Why do some entrepreneurs manage to defy social gravity and thrive, while most go down in flames? How is it possible to attract a truly passionate following through social media? Why is the marketing mindset that worked in years past falling flat today? What’s the best way to find security in a flat, upside-down, digitally connected world where cultural and economic boundaries are collapsing like cut-rate lawn chairs?
These questions are impossible to answer in any satisfying way without first challenging many conventional beliefs about the nature of human communication.
The traditional sender-receiver model of communication starts from the assumption that people are separate. This approach suggests that our main leverage for influence comes from information as it crosses the channel between ourselves and those we seek to influence. Our own private thoughts — our intentions, listening style, and habitual assumptions about those we engage — are irrelevant unless they result in information that might be detected and decoded. This is a simple, common sense way to frame communication. Unfortunately, it neglects that deeper connective tissue of social reality that all game-changing leaders in history have accessed to achieve the impossible.
The natural laws and principles of Self-Authorship Theory***** tell a different story entirely. According to this framework, separation is not fundamentally real and communication is essentially an act of collaborative reality creation. Through this lens, the cognitive frames people use for making “rational” decisions evolves over time, orchestrated at a deeper layer of social reality by a natural intelligence that connects all people behind the veil of ordinary “us vs. them” perception.
Overcoming the purpose paradox
Hear more from Carol Cone on how B2B and B2C companies are implementing purpose — and what may be holding them back — at SB'20 Long Beach.
Starting from this “both/and” premise, we come to see that our subjective experiences have a huge impact on the effectiveness of our communications because our subjective and objective experience of the world cannot be ever be truly disentangled. According to this paradoxical co-authorship communication model, in the act of observing the social world we are also actively creating the very social world we perceive. How we think is what sets our creative trajectory in relation to human culture as a whole. The natural laws that orchestrate this process are dynamic, non-linear and thoroughly musical.
Viewed this way, every person’s subjective experience is a microcosm of the entire orchestra of human nature reflected from one singular point of view. Our thoughts co-arise in every moment in concert with the whole, attracting and repelling others based upon natural resonance patterns orchestrated by nature’s musical genius. One’s true voice (or “VOICE”) is the natural “instrument” he or she is instinctually equipped to play to contribute perfectly to the whole. When a person aligns with this instinctual knowing, they place themselves on their natural path to shared thriving. When a person, group or culture becomes disconnected from this instinct, zero sum thinking prevails.
The creative trajectory of people without VOICE alignment is limited, frustrating and filled with irresolvable dilemmas. This isn’t because nature is cruel but because of what we call matching resonance patterns between one’s inner and outer worlds. At higher levels of Self-Authorship the “like attracts like and opposites attract” principle of resonance leads people join with healthy like-minded people who truly value them what we offer and who challenge them to reach their true potential. At lower levels it leads them to attract and surround themselves with like-minded people with similar problems, who challenge them to grow exhausted.
For the record, all of this has been directly derived from interpreting empirical data. No moral or spiritual agenda is intended or implied. Like the laws of physics that determine whether or not a rocket will reach orbit, the natural laws of Self-Authorship are universal, impersonal, and thoroughly democratic. These laws suggest that all social hierarchies and cultural barriers are ultimately fabricated because human beings are paradoxically connected an unconscious level. Because our minds appear to be plugged into the “grid” Nature’s Orchestrating Wisdom (N.O.W.), to find our true VOICE we must be willing to stand and speak for the whole. This why when a VOICE-aligned communicator speaks, others experience their words and ideas as their own — in a very real way they are*.*
All of this happens under the surface of everyday thinking, at the level of being. When our listening attitude, intentions, and information are coherently organized and aligned in the act of communication; we pierce the veil of separation that most people habitually assume to be “just he way it is” reality. Speaking from that invisible but unmistakably potent layer of shared experience, people master the gift of creative vision. Not ordinary everyday vision but deep, penetrating, creative vision into the unseen order of social life operating in the present moment where inspired new future possibilities arise like invisible flowers waiting to be picked. Vision of this sort gives us the power to create new realities from zero by seeing them and standing for them in the present. Aligned with this plane, any willing person can own the frame and change the game in today’s VOICE-hungry world. The only barrier is belief.
“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us, "Universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thought and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.”
*****The principles and practices of Self-Authorship Theory are outlined in my book “The VOICE Code: How All Great Minds Think Alike” to be released in the summer of 2014.