If you're reading this article, then you are probably someone who wants to make your life better by empowering yourself and those close to you through teaching, sharing knowledge, and evolving personally.
So how do you empower someone? If you have learned something that is of great benefit to yourself and others, how do you teach it to another person?
Surely you tell them how much better their life would be with this new knowledge. Surely you explain exactly what they should do and exactly how they should do it.
A good teacher is one who explains every step in detail and instructs their student each step along the way….right?
In my experience of learning, teaching, and sharing knowledge, I have found something very counter-intuitive going on in these situations.
Many times when I had tried to share my most powerful knowledge with others, I was met with resistance.
Many times when I explained the precise instructions for others to follow, they either resisted my teaching or became dependent on me for guidance.
I came to realize there is a critical element that many of us are unaware of…
What is integrity? Better yet, what role does it play in regards to teaching and empowering others?
Integrity is defined as:
1. The quality or state of being complete or undivided; being whole.
2. Steadfast adherence to a code of moral or ethical values, incorruptibility.
I define integrity as:
The state of being connected to source energy in such a way that one's thoughts, words, and actions are aligned as one.
So let me ask you, if a knowledgeable teacher instructs you to do something "for your own good" yet your gut tells you not to do it, what is the integritous thing to do?
If you have a thought or feeling, yet you act according to someone else's opposing thought or feeling, are you not out of integrity?
True integrity means you act in accordance with what you are thinking and feeling, and you speak or write in accordance with what you are thinking and feeling.
We become out of integrity when we quiet ourselves from speaking our truth or when we restrain ourselves from taking the action that we long to take.
Usually this is done out of fear. Fear that others will no longer accept us if we take the action we really want to take, fear that we will lose something if we speak what is really on our mind. So instead, we speak what we think others want to hear or act to what others expect of us.
As teachers, we experience the opposite side of this coin. When we give advice, we may be robbing the other person of the greatest opportunity for power available to them…
The power of decision.
True power comes at the moment of decision. For when a person makes a decision, they are lining up their thoughts, feelings, words, and actions.
They are stepping into integrity.
We often share our knowledge with someone (our thoughts and feelings) and then recommend that they take a specific action. The other person may or may not have enough information to align their own thoughts and feelings to that action.
If they do not have enough information, they will resist taking the action. Why? Because if they take action based on your thoughts and your feelings, they have stepped out of their integrity.
Aren't the most powerful teachers the ones who do least to convince others of their wisdom?
Instead they teach with riddles or questions; anything to provoke thought within the student. For the power for true change occurs when the student makes a decision, that moment of inner realization; not when he takes a specific action.
The power is in the decision to act, not the action itself.
The decision is the lining up of integrity which builds the foundation for power and fuels the energy that is needed to carry out that action.
There is an appropriate time for specific and direct action plans. It is when the student has already made a decision to learn.
Have you ever noticed that over-bearing parents seem to have children who have trouble owning their own strength and making decisions?
Think of the classic example of a parent pushing their child to go to a certain college. If power came from action alone, then going to the right college would empower their child. Yet it doesn't; it comes from entrusting others with the decision.
Decisions build power.
Wouldn't it be better if that parent provided the support for their child going to that college by giving them some articles about the school's expertise, getting them in touch with relatives or alumni who went there, or otherwise focusing on the good aspects of it and then left it up to their child?
The power is in the decision because, in the decision, one takes responsibility for their actions and learns to create self-trust (which is the foundation for power).
You may have noticed this approach on this blog in the way I write. I ask many questions and propose many thought provoking ideas, yet rarely give direct instructions. At the most, I offer suggestions or examples of what I have done.
This is because I do not want to make decisions for you. I want to offer you the conclusions I have reached along with some background knowledge so that you have the opportunity to make a decision for yourself.
In the Yang Town products, I am slightly more direct and action oriented since there is a subtle agreement that has taken place. For example, in Revive Your Sex Drive, if you are downloading it, then you are already making a decision to improve your sex drive. Since this decision has fueled you to take the action necessary to download it, I will offer more direct suggestions so that you can use that energy to revive your sex drive.
If, on the other hand, I was mass emailing people saying "read this book, it will revive your sex drive", then I would be robbing them (to some extent) of the opportunity to decide to improve their sex drive on their own. There would be less energy invested on their part because they did not make a decision and the book itself would be far less empowering.
So in this respect, we empower others by building the support for them to make a decision.
We offer them the knowledge that has served us and allow the essence of who we are to serve as an example to inspire them….then, we let go.