This article provides some key truths for life, personal development, spiritual development, professional development, leadership development, and organizational development.
The truth is an objective reflection of reality that is not quantifiable or measurable, and is not based on data, like a fact. Some truths are self-evident. The truth is, sometimes it is tough to understand the difference between a truth and a personal belief, because truth is interpreted through our personal beliefs and some truths cannot be proven, and might be better expressed as a belief. This doesn’t mean there is no truth, and it should not get in the way of us being open to, and constantly seeking, knowledge of truth.
Consider someone saying something exists and another person saying that same thing doesn’t exist. They are both beliefs and they can’t both be true, but one must be true. Every book I’ve read by business experts agrees that sustainable business success requires leaders to respect, value, and act on truth and facts. I submit our world depends on how we, as individuals, respect, value, and act on truth and facts.
Truth for life can be controversial...
Guarantees in life include change, challenges, opportunities, choices, and 1,440 minutes each new day (Krause, 2020). How we communicate truth with ourselves determines our future. How we communicate with others determines how we understand them and how they understand us. People are naturally selfish and emotional beings with the capability to rise above our selfishness and emotions by logically identifying as self-controlled or self-disciplined and practicing self-controlled and self-disciplined thoughts, emotions, and actions. When in doubt, clarifying with humble sincere questions, not leading loaded questions, will result in better communication.
There are two types of opportunity, natural and human-made, and our natural abilities are natural opportunities to develop ourselves (Krause, 2020). Human beings either develop opportunities or wait for opportunities from their environment, by following the path of least resistance and just having fun. All development is a recurring process of discover, design, and deliver (Krause, 2020). Development is a type of sacrifice, or putting aside what we want in the moment for what we want most for our future. The five core types of development are personal, spiritual, professional, leadership, and business (Krause, 2020).
Our physical bodies are all made of the same elements of the earth. We are all a unique combination of genetics, desires, and experiences. We all have the same basic human needs and motivations, and either of these can drive the other. Our basic human needs are physiological (physical), safety, belonging (love), self-esteem, and self-actualization as explained by the human nature professional Abraham Maslow. Basic human motivations are power, pleasure, and purpose, as explained by the human nature professionals Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, and Viktor Frankl. Humans are more likely to be motivated by power, or pleasure, when we are not motivated by purpose (Frankl, 2006). Logic and emotions are sometimes in conflict, and emotions often try to manipulate our logic, or twist the truth.
Personal Development Truths
Personal development is the discipline of self, the art of fulfillment, and the science of achievement (Krause, 2020). Personal development can increase our knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. Knowledge is based on truths of what things do, and who people are in character (beliefs and values). Understanding is based on principles of how multiple truths or things interact, and how people will probably react or respond in a specific situation. Wisdom is applying our knowledge and understanding to make better choices (Krause, 2020).
Some of our most important skills are gaining wisdom, communication, being resourceful, values-based decision-making, managing our habits, and relationship building. Most of the time, communication that is calm, clear, courageous, and compassionate is most effective (Krause, 2020).
Some of our most important choices are whether or not to believe there is a spirit realm or God, how we are going to lead ourselves, whether or not we will marry, and if so, who we marry (Krause, 2020). How we develop our skills and make these important choices will determine our life.
Different environments have different types and levels of human-made opportunities. Even if we find ourselves in a more challenging environment, we can still improve our life through developing our natural opportunities, which can increase our personal purpose and achievements. Developing our abilities will more likely attract human-made opportunity that is outside of our immediate environment. Specific thoughts and emotions can have a spiritual connection.
Spiritual Development Truths
The fact that humans can have such a variety of thoughts and emotions, sometimes outside of our normal behaviors, and even while trying to be calm and not think about anything, could be considered evidence of a spirit realm. Some quantum physics theories could be considered as evidence of a spirit realm, considering the quantum theories of unpredictability, tunneling, entanglement, and decoherence.
If there is a spiritual realm, we are connected to it by our thoughts and emotions, consciously and subconsciously. Our thoughts and emotions are usually based on our basic human needs, motivations, or desires of the flesh. Our desires of the flesh include ego or pride, anger, lust, envy, and fear, and these often attempt to misuse our spirit and manipulate our motivations. Our thoughts and emotions create our beliefs, that lead to values, which set our standards, which build our habits, which determine our future (Krause, 2020).
