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I’m writing this from New Mexico just before I leave my bi-annual meeting of the Transformational Leadership Council (TLC).

Jack Canfield, the co-author of the Chicken Soup books, created this organization for transformational leaders (workshop leaders, authors, owners of organizations dedicated to transformation, etc.) such as John Gray, New York Times best-selling authors Marci Shimoff and Lisa Nichols, Rev. Michael Beckwith, and about 100 more. It is a place where people who have committed their lives to empowering others get supported and nourished. I am honored to have been a founding member about five years ago.

The two five-day meetings each year are my most eagerly-awaited times of the year. I always leave nourished and filled with new ideas. I am devoting my post today to some of the more-important ideas I am taking away from this meeting.

Is it really important to have goals?

I have always had a problem with goals despite the fact that for years everyone has talked about why they were important (“How can you possibly get what you want if you don’t know what you want?”). I always thought it was more important to live out of my vision, what I am here on earth to do—than out of goals.

Here’s a metaphor that I’ve used to explain my problem with goals. Imagine that my vision was to go east. Then I decided that my first goal was to go from my home in San Francisco to New York. So I go to the airport to get my ticket to New York and I am so focused on getting that ticket that I never notice a non-stop flight directly to Europe.

In other words, there are so many ways to manifest one’s vision. Goals can limit your possibilities and keep you from seeing ones you never would have dreamed of. Remember my post last week about living out of questions instead of answers. Both answers and goals limit possibilities.

Paul Scheele, creator of the Paraliminal courses and co-founder of Learning Strategies, said something that validated my position about goals. He made the point that organizations (and individuals) need to stop living in the past and in the future, and start living in the present.

Your goals are a function of your already-existing beliefs that were formed in the past. Your strategies ultimately are a function of the meaning you’ve given your past experiences and the meaning you are giving your appraisal of the future. So both our goals and our strategies force us into living in the past and the future, and inhibit us from living in the present.

Living in the present enables you to focus on what is emerging. I liked Paul’s use of that word: emerging. It is what arises moment by moment when you are living in the present.

Have your actions directed by “divinity”

Joe Vitale made one the meeting’s best presentations about living from divinity, from source, from inspiration. He made the point that every thought you have is the result either of inspiration (a message from your “higher Self”) or from your programming (your beliefs and conditioning).

It can be difficult to tell the difference between thoughts that arise from inspiration and thoughts that are the result of programming. Yet the more you are able to erase the beliefs and conditionings, the more your inspirations will reach consciousness without being distorted by your beliefs and the more you will be able to recognize the difference between the two types of thoughts.

Joe said that he generally knows the difference by the passion and excitement that accompanies his inspiration.

Joe said one other thing that I really liked: What is especially important is to act immediately on those inspirations. If you get a message from the divine and ignore it, it is worthless. Listen for those messages and allow them to move you to action … without delay. Stopping too long to judge your inspirations will kill them.

During a discussion of Joe’s presentation at breakfast one morning Paul pointed out that all judgment is the result of prior programming. To translate that observation into terms I’ve been using: Our judgments show up as the meaning we give to aspects of our lives, which in turn determines how events occur for us. And the major determinant for the judgments and meanings we give events are the beliefs and conditionings we have at the time. This explains how two people can have such different judgments of the same events.

During this conversation, I realized that the Lefkoe Occurring Process enables us to dissolve the meaning and the judgments and be left in the present, where we can more easily observe our inspirations and notice what is emerging.

Carry your safety with you

I saw Jack at breakfast the final day and told him that one of the things I love most about TLC meetings is that I am able to fully experience and express the profound love I have for people. I can hug, kiss, and verbally tell people how much I love them. I don’t feel nearly as safe elsewhere, except with a few very close friends.

Jack asked me why I could experience and express that love at TLC but not elsewhere. I said that I don’t feel as safe most of the time. Then Jack shared something about himself that was my most valuable piece of information of the meeting: As much as he also loves being at TLC, he feels safe to experience and express his love wherever he is because he carries his safety inside of him; he doesn’t wait for the circumstances to create safety for him.

I knew immediately that that was true and from now on it is incumbent on me to create my experience of safety and not wait for something or somebody outside of me to create it. I made a commitment to him and myself to fully express my love whenever I feel it. And to create the experience of safety so that I am able to feel it.

Please share any comments you have on these thoughts from my TLC meeting this past week.

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