There is a gift for you at the end of this article. Yes, really! Spoiler alert - it's a magic wand.
We will all need one as we reflect on some of the news of the week: "CDC to Hold Session on ‘Planning and Preparation’ for Nuclear Detonation"; "Advocates Fear Tax Bill Will Worsen U.S. Affordable Housing Shortage" and we mustn't forget "For The Men #MeToo Has Toppled, Redemption Will Take More Than An Apology".
This article is Part 2 of the blog series Creating the World You Yearn For intended to help us collectively build a world worthy of our children and based on integrity of spirit and creative innovation. Creating such a world begins where we are today, uncovering our own Grand Mystery and asking the Big Questions. We must dare to yearn for a better world and decide who we are in the matter of it all. Individually we each have tremendous potential power to shift the direction of our world. Imagine a collective effort!
Finding Your Global Mystery
How do we come to know our own role in the bigger world and create what we yearn for as a global participant? That's a big question, but one we must each wrestle with at a deeply personal level. It is here, within our hearts and minds we must begin, dig in and ask the Big Questions - those questions that have both no answer - and simple answers - simultaneously.
Within each of us lies a Grand Mystery, a 'big unknown' - a yearning - about the world we would love to be a part of - in some fashion. Here are a few examples:
Personally, I can't help but wonder why our country's leaders, or the world's leaders for that matter, can't see beyond themselves to go about the business of governing with integrity. I yearn for personal simplicity.
Neil deGrasse Tyson yearns to know about our universe - what's lies beyond, so to speak. His works about the nature of the universe teach us all.
My son's fourth grade mathematics teacher wanted to know how to teach children to learn. Her yearning had a classroom of 10 year olds examining the volume of a Hershey's chocolate bar.
Many of our journalists yearn to know the truth and share it with others. How do they speak the truth in a polarized world? They yearn for truth; they yearn to be heard.
John Muir yearned to honor and preserve our natural environment. We learned a lot from him, we need more like him in present day.
These are Big Questions! We must each uncover our own Grand Mystery, ask the Big Questions and be audacious enough to 'live into' the answer.
Big Questions, Simple Answers
All Big Questions have simple answers - even if we can't exactly tell you how it could be achieved. How does one cure cancer? Kill off the offending cells. How do we preserve our planet and natural resources? Take care of what we have. How do we stop hate? Stop being hateful! Overly simplistic? Yes, and also obviously accurate.
These are examples of Grand Mysteries just waiting for their stewards. Mysteries and Big Questions are the 'stuff' of lifelong commitments and meaning that will yield tremendous achievements, both great and small. All commitments have a return and afford great personal reward. There is no better feeling than to be 'in the game', to be a dreamer, or a doer or a creator of the world you yearn for.
The fact that we experience deep yearnings for our world, that we are clear about what mystifies us and that we are asking the Big Questions readily presents us with a stunning truth: that the route to the 'simple answer' is an action packed journey.
Perhaps the best way to describe our journey is to say that we are 'living into' our simple answers - 'living into' our commitments one step at a time; one day at a time. Suddenly our lives take on more meaning, greater depth and present us with many milestones worth celebrating.
Here is a personal example: It is a mystery to me why such deep cultural divides exist and are so resistant to change. I yearn for a world built on personal simplicity. One of my Big Questions is "How do we (or I) encourage open, candid dialogue on the topic? Simple answer? Invite a diverse group of people together and provide a safe, supportive environment to get to know each other. I look for the bottom line in my daily efforts and speak my truth. I yearn for interpersonal simplicity and have committed myself to creating bridges across cultural divides. I do this one person at a time, one meeting at a time, one organizational goal at a time. I am 'living into' the world I yearn for - and taking baby steps.
We can all live lives that make a difference in the world - big ones and small ones. The trick is to know how. Once you know how, creating the world you yearn for will fill the days of your life with meaning, adventurous routes and untold contributions.
Here are three instructions to begin creating the world you yearn for and, as advertised, a magic wand:
1. Ask yourself: "What is one Grand Mystery have I been wondering about for years?"
2. What Big Questions arise when you think about it? Pick one or two, at most.
3. What is the simple solution?
Pack your bags as you begin your incredible journey! There are lots of bottlenecks and pitfalls along the way, but hey, this is the adventure of your life.
Stay tuned for Part 3, The Great Abyss in this series of Creating the World You Yearn For.
The Magic Wand is to be used, as needed.
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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