Professional Development Truths
The areas of professional development are the organization we are in, the industry, and the market or customer segment. The forces of professional development are knowledge, skills, resources, and relationships. The more we professionally develop our professional development forces in each professional development area, the more competitive we are (Krause, 2020).
Spending one hour a week seriously studying a topic or working on a skill, will result in 52 hours of professional development each year. Carefully and seriously investing this amount of time, or more, in our professional development, will probably attract human-made opportunities.
Being serious is often thought of as being negative, however, no significant development, or achievement, is completed without being serious about it. When challenges arise (whether directly in our circle of influence or in our circle of concern) our core default emotions are fear, anger, sadness, or silliness, which will not serve our future as well as being calm, clear, courageous, and compassionate. If we have a desire to be a specific type of person or to achieve something, then we are responsible for leading our present self to that future self or achievement, and this only happens by being serious about it.
Leadership Development Truths
Leadership is influence and responsibility. The types of leadership are self, parental, informal, and formal… Leadership sets the immediate environment, empowers with expectations, knowledge, and empathy, equips with skills and resources, and encourages with appreciation and inspiration (Krause, 2020).
A great way to empower with expectations and knowledge and encourage with appreciation and inspiration is with a simple one-page written employee agreement and a simple one-page written employee performance plan (Krause, 2021). Our verbal communication can often be misunderstood and forgotten, or misremembered, as time passes. A high-level written employee agreement serves as a forcing function, or leverage, to help leaders clarify their expectations about what is most important for a specific position, which gives priceless direction and clarity to their employees and helps them be more productive. A written employee performance plan further details expectations based on the constantly changing pressures of an organization. A performance plan can be updated monthly or quarterly, with more specific tasks for a specific position for a specific time frame.
Leadership can be natural and it can be taught and trained. Leadership development is based on professional and personal development. Leadership is the most important factor in any organization, because they communicate the vision and values, and they make all the important decisions like the idea, team, planning, strategy, and how to manage finances.
Organizational Development Truths
The seven key disciplines of business are leadership, culture, strategy, marketing, sales, finances, and innovation (Krause, 2021). A business can be successful by just focusing on marketing, sales, and finances, but they will not reach their potential. A truthful, trusting, & disciplined culture performs, strategizes, and innovates best. Strategy is based on developing competitive advantages, which there are more than a dozen types (Krause, 2021). Innovation is no longer an option if an organization wants to grow and sustain long-term success. Innovation can be done in the business model, strategy, or profit levers (Krause, 2021).
If a leader thinks leadership, culture, strategy, and innovation are mainly buzzwords to make people sound smart, that is probably what the most successful organization's in their industry want them to think. There are many people and organizations who have studied these disciplines for decades and have written books about how to develop these disciplines with specific processes. While a nonprofit or government organization might not have marketing and sales, they still have the important disciplines of leadership, culture, strategy, finances, and innovation.
The number of years that a business stays on the Fortune 500 list is shrinking, despite the fact that our collective knowledge about leadership, culture, strategy, and innovation continues to gain clarity and increase.
When people (especially leaders) lie, deceive, and manipulate, it triggers sadness, anger, or both, and often with a subconscious justified feeling to reciprocate the actions, which can lead to a downward spiral of negativity and harmful actions for everyone involved. The more we can overcome lies, accusations, deception, manipulation, and corruption, with wisdom, integrity, courage, and compassion, the better our world will be. Trust is built with vulnerability, empathy, safety, truth, respect, and like-mindedness (Krause, 2021).
Sometimes everyone doesn’t need to know the truth because it can cause unwarranted fear that results in negative thoughts and behaviors that could lead to an unfortunate situation that might not have happened if the truth was not known and fear was not allowed to grow. On the other hand, there are times when leaders feel like they shouldn’t tell their people the truth, when that is exactly what they should do. Don’t underestimate people’s ability to rise to the occasion and collaborate to overcome a negative situation and fear. When in doubt, talk about the situation with a close friend, a mentor, or a coach, basically someone who will not be directly effected by the consequences, which allows a more logical perspective.
