"The unedited musings of a
Applying Virtue to Developmental Coaching and
The following quote triggered this blog:
Nothing is more tragic than to see people who have sold
themselves short on what is possible for their lives.
Page 82, Rich Dad's Guide To Investing by Robert Kiyosaki with
What struck me so hard is the danger of this meme. For much
of my life I have agreed with the essence of the quote. "Be
all you can be." "Accomplish everything you can in your life." Live
up to your potential"
Yet, what is starting to shift in my consciousness is that
depending on how you really look at this meme: "what is possible for
their lives," you will have different meaning. My sense is
that this is largely written from an "orange" vMEME. The
emergent properties of the orange vMEME center around achievement
motivation, i.e. strive-drive, win-win, get all you can out of
potential, efficiency, effectiveness.
Quite frankly--to me--there is nothing wrong with this meme or
the vMEME of orange, yet, it can be very dangerous in terms of its
effects, its affect and the outcomes and results of its
Let me explain
When we seek to become all we can, what does that mean?
To many it will mean, the tragedy of leaving money on the
table--as a metaphor. The waste in potential that occurs
because people don't reach higher, stretch farther. I believe
in the appropriate context, those things are relevant and desirable.
Yet, in other contexts throughout the world, this meme or vMEME
constellation is producing the emphasis on growth, stretch,
efficiency, effectiveness at the risk of other opportunities.
Utilizing the orange vMEME meme of "opportunity cost," I can see
that there is more to this meme of:
"Nothing is more tragic than to see people who have sold
themselves short on what is possible for their lives."
than the tragedy of extending one's self upward on a strive-drive
ladder past the point of living one's own life. Since
potential is inherently unlimited (albeit with bounds on one's stage
of development--genetics, etc.), the constant strive-drive of
reaching from one level to the next in my view is not at all healthy
Here's why I reason in this manner
Verticality is inherent in the meme. In other words, the
constant climbing or uphilling is a strategy to reach one's
potential as viewed through this vMEME constellation. Yet,
constant uphilling uses significant resources and in my opinion--or
at least in some of my latter experience--is not sustainable, by
either life or aliveness.
While evolving life can sustain life in some form, the meaning of
life can be achieved without constant uphilling in my view. If
people seek meaning in life from the ladder, then we create an
inherent climbing in the system towards complexity.
In my view and in my contention, meaning in life can be found
without climbing. Climbing is a strategy, sometimes required
to get a look around. It is not necessary to climb every mountain.
For most, it is not sustainable as a strategy and therefore
constantly trying to reach one's potential may be a flawed strategy
Virtue MAY lie in attempting to fully realize one's self. A
strategy may be up and of course there may be tragedy in that
strategy as well. Tragedy may exist in the life not fully
realized versus the one not fully potentialized.
In rereading this piece, I'm not sure if I'm making the point,
but hopefully it is one that can realized.
Mike Jay, August 2003