A few weeks ago I ran into Deepak Chopra in front of his new storefront in NYC.
After a little goading from my wife, I walked over and introduced myself, thanking him for many years of inspiration.
Note: I recently wrote in a blog that I was having a harder time connecting with Deepak. This view was seeded by Dan Harris’s book 10% Happier, in which he takes a critical look at America’s self-help personalities.
But after speaking with Deepak, I realized… he is AWESOME. Super nice, personable, cool. And he was kind.
I realized how badly the media distorted my perception of Deepak, not to mention life in general.
And I wonder what other judgments I am making right now that are inaccurate and based on misquoted articles, interviews, and unfairly portrayed descriptions of people, movies, and places.
Forming our own opinions takes courage and grit that can only come from real life experiences. Whether it’s an opinion about a person fueled by gossip rather than direct encounter…
…or an opinion about a company read online rather than felt through your hands and hearts, these types of opinions are unfounded and unfair.
Take a cure from those who have successfully risen above the bull$hit.
General Electric’s legendary chairman Jack Welch was notoriously intimidating to those who worked under him. But he commanded their respect.
Said a former General Electric employee, “The only thing Jack Welch really cared about was how strongly you believed in the view you were presenting. He didn’t need to agree with you. What he needed to know is that you believed in [your opinion] and that you knew in your heart it was the right thing.”
In other words, Jack Welch had respect for opinions that were earned, not learned.
So if you, like me, are reading way too many blogs (like this one)…
…skimming through way too much social media (because God knows there’s no shortage)…
…and regurgitating everyone else’s views…
…you, like me, might need a much needed break.
When there’s no room in your mind, there’s no space for new ideas.
If there’s no space for new ideas, there’s no possibility for new opportunities.
If there’s no possibility for new opportunities, there’s no chance for greatness.
When I told Deepak on that beautiful Spring day in New York City, “Thank you for introducing me to meditation and inspiring me to launch my own meditation company with a fresh spin on the ancient practice,” he placed his hand on his heart as if to insinuate…
…there are no words.
Anyone can use words. But feelings can only be generated by personal experience.
Next time you are getting sucked into the vortex of somebody else’s words and opinions, ask yourself these questions:
What do I feel with my heart?
What do I see with my eyes?
What do I dream with my mind?