“What guides you?” It was an interesting and earnest question, posed to me by a client. It implied all manner of things from morals to ethics and beyond. However, this question wasn’t posed to hear about my professional code of ethics (certified coaches have one, it is several pages long and a bit of a dry read), it was posed to better understand the unbreakable rules I hold myself true to.
There is no shortage of examples, like the Hippocratic oath and many other widely publicized codes of conduct; chivalry to the Ten Commandments…the “Prime Directive” on Star Trek. Every public organization has crafted a “code” for themselves that you can find on their website if you look hard enough. All of these examples provide guidance on how we should act, how we should conduct ourselves. How we should…we don’t always.
Which begs the question, is there an unbreakable rule that you feel so strongly about you use it almost unknowing to guide your actions? This is less transient then a social nicety and more sweeping then making sure you don’t physically bring harm to someone. A line in the sand that encompasses your morals, values and beliefs in a simplified and clear way; just part of who you are. A constant.
A client I was working with received a new job, and all the obligatory paperwork that came with it. He very nearly didn’t end up with the job because of the insistence that the paperwork was routine and didn’t need to be read through thoroughly before signing. He understood that his desire to read through each page before signing was somehow indicating to his new employer that he did not trust them. Fortunately he caught the nuance and was able to help his new employer understand that he had a guiding principle about signing paperwork and would be happy to bring it back tomorrow, allowing them to move on with things, while putting to bed any concerns about trust. How would you have dealt with pressure to “just sign” something, especially when you really needed that “something”?
More than the principle itself is what it calls for in us. Having a guiding principle helps us to be alert to what is going on around us, and in so doing, attend to things in a way we may not have anticipated, bringing forward what is needed to reach deeper understanding. It is pretty easy to avoid intentionally bringing physical harm to someone. Most of us are also good at steering clear of unintentionally causing harm too (thanks to lessons from our youth). Yet, each of us can likely bring to mind a time when we felt uncomfortable about something – an early warning sign from our internal guidance system. What makes you uncomfortable? What is the discomfort telling you? Is it a part of what guides you?
This process of being “awake” is important; it points to who we are, how we see ourselves and how we like to be seen by others. A form of consciousness, “What guides you” is a very important question, one worth considering.
What guides us makes us who we are, whether we are aware of it or not. What guides you?
“Whomsoever may torment you, harass you, confound you, or upset you, is a teacher. Not because they're wise, but because you seek to become so.” – TUT (Notes From The Universe) http://www.tut.com/Inspiration/nftu
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I believe in giving back to others in many tangible ways. When I learn something new, or see something that might help others, I share it using my blog and website. You can always find my latest blog entries here, on Face Book or Linked In.