What do you know about yourself? Who, what, why are you? What do you Value?

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What do you know about yourself? What do you value? Or in other words, what do you like, what do you want to do? I find this to be a most interesting set of questions today. First of all, many people don’t seem to know how to answer questions of this form largely because they don’t know what they value, and if they do know, they don’t have language for talking about it. In addition there is little awareness that what they value drives what they are drawn to do, to buy, to vote for, or to do just about anything, including what they think about.

What makes people buy and buy when they don't have the money to do so? For some, it's buying itself that they value. But nevertheless, it is values that drive our every act from what clothes to buy, to what apps, to what food and even what we choose to pay attention to, to learn, from moment to moment.

The underlying purpose for values is they are the guides for what and why the actions we choose are perceived by us as "effective?" One-reason values are so hard to talk about is that they are not “things” that we have, or not. They are a vital aspect of our living process given us as an evolutionary navigation tool, as “coherence laws” for our survival and satisfaction for living what we may define a “good life,” or not.

Getting to know "myself" and to answer the questions "who, what and why am I” has long been a spiritual one, yet how does this question serve us today? First perhaps it's because everyone in the world including the government, corporations, software developers, and retailers such as Amazon, Target or Wal-Mart want to know me. They spend billions on "big data collection" so they can know me better than I know myself in many cases. I'm losing a whole lot of autonomy or ability to function according to my own unalienable rights; to act according to my inner self-laws necessary for me to survive as me. So with all the talk about surveillance and privacy invasion by governments, what worries me is how little we are seeing our rights being taken away before our eyes by the apps we choose, the technology with which we surround ourselves from remotes that operate our ovens to the GPS on our cars, in our phones or our choices on Netflix.

I’m not concerned here with what you value, but rather do you know what you value, that is the greater concern.

When I know you better than you know yourself, "I can control you." This has been understood for decades as a means of "brainwashing" used by persuasive communication in elections, or by advertisers to get us to buy products. The advertizing industry knows brilliantly how to appeal to your "not knowing” self, your "shadow side." It’s good for them that we remain as unconscious as possible so as advertisers or persuaders they can manipulate our every action with our “shadow side,” those aspects we don't like about ourselves, and have chosen to ignore or deny. Also there are ways cultural norms and stories are formed around certain valuing dimensions. Cultures collect a series of beliefs about who we should or should not be – behaviors that are acceptable and those that are not. Notice how they have changed over the years. Ever ask why?

I’m not suggesting here that the answer comes from our fall-out with religions or that our science has become our religion. No I’m suggesting it’s happened because we don’t yet know our living natures as well as we know technology ways. Our world has gotten better according to Bill Gates’s evaluation and what values does he hold to make that evaluation?

I’m suggesting there is much yet to learn about who, what, and how we are choosing to be human on this planet at this time. How can we know our living selves, our value driven choices? As living beings we have amazing, forgotten capabilities and there are many ways of knowing and creating from which to act - only being discovered.

I’m calling everyone to join in discovering this knowing we have within each of us about how that works and how we can have an impact on creating a “better life” acting with more consciousness of what is our definition of “good,” and what we are valuing individually and collectively.

Come to a conversation with me on how we can know ourselves? What are the issues and opportunities in our times to access more deeply a fuller capacity for knowing how we recognize "effective actions,” for what we experience as "good." Do you know what you find as "good?" How do you recognize something or someone is good? I offer here that how we know lies, largely, outside our conscious awareness. However with all the new knowledge being shared about technology, I’d like to advance new knowledge about being a living being, and how uniquely we function, not as fixed predictable, cause and effect machines, trapped in our a history of beliefs that no longer serve us. Let’s bring into focus that “four minute mile belief” that needs breaking free, to allow new visions of the possible for realizing a world better than the one we have known. We can break with the controls that hold our human capital captive - free ourselves to create a world of the "good” we choose KNOWING OURSELVES as living beings, not predictable robotic machines. Sign on here to join Learning Conversations on Knowing Ourselves.