10 unexamined assumptions about business – the story of the deer and the electric fence

During the Cold War there was an electric fence between the Czech republic and Germany. Now some 25 years later, the red deer still do not cross the area where the fence once was, even though now it is open and grassy, just as inviting as any other area of the forest. Deer generally live for 15 years…so this pattern of avoidance of a once in existence electric fence has been passed on from earlier deer generations. Read more about this story here.

Are we smarter than the red deer? Are we able to cross the once in existence fence? Chances are, no.

This is what a life of unexamined assumptions creates. We do ‘x’ because it has always been done that way.

Oh…and don’t think that you do not do this…we all do. We are all under some deep illusion about something….

Have you ever examined the following?

1. What exactly is a limited liability business? Why was it created? What is its purpose? Does the purpose align with the purpose of your business? Is there another way?

2. Why do you either sign, or have others sign, a non disclosure agreement, or create a patent? Let’s really unpack that? Is it protection? From what? How successful will that protection be? Really? How much are you choosing fear and scarcity to define your life?

3. What is money? No really…what is money? How is it created? What is its purpose? What does it mean to you? How important is it? What are the alternatives?

4. How does the economy work? Do you have a clue? Who has a clue? The economic advisers of government? What about the economic advisers of big business? (I remember just prior to the GFC, attending a talk by one of Australia’s top economic advisers…and the tales he was telling about the glories of our current economy. It was all spin and seduction…I intuited that he knew the truth but was so heavily invested in the mythology that he had to lie.)

5. What is the purpose of business? Really? What is the purpose of your business? Do you know? Do you care? Does it matter?

6. How much of your life is ruled by scarcity? Seriously…scarcity of money, time, resources, love, sex, food, alcohol, adrenalin, the hit???

7. What is abundance? How much time do you think about abundance? (In distinction to scarcity?) What is in abundance in your life and work?

8. What is free? Really free? Are you free? If not, what are you captive to? Do you even know? Maybe you are captive to the slave of shiny success and status?

9. Do we still live in a patriarchal society? If yes…what are you doing to keep that alive…really…right down to the old customs of marriage, naming, expectations of who does what…If no…why not…?

10. If you dare, lets jump into religious/spiritual beliefs. What are yours? Why do you believe these things? What happens when we die? What is life? What is spirit?

These are not small questions…and they are just a random few selected from a vast potential pool of unexamined questions…

We walk earth in a stupor of unquestioned assumptions…..embedded mythologies, ancestral patterns…

Only recently I found in my own life that I was praying to a vengeful God, a white guy in the sky who was punishing me for some unknown thing…this was very very subtle…occurring below my conscious thought…so subtle that when it was pointed out to me by my teacher I was gobsmacked….but of course being raised in a white Christian society it is hard for these mythologies to not become part of our DNA. I went to Sunday school as a child, spent some years in a Christian girls school…marching off to Church each Sunday dressed from head to toe in white…so while I have not described myself as a Christian for most of my life, instead preferring the more flexible word ‘spiritual’, the ‘original sin’ penetrated me without my conscious awareness.

And today on a call the expression “what is your mother’s maiden name?” came up. We take this question for granted. But who said women should give up their names to the man? And while it may sound trite, the reflex of doing this reinforces the patriarchy. Whether we want it to or not.

To become aware of our ‘once there but now removed’ electric fences is important work. This is where we can find true freedom…where we actually do get to choose…with consciousness.

I invite you to consider your electric fences.

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