Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Debunking truths

A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge. Thomas Carlyle
I know things about myself I never reveal. I know things that I believe about others I never tell. I know things I know enough about to never reveal. And in all that knowing, I make the mistake of believing it is 'the truth'.

I can never know enough about another to 'know', absolutely, completely, that what I know is true.

And as to myself... in all my knowing, very little of what I know is wholly based on 'facts' founded on my own experience. Most of what I know is based on beliefs founded on what I've experienced through my relationships with others. And very little of what I believe about myself is so critical to my being I cannot let go of it. Ask yourself, as Eldon Taylor, suggests in "What does that Mean" -- what can I let go of in my beliefs about me? What can I not let go of? You might be surprised by the size of the gap.

One of my 'beliefs' masquerading as a fault is, "I can't set goals." The rest of the world is really good at setting goals. In fact, there was that famous study of 1953 Yale grads who twenty years later it was determined that the 3% who had set goals in their graduating year had done best in life and stayed focused on them from graduation onwards. All 3% of the class with goals were more successful than the 97% without goals.

Wrong -- the study part that is.

As Joyceann Wykoff debunked it on Sunday at Peaceful Legacies -- Goals or Not. No such study ever took place.

That's right... it was all a creation of some urban mythster. And, she gives the proof in the form of an article at Fast Company.

What's fascinating is, motivational gurus from Tony Robbins to Zig Ziglar were consulted because they quote the study in their teachings. They too do not know the source of the studies data.

But then, that makes sense, if the study didn't take place, there's no source for the data.

And that's the thing, within each of us are 'truths' we accept as fact which we then use to explain why we're the way we are, or why we can't do something or as proof we are 'less than', other than our perfectly human, amazingly magnificent selves.

Like, my "I'm not an artist", a truth I held onto tightly for 45 years only to be debunked the day I picked up a brush, dipped it in paint and began to create.

I've been creating ever since and loving it too! And through that love of painting, I started an art program at the homeless shelter where I work. From that little beginning, artists have turned up and shared their talents and their wonder. Through their sharing, a studio space was created to shelter their creative souls and give a safe and reverent place for them to express themselves. And through their expression, an art gallery has been created to showcase their work -- and from that space, thousands of minds have been shifted, thousands of perceptions opened up to see -- what they believe about the individual experiencing homelessness is not the truth of who the person is, it's not all the facts they need to know to know the person -- the facts of the person are in their creations.

If I'd kept holding onto my belief, I'm not an artist, I may never have heard the call of starting an art program.

If the artists who risked turning up hadn't heeded the call of their creative spirits to express themselves, the studio never would have formed.

If the body of work hadn't been created the spirits of our benefactors might never have awoken to creating a gallery space....

See where this goes?...

So... what 'truth' are you holding onto for fear you can't let it go? What truth do you use to limit your exploration of your beauty and wonder?

In debunking those limiting beliefs, you may find your wings waiting to unfurl. You may find your dreams calling.

Because the truth is, I didn't have a goal when I started the art studio. I had a loving heart willing to be informed through giving space for others to dream. In their dreams, the light came through and in their act of doing, of being willing to risk turning up, in all their beauty and pain, to explore what it means to be human -- no matter where they live, wonder was created, magic awoke, life happened.


Anonymous said...


we are on similar, though different, quests lately - in search of truth and its meaning

keep saying and living truth and, in time, one person at a time, we might convince enough of the others to make this whole world liveable

meanwhile we struggle

it will likely never end, but, still, we will struggle

keep up the good work


Ruth said...

This is a terrific reminder, Louise! I believe that the mind's job is to constantly adjust. It loves to settle in and believe whatever we tell it. I realized the other day when I was trying to figure out someone's behavior toward me, that it was fine for me to create a negative reality about it, but I couldn't create a positive one. They were both "false" in the sense that I was making them up because I did not know the mind of that person. But I when I recognized what I was doing, I decided to make up a positive belief and it made me feel better. :-)

I am certain that many, many successful and highly achieving people got there because they decided to change their belief about themselves. It's so amazing what we are capable of!

The ramifications of your post on raising and educating kids is really something.

Joyceann Wycoff said...

Louise ... I love it when our threads weave together. Thanks!

drw@bainbridge.net said...

Perfect. Just perfect. And I think that's the way it always seems to happen; just like this. And I loved the way this post links to Joyce's post!