we could better chart our way across the Abyss. Seeking fact and truth will stand the test of time, 'fauxpinion' may become trendy, but it won't last. It will be replaced by the next opinion based fact that finds its way into public discourse, only to be replaced by the next thought trend.

As you look across the Abyss to the world you yearn for, look at the facts at hand, understand the pros and cons of your journey to the simple solution and know that there are multiple routes to reach your destination. Knowledge is progress, mid-course corrections are par for the course.

Finally, as you ponder "Will I be successful?" in creating the world you yearn for, be assured that right perception, fact and right direction will get you where you need to go. As you step into the Abyss, rest in your core values, abundant vision, simple solution and clear direction. And remember as you move into the unknown: One step at a time!

Happy trails!

Jenifer Zetlan

Before you read the next installment of Creating the World You Yearn For, Part 5 of the series, take some time to define for yourself the following:

  • Your personal Grand Mystery

  • Your Big Questions

  • Your Vision for a better world

  • The Simple Solution

  • The Abyss

  • Assess the Abyss

  • Right Perception vs 'Fauxpinion'


Jenifer Zetlan, author of The Incredible Power of Inspiration: Creating the Life You Yearn For, is a behavioral scientist and motivational speaker who is committed to helping people live inspired lives. With advanced degrees in psychology and behavioral sciences from UCLA, she has led numerous seminars and classes in psychology, leadership and organization in University settings and throughout many Fortune 500 and non-profit organizations. She has also enjoyed successful careers in psychology, aerospace, and heath care.

Jenifer has been reading, studying and speaking in the areas of psychology, philosophy and spirituality for over 30 years. She is an ardent yoga practitioner and instructor in the Bay Area.

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