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The Territory of Self Persuasion

Jun 12, 2008
"Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." Howard Thurman

Life is about learning. Planet earth is our school. I believe these statements at the core of by being. And yet, we are sometimes given bad information. As babies and children, we are given a huge amount of input from outside sources and don't really have the consciousness to chose. Sometimes the information given to us by people who love us with all their hearts, is wrong and unraveling the stuff that works for us from the stuff that doesn't is our journey in life.

I like to think of my life lessons as maps. Maps are not always accurate and they may not really give us the right direction, and in that case, when the map doesn't agree with reality, then the map is wrong. It's okay not to trust everything you see, read, hear, or are told. So many people are conflicted in life because the maps they were given don't match their reality and experience of the world -- faith, social orientation, class, et cetera, have all been foisted upon them and in their guts, they know these to not be accurate. Even still, they struggle to comply.

Overcoming this and recalibrating is what persuasion is all about. Self persuasion, persuading loved ones, persuading our prospects and clients -- this is charting new territory and creating a new guide based on what is appropriate and true for where we are now and where we dream of going.

Learning how to persuade ourselves allows us the ability to explore this new territory. When we begin the process of self exploration and self knowledge, we become the cartographers of our lives. This can be as messy or as elegant as you want it to be, it can be a struggle or you can transform with ease. Many people operate under the assumption that change and growth are 'difficult' like child labor. I choose to operate under the assumption that change flows through me and struggle only comes in when I resist. When I was a young man my father offered to train me to take over for him in his very lucrative business in convalescent homes. My future was laid out before me with all the money I could ever need. Of course, I had to work my way up from dishwasher through the ranks, but if I stuck with it, I would one day be the owner of this in no time.

I was at a crossroads. On the one hand, there was this ladder which led to a guaranteed position of success in a field that did not ignite my passion. Another way to go -- and the path which I obviously chose -- was going it alone with only my instincts and passion. It was a struggle until I realized it didn't have to be. I simply needed to shed the outmoded information and inaccurate maps I was using to guide my life. My question to you is: Are you alive? If not, what do you need to come alive?
About the Author
Kenrick Cleveland teaches strategies to earn the business of wealthy clients using persuasion. He runs public and private seminars and offers home study courses and coaching programs in persuasion strategies.
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