The more you know yourself, the more you accept yourself. The more you accept yourself, the more you accept others. Self-acceptance is the key to personal maturity. Acceptance of others is the key to social maturity.Maturity is no longer what it used to be. In “The Acorn Principle,”maturity means fulfillment of the potential within you, the person you arenaturally designed to become.


Generally you tend to be wherever your body is. But your consciousnesstranscends your physical limits. Again and again we encounter documentedaccounts of a person “knowing” something that is beyond his or herphysical capacity to sense it.

What is called ESP or extrasensory perception is notmagic or mysticism but simply the experience of perceiving somethingbeyond our five senses. All of us have had some experiences of intuition, orgut feelings we couldnot explain logically. The trouble is that most of usdonot have the right words or understanding to discuss and examine thoseexperiences intelligently.

We tend to regard people as machines. We frequently separate body, mind, and spirit. It is as if the dominant belief is: Your bodyis the real youand your mind is what your body uses to direct itself. Thisassumes that your mind is merely a function of your body.

Our intentions are part of our behaviors. Our thoughts manifest as ouractions but not always in obvious ways. Thomas Merton once said, “The thought manifests as the word. The word manifests as the deed. Deeds form into habits. And habits harden into character. So watch your thoughts with care.’’

How do we truly understand each other when there are so many levelson which we operate? Every one of us is an integrated network of livingsystems, each changing from day to day but always following a natural pathof evolution. These living systems that comprise us are so many and socomplex that it is virtually impossible to completely understand them.

Thetruth is there is no fixed location that can be defined as “you.” You are awork in progress, a dynamic living system. And you function within aseries of other living systems. So when you study “you,” you are notstudying a painting or photograph that never changes, you are studying amoving picture from every conceivable camera angle. The best any of uscan do is to sustain a lifelongprocess of self-exploration. Only by continuallynoticing more and more about ourselves will we come to understand whowe truly are.


Many years ago, I had an operation to remove a ruptured appendix.  Whatcontributed the most to my recovery? The medical system that served me then, the natural systems within my body, the belief systems by which I  operate, or the support system of those of my lovedones?

The answer, of course, is that all of these were necessary. Without any ofthem doing its job well, I couldnot have fully recovered. Jim Cathcart believes that: “It is time to expand our thinking, to seeourselves not as a separate entity but as a part of a system within othersystems. In doing so, we open up unlimited possibilities.When we learn to use the systems by cooperating with them andorchestrating what is within them, we can achieve virtually all we desire.”

Everything we do and everything we donot do affect other people, andlikewise we are affected by them. If you contribute your part, everything goes fine.If you do not contribute your part, you increase the burden on other people. “In society, if you are not helping to pullthe wagon, then you are riding in it and making the load heavier for thosewho are pulling it.” In a system, all parts are vital parts.


Those whohave taken any leadership training at all know that people do things for their own reasons, not for yours;and Cathcart believes that is the real definition of motivation. Itmeans to stimulate a motive. So if we want to motivate somebody, whatwe have got to do is not come to him with motivation but rather look insidehim for HISmotives. “Primary motives develop very early in life, as do other individualcharacteristics.”

There are two kinds of motivation, extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsicmotivation occurs when we try from the outside to provide a motive forsome action or behavior.Intrinsic motivation, on the other hand, occurs when we are moved to action because of our internal motivation – when we make conscious effort toachieve a goal because we want it, not because someone else sold us on it.

Dr Denis Waitley reiterates that the secret to great leadership is “to find out what the intrinsic motivations of your followers are, then gear the extrinsic motivators to appeal to those.”The key to intrinsic motivation is in a person’s value system, becausevalues shape who you are and direct why you do what you do.

Each of us has a unique set of values. Valuedenotes the importance ofsomething relative to other alternatives. Values are what you care about, thequalities you find desirable. Values are not attitudes or behaviors, thoughthey form the basis of our attitudes and behaviors. Every decision we makeis based on our own set of values.

For example, some personal values are loyalty, wisdom, love, honesty,justice, and many more. When we make a decision or when we act, weusually do so in accordance with our personal value system. Please let us not confuse values with virtues. Virtues are standards ofexcellence, morally the right, bestactions to take. With values, however, welook at what you care about most, right or wrong, good or bad.

In his research, Jim Cathcart has found seven values that are common to everyone.These arenot values we have learned; rather, they are part of who we are.Theseseven natural values are with you at birth and stay with you throughout yourlife. “These values are in the acorn, part of your very nature.”

They are asfollows:SENSUALITY—the relative importance of one’s physical experience; EMPATHY—the relative importance of feeling connected to otherpeople; WEALTH—the relative importance of ownership and worth; POWER—the relative importance of control and recognition; AESTHETICS—the relative importance of beauty, balance, order, andsymmetry; COMMITMENT—the relative importance of being committed tosomething, having a cause or mission, doing the “right” thing; and KNOWLEDGE—the relative importance of learning and understanding.

We share all seven of these values, but if we were to rank which oneswere most important to each of us, your top values may be different frommine. If my top value is power and yours is knowledge, we will respond toa stimulus in different ways.

None of the values is better or nobler than the others in and of itself. It ishow they are acted upon that determines that. “Our values donot determine whethersomething will appeal to us nearly as much as they determine howthat thing will appeal to us.”

What we care about most drives our interest and our criteria fordecisions. So your highest values cause you to focus on certain aspects of asituation and overlook others until you have handled whatever it is you areconcerned about on your top values. Only then can you effectively focus onthe other parts of it.

The better we understand what is important to others,the more we can attune our own preferences and information to their topvalues, and we will be working in alignment with them from the start.


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