“The Big Leap” by Gay Hendricks is a great read. It addresses the confounding question of whether or not we as individuals can learn to live in increasing periods of peace, harmony, prosperity and acceptance without doing something to overtly screw things up when we feel good. Perhaps a throwback to our primitive fight or flight instinct, and a strong tendency to live with a scarcity mentality, we almost always follow short periods of prosperity with periods of conflict.
When we enter a period of intense good feeling, we seem to believe intrinsically (and probably unconsciously) that we do not deserve to feel “this good” and our brain perhaps reverts to behaviors that will bring us back down to a more comfortable reality. I personally call it being “comfortably uncomfortable”.
A good example is someone who wins the lotto and a few short years later, is in poverty and frequently worse off than before the big win. The winner has squandered all is winnings and reverted to a more familiar behavior and lifestyle.
Frequently in relationships we fall madly in love and experience a period of bliss but then we begin to shine a light on a perceived flaw in our partner and soon we are arguing and have fallen out of love. Witness the huge divorce rate which is arguably 40% to 50% in the United States.
These behaviors are characteristic and “The Big Leap” asks whether we as individual can learn to live in expanding waves of prosperity free from the pattern of messing things up when they are going well.
The Big Leap provides a methodology for moving forward with our lives and taking the “Big Leap” into our zone of genius, living with prosperity and finding ourselves increasingly happy, prosperous and joyful. It examines the thoughts, feelings and behaviors that limit our ability to experience joy continuously. The book adopts a philosophy that we “upper limit” ourselves and that if we can learn to identify our upper limits, we can examine, and ultimately remove these thoughts and behaviors, eliminating the need to “pull ourselves back” from the brink of prosperity.
This upper limiting behavior is not only characteristic of individuals, but seems to be characteristic of, and permeate the behavior of, our species as a whole. Witness the tendency of the human race to follow periods of prosperity with periods of intense conflict, world wars, regional conflicts and financial devastation. In the last 100 years there have been two world wars, The Korean War, The Vietnam War, The Iraq War, and regional conflicts too numerous to mention. Yet we all live together on one tiny little speck of blue dust in an otherwise immense universe. Why can’t we live in peace, harmony and prosperity?
In a recent interview the author, Gay Hendricks, went on to expand this thought process. He asks, “Can our species live in expanding waves of peace and prosperity free from the pattern of messing things up when they are going well?”
All in all, a great book and a lot to think about.