The word enlighten implies to gain understanding or insight that reveals information and knowledge previously unknown. Most people use the word enlightened to refer to a time, knowledge or experience that transformed their views of the world. However, enlightenment itself is not about merely changing the way one looks at the world, as the Age of Enlightenment philosophers set out to do, it is also about destruction. Enlightenment is the dismantling and discarding of old, deep-seated beliefs in exchange for new ideas which are better supported by the available evidence.
If there is ever a time when organization’s and individual’s need to be enlightened it is today and then again tomorrow.
The New Age of Enlightenment is here and the new normal is a constant state of disruption. Many can’t see it, don’t believe it and refuse to accept a better way to not only view the world but also a better way to rebuild it. If you accept that the new normal is a constant state of disruption then it is easy to accept that your organizations ought to be in a constant state of destruction followed by rebuilding everything and engaging everyone to help you rebuild something better than before, faster than you could image and keep doing it over and over. Of course rebuilding anything enables everything to be reinvented, improved and guided by the enlightenment gained from the previous cycle of destruction. Everything including the beliefs that created the assumptions from the previous mental models that framed the old ideas about the past value your organization tried to create. Read that again slow.
Are There Steps to Being Enlightened?
There are no seven steps to enlightenment or social groups to join to engage in group therapy about enlightenment. Unlike some of the past attempts to become enlightened drugs will not help you become enlightened. Enlightenment is not a tangible goal that can be defined in a how to manual rather it is a meaningful discovery of human value unleashed by human or organizational constraints. We were all born with continuous enlightenment built into our DNA but the self and institutionally imposed limitations of social beliefs and organizational rules have limited our capacity to be enlightened. Albert Einstein says it best “The true value of a human being can be found in the degree to which he has attained liberation from the self.”
The new Age of Enlightenment is being ushered in by the acceleration of the human network liberating itself from the social beliefs and organizational rules of the 20th century. The first self-awareness towards enlightenment is the shift from “me” to “we” or from an ego-system to an ecosystem. This shift reverberates across nations, society, economics, politics, our environment and businesses globally. The faster the awareness increases and the more profound the disruption the sooner liberation will be obtained for those seeking enlightenment.
Enlightenment also comes sooner or later to those who may not be seeking it. Disruption has a way of awakening the need to let go of self and recognize the need to serve the interest of others before it is too late. Don’t believe it? Wait until your company fails or you get fired.
Wait until your spouse suddenly serves you with divorce papers or suddenly dies or you find out that one or both of your parents have suddenly passed away, or the police department rings your doorbell and tells you your son/daughter has been killed in a car accident or worse have committed suicide.
Then you may learn what enlightenment really means. There is an easier way called seek and you shall find but either way you’ll still need to leave yourself behind.