The Magic of Focusing on The Other
Inspired by the words & wisdom of Adam Robinson (@iamadamrobinson).
A noisy and self-absorbed world; that’s where we live.
Chock-full of incessant selfies, FB LIVE abuse and TMI (too much information), a world where self-gratification is externally motivated by likes and follows.
This is the world in which we live, and I’m willing to accept it, but not without one powHERful caveat: My ultimate purpose for navigating this landscape is for the Greater Good.
Here’s the thing: It is SO not “All about you“. Yes, you play a role, perhaps even a leading one; but it’s just one role in a very intricate and impressive orchestra of humanity.
When we arrive at this all-important realization, something clicks. We become believers of The Gospel of The Other and its exponential power. I began to explore this concept on which I’ve built my entire social impact media organization, PowHERhouse, even deeper after enjoying a Tim Ferriss podcast with special guest, Adam Robinson.
“The Gospel of The Other that I introduced in my podcasts with Tim Ferriss (Ep. #219 but also Ep. #210) is a simple vehicle that embraces numerous profound Truths.
First, many great philosophers throughout history, and all religious traditions, advise us of the need to transcend ego, transcend the self and its attachments, as a means not only to escape suffering, but to achieve enlightenment. Focusing on The Other mindfully shifts the focus away from our selves and our egos.
Second, focusing on delighting and creating fun and enthusiasm for The Other is an enlightened moral posture, allowing us to escape the constraints of our personal needs. And in so doing, we simultaneously create and amplify our own fun and delight.
Third, it is only by focusing on and connecting with The Other that we open a cosmic circuit and unleash the energies of the universe, creating magic or miracles. To achieve success in our personal as well as professional lives, it is always a matter of imagination; of creating a vision of what is possible with you, that another person—or company, or movement—says, “Yes! I want to be a part of that with you!”
The gospel clicks internally, and it also clicks externally. The Universe observes that we are ready – and this is key: WE ARE READY – to move beyond ourselves and use our gifts and talents (ie. our fullest potential) for the Greater Good and its Highest Purpose.
Let me give you just a few examples of Canadian leaders who moved beyond themselves to make an incredible impact in the world, and yes, the Universe conspired.
Stephen Lewis is a Canadian politician, public speaker, broadcaster, and diplomat. He could have easily stopped there. Yet in 2007 Stephen Lewis founded AIDS-Free World with Co-Founder Paula Donovan, an international advocacy organization that exposes injustice, abuse, and inequality with a small staff that works virtually from a dozen locations in the US and Canada, Africa, the Caribbean, and Europe.
In 2010, Forbes magazine, in conjunction with their 2010 list of World’s Most Powerful People, asked the feminist playwright Eve Ensler, creator the ground-breaking “Vagina Monologues,” to identify the Worlds’ Most Powerful Feminists. She named Stephen Lewis as one of her top seven.*
Rick Hanson is a Canadian Paralympian, activist, and philanthropist for people with disabilities. Rick was a young all-star athlete who at the age of 15, sustained a spinal cord injury and became a paraplegic. Right then and there, he had every reason to focus on himself and on generating happiness in his own life. But Rick knew happiness is optimized when we use our gifts and talents for a Greater Good.
He embarked on his Man in Motion World Tour in March 1985. I was in Grade 10 at the time and soon became a huge fan as he progressed on a 26-month trek, logging more than 40,000 km through 34 countries on four continents, raising $26 million for spinal cord research and quality of life initiatives, and returning to Vancouver in May 1987. He is hailed as an international hero, and I’m a bigger fan than ever.**
Dianne Whelan is an award-winning Canadian filmmaker, photographer, storyteller, and adventurer currently hiking, cycling, paddling (did I mention skiing?) 24,000 km across the Trans-Canada Trail. Along with 200 other Sunshine Coast women, I had the pleasure of sending Dianne off with a special PowHERhouse fundraiser for her trip back in March 2015.
Dianne sees her journey as a form of personal reconciliation — both with the land and with Canada’s indigenous people. “The trail is this beautiful symbol,” she says. “It’s an umbilical cord that connects us all.” At the 2015 fundraiser, Dianne spoke of how she will use her journey for collective healing.
Listen to Dianne’s speech on how she is remembering the 1,183 Aboriginal women murdered in Canada over the last 30 years.
That evening, Dianne gave me a beautiful paddle. Little did I know that this would be the powHERful catalyst to awaken my journey of self-discovery and acceptance of my own Aboriginal heritage. I began to fully participate in my life’s calling of its Highest Purpose, utilizing the vehicle of PowHERhouse to build strong women who lead, including my Aboriginal sisters across Canada.
So yes, I will continue to thrive in the digital landscape. I’ll participate in FB LIVE videos, and I’ll even post a few selfies. I do so because I believe in the power of media and the possibility and potential of its use for the Greater Good. PowHERhouse is out to demonstrate the role media can play and the impact it can make.
And yes, the Universe is conspiring.
References: * en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Lewis ** en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Hansen *** powherhouse.com/dianne-whelan-hike-bike-paddle-coast-coast-24000-km-trans-canada-trail/ *** powherhouse.com/dianne-whelan-500-days-wild/by