The Art Of Discernment: Part 2
“Discerning: The Big Idea”
Think back to a recent big idea you’ve had: An idea for a new product or service that you just knew you could be wildly successful if you only had all the right resources. Or perhaps it was something that you just deeply want to do because of the positive impact it would have in the world. Or perhaps it was something that you think would just be a ton of fun to do. If you’re reading this, then chances are you are the sort of person who won’t have to think too far back. You may have even had a big idea today!
These big ideas contain the seeds of our highest potential, but often these ideas never make it past the gate. Fear, self-doubt, or even just a full schedule is often all it takes for them to be lost and forgotten. Other times we take action towards making them a reality, only to be faced with mounting obstacles that drive us to abandon them.
There have even been some cases of people actually seeing their big ideas all the way through to success, but the stress and the strain of getting to that point has cost them more than they ever expected, and they end up wishing they had never begun.
But then there are some who have seen their big ideas through to success, and while they do report having put in some hard work along the way, mostly they report that everything they needed just seemed to show up exactly at the point they needed it. Their big idea is truly an expression of their authentic self, and they stand gratefully in their spotlight, sharing their wealth, and serving to inspire a whole new generation of visionaries.
I would say that this latter bunch either had some very connected friends and relatives, :) or (whether they know it or not) have mastered the art of discernment. Fortunately this form of art doesn’t rely on a deft hand, a strong sense of color, or an ability to see the sculpture in the block of marble. And while enlisting the help of a discernment “artist” can dramatically shorten the learning curve, almost anyone can learn to discern if they are willing to get inwardly still. You ready to give it a shot? Try this:
The next time you come up with a big idea, use it as an opportunity to hone your ability to discern inspiration from aspiration. First, get very still, and deeply feel the energy of that idea in your body. This step is key. Rate the feeling on a scale of 1-5 in terms of the degree of “clarity”: the degree to which you are sure of its alignment with the fullest possible expression of yourself. If it’s a really juicy idea, chances are it’s a “5”, but keep in mind that so many of our “non-starters” have been “5’s” as well. :)
Now, write the idea down somewhere safe, and then drop the idea . . . entirely. Smile. Breathe. Feel the wonderfully expansive freedom of weightlessness as the idea’s prepackaged complications are lifted off your shoulders. Recognize the gift of even having had the idea: after all, you now have a data point to compare future ideas to. You are on your way to honing your ability to discern!
If the idea arose from inspiration, it will eventually join you in that space created when you dropped it. The wonderful thing is that when it does join you, it won’t carry the same weight. Take it and enthusiastically run with it as far as you possibly can (or want to), making sure to make use of your rating scale for the big and little decisions along the way.
Inspired ideas will inform the other activities in your day, rather than the other way around. You will find resources you never knew you had. Most of all, you will serve as an inspiration for others to do the same.
Now as new ideas arise, feel the energy of those ideas in your body. How does it rank in terms of the degree of clarity compared to your established data point? Continue experimenting and collect more data points to compare to the others you have collected. Congratulations: you are learning to discern!
Tomorrow in Part 3, we will look at how we can use the little ideas in our everyday life to further hone the art of discernment.