This is entry two in this new themed series of blog posts in which, as part of my ongoing quest for greater self awareness and my continued personal and professional development, I pick a key word and write about it for a set amount of time. Feel free to leave a comment on here with a new word for me to investigate or you could suggest one on Twitter (@Iain_D_Stewart).
This week the key word is POWER. I’ll be writing for twenty minutes.
What is the first thing that comes to mind when I hear the word power? Money. If you have money you have influence, a form of power, over others. People want to be associated with you if you are rich and powerful. A phrase that resonated throughout my childhood was “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely”. I think it was from a film or a comic, but it stuck with me for a long time and as such, I had purposefully avoided having power for fear of corruption. It’s funny how little things like that get stuck in your head and you live by them without even realising. Nowadays I don’t think power is bad. It’s all about mindset. It’s what you do with the power that counts.
With regards to money, it brings to mind the book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”. It helped shift my perceptions of money and power, and made me realise that it’s not morally wrong to have either. It makes life easier and more rewarding. Not everyone is born equal, and as hard as it is to swallow, not everyone is born to be equal. I had never really been motivated by money when I was younger, I was happy to live from payday to payday, on minimum wage with minimum effort. My son being born changed this. Finding The Red Pill changed this. I told myself to believe that I could be a better person, I could do more good in the World, I could have a more fulfilling job, and I could earn more money.
The second thing that comes to mind when I hear the word power? Strength. Physical strength conveys power through mere appearance, let alone feats of lifting very heavy objects. Intimidation. Back in the days when a human had to potentially rely on this attribute for not only his survival, but the survival of his family, his legacy, it truly was survival of the fittest. Every man had to be strong to protect and lead his family. Nowadays strength is seen to be not as important as it used to be, but at what cost? Strong husbands that lead have the support of their wives. Strong, cohesive family units with fathers and mothers raise strong children that need less course correction later on in life. I’ve observed this in real life.
The third thing that comes to mind when I hear the word power is: self awareness. It is a superpower. I’ve come to realise this over the last year or so. Having high self awareness is a super power because really, if someone insults you and it’s not true, you know it’s not true and the insult won’t affect you. If someone points out a flaw in you and it is true, then you know it’s true, and you’ve accepted it and possibly even integrated it as your shadow into your self, and as such it will not stir up an emotional response in you. Either way, someone insults you and you are unflinching. A decent amount of self awareness leads to high emotional intelligence, which is the ability to recognise different emotions in yourself and others, and harness this knowledge for your benefit.
The book I mentioned earlier, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”, also brought the Japanese parable of the three items of power to my attention. The three mythical items are the jewel, the sword and the mirror. The jewel represents money, assets and wealth. The sword represents physical strength and military power. The mirror, represents self awareness, knowledge and wisdom. After money and strength had popped up as one and two then there was only one thing that number three could be, and that theme formed the basis of this post.
Also, I forgot to set the timer so I wrote for a bit longer than I intended to.