It never fails.
Among the rockets, satellites and untold amounts of eye-opening facts and interactive exercises found at the National Space Center in Leicester, there’s one particular exercise that never fails to blows my mind.
I get to visit cool places like this because I’m a dad. If it wasn’t for Jacob and Emily, my two greatest teachers and the fact I’m an “experience” orientated father – always looking to expand the life experience of my kiddies, I’d miss out on a significant education myself.
The interactive exercise in question goes like this:
You’re required to stand in a certain place. A meter above your head is a camera, which duly takes a picture of you looking up at it. You then watch a video simulation which elevates you from the point you’re standing to the furthest known point in the universe, each stage of elevation being “10 to the power of “x” – “x” being the unknown quantity.
By the time you’re at 10 to the power of 25, you’re at the furthest known point in the universe. It’s very likely to be nowhere near the edge of the universe, only as far as we’re able to observe but just to give you some idea of the magnitude…
…it would take 11 billion light years to get back to where I was standing.
Bugger me (that’s a statement of awe, not an invite).
So, for clarification purposes, the energy which takes a mere nano-second to illuminate the light bulb after the flick of a switch would need 11 billion years to get from the furthest known point in the universe back to Earth.
And the eye-popping revelations on the sheer expanse of our universe didn’t stop there.
Take our galaxy, the Milky Way. Incomprehensibly massive, right? Light takes 100,000 years to travel across it. And yet the Milky Way becomes completely indistinguishable, lost like a grain of sand in the dunes of the Sahara, when viewed from several stages before you get to the furthest known point in the universe.
It’s utterly mind boggling.
Grasping the enormity of the known universe can make you feel pretty insignificant. And yet what determines your significance is not the magnitude of what surrounds you, but the magnitude of what’s within you.
Yeah, yeah I know…typical “woo” message – and you’ve heard it all before. Of course you have. The same message has been communicated a million times in a million different ways from thousands of enlightened teachers over thousands and thousands of years.
Funny that. Maybe, like all truths, it won’t go away because there’s really something in it.
Because the bottom line is, if you fail to maximise on the talents, capabilities and potential within you, then you will live as if insignificant. It doesn’t mean you are, it just means your life will shape up as if you are.
Here’s a truth most people fail to grasp. Your business will never outgrow the quality of thinking you bring to it. Your health, relationships and every other aspect of your personal life can never outgrow the quality of thinking you bring to them either.
The problem is, most of us know more about the world and the universe than we know about ourselves. I’m not kidding. Most of us, to varying degrees, abscond responsibility for the conditions and circumstances of our lives to some outside force, be it God, fate, luck, unruly bankers, the government, our parents, the ex-partner, the bully boy who beat us…you name it we can blame it – because we’re not aware and are unwilling to accept the responsibility of being the creator in the process.
This is what prompted the renowned Swiss Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist Carl Jung to make one of the most astonishing observations of all time when he said, “Until you make the unconscious conscious it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
No quote sums up our greatest challenge than Jung’s accurate observation. If you intend to live a more successful life, study those 17 words very closely – it reveals all you need to know about what differentiates highly successful people from life’s underachieving masses.
It’s not about having more talent or potential than others. It’s not about having more than your fair share of ‘luck’ (which doesn’t exist in a universe governed by the unwavering expression of cause and effect). It’s not about standards of education, privileged backgrounds, being born into wealth or any other unsubstantiated societal myth the underachieving masses cling to, to justify their predicaments and abscond responsibility for them.
It is about awareness.
Your success hinges on your level of self-awareness. Make no mistake, like it or not, accept it or not, YOU are the creator of your experience. YOU call it forth.
All of it.
It doesn’t seem that way for most of the time because, as Jung expertly pointed out, you’re not conscious in the act of creation.
We all share the challenge. Some of us are more aware than others, but no one escapes the vice-like grip of ignorance. That’s why, 500 years before the birth of Christ, Buddha said, “The ONLY challenge for the human race is ignorance.”
In other words…the not knowing…a lack of awareness…leading to a life led mostly unconscious in the act of creation.
As I stood in awe at what I discovered at the National Space Center, a powerful piece of wisdom sprang to mind – a quote revealing the irony of all ironies. In 1679, Jean De La Fontaine said, “He who knows the universe and does not know himself, knows nothing.”
The message isn’t new. De La Fontaine borrowed heavily from one of Christ’s most telling statements: “He who knows the all, but fails to know himself, misses everything.”
Two individuals, two lifetimes separated by just under 1700 years, sharing one message rarely heard.
Are you hearing it now? Are you hearing the all-important message I’ve repeated in a myriad of different ways in the objective of waking you up to what HAS to happen if you’re to enjoy a level of success most people aspire to but never reach?
It’s not about knowledge – it’s about awareness.
Your skills and knowledge make you competent in your field. That doesn’t mean you’ll perform increasingly better in your role. Knowledge and skill can’t give you the necessary self-awareness to bring greater success to your business and personal life. It doesn’t bridge the gap between what you know and what you do. Competence and high performance are not the same thing.
If success was just about knowledge and competence, the most successful people in the world would be scientists, university lecturers and every member of MENSA. They’re not the most successful because it’s not about knowledge.
It’s about awareness.
Only by increasing your self-awareness, only by operating in life with higher consciousness – will the quality of your thinking improve and the quality of your results follow suit.
That’s the irrefutable cause-and-effect relationship most people fail to grasp – and their results prove it.
“By their fruits ye shall know them”.
Notice Christ didn’t say “by their fruits ye shall know what they know“, he said “by their fruits ye shall know THEM”.
It’s all about who you are not what you know. Life doesn’t give you what you want, it gives you who you are. It’s all about your level of awareness.
If bumbling along hoping to “get by” is your thing, continue to ignore my constant drumming of the “develop the owner not the business” drum.
If tip-toeing through your entrepreneurial career hoping to “make a decent living” is where’s it’s really at for you, carry on turning a blind eye.
Christian Simpson is the UK’s leading coach and mentor to business owners and entrepreneurs. For COMPLIMENTARY ACCESS to tried, tested and proven entrepreneurial success strategies, click here