[Classic post from 3-23-16]
I was reading another quote by Ralph Emerson, where he said, “I pack my trunk, embrace my friends, embark on the sea and at last wake up in Naples, and there beside me is the stern fact, the sad self, unrelenting, identical, that I fled from."
Sometimes we just need to get away, but a great question is from what? Rather than running from something, it is far more beneficial to desire to run toward something because it is what we want. We might often think that we can change our location and scenery and have the refreshment we desire, to renew ourselves, and for a time, that certainly may be the case, yet everywhere we go, there we are, as we take ourselves with us, and all of the baggage of that too.
This reminded me–strange as it seems–about what I learned early in sales called the Ben Franklin Close. When a prospect is on the edge having a hard time deciding and contemplating leaving, the salesperson suggests, “You know, Ben Franklin was one of our history’s wisest men. When he found himself in the situation that you are in right now, he would take out a piece of paper, draw a line down the middle, and on one side he would write “Pros" and on the other, “Cons," and he would list all the reasons why he would do it on the pro side and all the reasons not to on the other, then he would see very clearly which decision to make. How about we try that right now?"
Then, the salesperson would suggest they begin with the pro side, and he or she would be very, very helpful in adding things to that list. When they exhausted the pros, the prospect would move to the cons, and the salesperson would shut up completely. No suggestions at all. That’s the Ben Franklin Close in a nutshell.
Sometimes in our lives, we use this pro and con game on ourselves, except we often begin with the cons. Then, instead of the salesperson helping out or shutting up, our ego pipes in and helps us make a long list on the con side. With the help of our ego, we may find so many cons that we are exhausted, discouraged, and disempowered to the point that we don’t even bother with the pros. What’s the use? we say. It ain’t gonna change anything. It’s just the way it is. I can’t do anything about it.
Here’s where that strange word phrase of “being enlightened," comes to play. Being enlightened only means that we have become aware of the functions within our mind and how it affects our life. Being enlightened means that we can say, “I see you, Mr. Ego, chiming in all the time, trying to protect me, but not letting me have any fun either. I appreciate your good qualities, but you always try to take control. Wrong! I am in control. You are a friend and servant, but I am always in control. I appreciate your input, but I will be making this decision."
Being enlightened is sort of like being outside of yourself and seeing how it all works. It allows me to align with the better part of me, my inner being, the God within, or whatever phrase works for you. You know what I’m talking about because you’ve felt that too. So, I ask, am I in alignment or out of alignment? But, I don’t even have to ask because how I am feeling is my guidance control. If I am feeling good, I am close to or in alignment. The better I feel, the more in alignment I am. If I feel bad, or off, I am out of alignment with my true self. Now the decision I need to make is easy. My pro side has loads of help as if it is the most benevolent of salespeople within.
Running Away Or Eagerly Running Toward? The Pros Have It!
Spread Some Joy Today–Oh, I so love how Ralph said it: Scatter joy! Yes!