Monday, July 09, 2007

YOYO or WITT....which story works?

Cultural story---I talk about this a lot in Life Puzzle making because everything Life Puzzle does is to help people see the current cultural story--which by and large is the 0-5 reactive, unconscious, maintain status quo at all costs story--and begin to question that story with the new 6-10 proactive, conscious, self-responsibility towards designing a life that works.

America has been defined by the 'pull yourself up by your bootstraps, every man for himself, go West young man and find a fortune" story for the last 100 years. Well, at least it has been in the literature and it certainly is something we've become accustomed to believing is the way to live. And right now we seem to be at the extreme of this story. As the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and the divide between the two of them as been growing steadily over the last 20 years.

But is YOYO (You're on your own) really the American cultural story? Oh yes, its definitely out there--businesses flourish on it...but do humans? Because at the same time as we talk the every man for himself success story, underneath it is a broader story that we're there for each other. Look at Hurricane Katrina--while the government was a failure, everyday Americans took over and helped.

Is the more true American cultural story WITT (We're in this together)? Whether Hurricane Katrina, 911, the Asian tsunami, flooding in Texas, a tornado in Arkansas--people come out to help each other in droves!

In the media--it would appear that YOYO is the story we hear all the time. Reports of Goldman Sachs employees receiving huge bonuses are praised as we reward individuals taking charge, making money in the extremes. Yet at the same time, 45 million people are uninsured and we know we have to find solutions because America is not a country that is comfortable watching this type of disparity become a norm in the land of plenty for all.

So which is it YOYO or WITT? Here's what I can tell you. While YOYO seems to have the upper hand right now, history will bare out that it is not a system likely to be the long term winner. Humans are social creatures and we need each other. I predict that as we continue to push the extremes of YOYO...where a few have a lot but most do not, the dissatisfaction of this system will result in a crumbling and WITT will takeover.

YOYO appears to work for the few on the top--but I can tell you--that is a false illusion! All the work I've done for the last 10 years with Life Puzzle is primarily a result of YOYO's showing up at my door! They would arrive saying "I've got everything I'm supposed to have--house, cars, kids, stuff' so I should be happy now...but I'm not! What's wrong with me????

And I would say...the picture of what you think will make you happy (essentially a YOYO story) doesn't work. It is missing too many of the pieces necessary to make you whole. Life Puzzle teaches a WITT story--and it does because if you look at humans over the last 150,000 years--what you'll find is that for all but the last 10,000 years, we've lived a WITT story. Our shift over the last 10,000 years to a YOYO story has brought us to this crisis--because YOYO is deeply unsatisfying in the long run while WITT works forever!

So, take some time today and ask your SELF...YOYO or WITT? What works for you?

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