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This is why not knowing is so powerful

It’s no secret – I believe we are in the middle of a shift of paradigm in business. What is really comforting is that we have well tested tools we can put into action to help us benefit and prosper from this shift. The challenge: most of the tools has been developed and tested in contexts and environments, that most business people are not well wandered in. Go for a powerful walk with me, in the land of not knowing.

“The new reality and standards”
Certainty seems to be a common need in most business and humans for that matter. We like to know stuff and that also engenders the urge to spend time predicting the future. We often calm ourselves by reading yesterdays news, take a stand based on what we read and identify ourselves as action oriented professionals.
We tie the knot on the necktie, put on a serious face – everything is now in order, we can go business as usual by preaching we are facing “the new reality and standards”. All is safe and we KNOW what to do.

The “secret” treasure
But not every business plays by these rules anymore. Something has changed – a new bread of businessmen- and women are entering the stage. This article is for the new business bread and the few “old-schoolers” whose experiences “really” have shown them that change is unavoidable. The treed is the “secret” treasure of the mind, when it just doesn’t know.

Philosophical efforts
Let me tell you a personal and exotic story, a personal and exotic story about a powerful transformation. A powerful transformation that shows how mind can control matter, and how that matters in business.
I was a young, fit and ambitious taekwondo fighter. I didn’t create any significant results as a point-fighter, but I gave it my best and trained insanely. As a part of the more philosophical part of my efforts I participated in a Zen Retreat mostly because my great grandmaster insisted that it would be a good idea to do.
A Zen Retreat is conducted in silence, under strict discipline, by a tight schedule and contains a serious amount of sitting meditation. During the days my knees started to hurt. The hours of non-moving sitting was starting to get to me.

The Zen Master
My mind took off; “what if I hurt my knees so bad I cant fight anymore?” “Do I risk my future moving ability?” There was no end to my fear and I also started disturbing the others participants by breaking the silence and ramping on about my concerns.
I didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t a good Zen Student. Suddenly it struck me; “Everyday we have our interview with the Zen Master, and he always ask if I have any questions – I can ask him, and he can deliver a good solid go-away-pain-technique.” I was relieved….. I did know what to do next.

Imposed him my anguish
After all the ritual bowing and greetings I sat in front of the Zen Master, and as predicted he asked me if I had any questions and I imposed upon him with a detailed passion about my anguish. He listened to me narration and after a split second he answered “If your knee hurts you could stand up.”
Flabbergasted I replied; “is that it?” and he gently replied; “If that doesn’t help you can ask the meditation leader to have a chair – was that all?” My mind was passive as had it suffered a electro chock and within 5 seconds I found my self walking back to the meditation hall. I sat without moving and with no pain for the rest of the full retreat.

No more pain, no more thinking
What happened was simple; I didn’t have any clue what so ever what was going on and my mind was forced to accept the “not knowing” part. That acceptance meant no more pain, no more thinking, no more talking – just sitting still with a strong intensity which made me learn a variety of significant thinks about my self. But most important of all – I learned to hold a “don’t know mind”, a mind that does not struggle to understand.

Not knowing is not the answer to everything in life or in business. But what a strong “don’t know mind” can do to creativity and what kind of solutions and ideas it makes us come up with – that can at times taste miraculous and genius.

Write to a close
Certainty often feels good. Knowing feels empowering. But feeling good isn’t a guarantee we succeed in life. Feeling good is rarely the counter strike to changing markets or to decreasing revenue.
It is tempting going to the issue with a subconsciously business as usual approach, but if you really knew the “reasons why”, it would not be happening, you would have prevented it. Business Unusual in this context is a mind-set willing to integrate the power of not knowing the future and by that opening up the possibility to be one of those, who is shaping the future.

You could get struck by genius if you dare!

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