There was a situation with a small business during the COVID-19 pandemic where it was losing so much money the owner realized they would have to shut the business down in a few months if things didn’t change. The business owner wasn’t sure whether he should tell his employees for fear they would lose hope and maybe quit and go look for other jobs. Not telling them would give them all a few more months at their current level of performance, and who knows, maybe it would be over in a few months. The people he talked to about it recommended it would be best to tell his employees.
He scheduled a long meeting with his employees and made sure everyone agreed to the purpose of having an honest, courageous, and compassionate discussion about their options, based on truth. They quickly came to the understanding that it would not be in their best interest to quit and look for another job, because almost all businesses were struggling during this time. Their conversation got heated at times, as one department made comments about how other departments could save money. The owner did a good job at keeping the conversations focused on options and not becoming turf wars or digging up past issues.
They eventually all agreed to a few ways they could cut some costs and get more productive. They also all agreed to take a pay cut, including the owner, and they would each take time off, or vacation time, where they didn’t have to be paid for a week or two. Implementing all these options allowed the business to continue through the pandemic.
I will close with some truths mixed with some of my personal beliefs I’ve developed after reading many popular development books.
History is a good guide for the future. Polybius was an ancient Greek historian who was born around 200 BC. Polybius studied societies and wrote The Histories where he explains there are six types of governments. There is the monarchy or the rule of one, the aristocracy or the rule of a few, and a democracy or the rule of many. There are also three degraded versions (from the view of the people), which are tyranny, oligarchy, and mob rule. The difference is the pure forms of government have some kind of constitution that is well thought out and provides freedoms and laws for the people, and the people exercise their will to abide by the constitution. (Polybius, 2014). He also points out that each government has a phase of growth, perfection, change, and end (Polybius, 2014).
I submit that all societies and organizations are in competition with others and the more they can align and collaborate around a common purpose the more competitive they will be. The more they fight internally the more it can open up weaknesses that the competition can exploit. The question is how can the power brokers of a society get together and decide to change back towards growth and not follow the natural course to the end of the society?
Most people have more personal power than they know, and can achieve more than they think they can, but it starts by developing the desire and discipline in thoughts, emotions, and action.
We all have 1,440 minutes every day, and if most people sleep 8 hours, work 8 hours, prep, eat, and drive to and from work 4 hours, then they still have about 4 hours, or 240 minutes every day. Schedule at least 30 minutes for some exercise and 30 minutes for some kind of learning, at least 3 days a week.
Some people can truly choose to change in a moment or overnight, but for most of us it takes time and help to change, and it often happens little by little. Change often happens with consistent investment in our knowledge to renew our thoughts, emotions, desire, and discipline, and sometimes after multiple failures, which is fine. We can learn from failure and renew and restart smarter. Our self-talk conditions our subconscious mind to either think and feel like we have set abilities, or we are capable of positive change. You are capable or positive change.
If you commit to achieve your goals, you will either get closer to your goals, you will reach your goals, or you will achieve more than imagined. You can find virtual mentors and accountability partners in books and online. Consider starting by developing an evening routine that helps you relax, review your day, tomorrow’s tasks, and gets you to bed in time to get enough rest to have an energized and focused morning routine that gets your mind right. A good morning routine can include quiet time with reading, thinking about your goals, affirmations, and exercise, and if you believe in God, pray.
Compound interest doesn’t just apply to money, it also applies to our knowledge, health, and relationships (Krause, 2020).
Frankl, V. (2006). Man's Search For Meaning. Boston: Beacon Press.
Krause, J. A. (2020). Opportunity Truth. Colorado Springs: Solution Check LLC.
Krause, J. A. (2021). Business Truth. Colorado Springs: Solution Check LLC.
Polybius. (2014). The Complete Histories of Polybius, Translated by W. R. Paton . Unk: Digireads.com.
If you enjoyed this article please consider sharing it, and check my other articles; Life Lessons: A letter to my younger self, and 33 Pieces of Advice that Could Improve Your Life Today. You can also find some good information on the other pages of this website. Or, get my book Opportunity Truth which provides a three level opportunity system with the ten key principles for life, including highlights at the end of each chapter for a quick read, and epic movie scenes that support the principles and keep it entertaining, if you want to read the whole book. You can find Opportunity Truth at Amazon.com. Whether you get my book or not, I hope this article helped to renew your thoughts and desire to invest in yourself. Please share it if you think it could help others.
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