Published by Matt Church – Founder on 2 August 2022
When things are tough we often want ‘new’ in the hope that we don’t have to deal with the gnarly ‘old’ issues that keep turning up.
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As thought leaders who run advice-based practices, we are often looking to deliver, unearth, or reveal ‘new’ or novel ideas. There is a sense perhaps that the new insight is more highly prized than any other.
It’s easy to love ‘new’, particularly in the short term.
We are attracted to ‘new’ as it has a fresh start vibe to it, a shiny object, syndromic nature.
When things are tough we often want ‘new’ in the hope that we don’t have to deal with the gnarly ‘old’ issues that keep turning up. This is what can drive a serial start-up energy. The start being more exciting than the grind of actually completing things.
And new is just easier, it’s got the exciting freshness of possibility, untarnished by the in-your-face-ness, accumulated reality of the old.
Now don’t get me wrong, ‘new’ is good, fresh is fabulous, shedding old stuff is stunningly useful. And… perhaps our affection for ‘new’ means we are avoiding what’s ‘true’. In my experience, we should privilege the ‘true’, not the ‘new’.
Old and New can battle all they like, jockeying for position and privilege in our scarce attention field. But true has no opposite, we create false as if it’s a thing but it’s really not. False is a label our minds create for what is not true. So there is true and not true. And when you obsess about what’s true, you start to create a simpler way of being with whatever is occurring in or around you. The ‘Is’-ness and ‘As’-ness of the Tolleic moment.
Perhaps then our job is to struggle less for the new, original, unique, trademark-able. And instead, focus on the pursuit of what is true.
But true isn’t always easy…
True is rarely exclusively yours, it’s not terminally unique to you. A true idea emerges simultaneously elsewhere on the planet, Jung might call this synchronicity, truth seems universal. Perhaps great insights come through you for others, not from you to others. We don’t get to possess the truth, as if it was built entirely in the vacuum of our genius. That doesn’t mean it’s open for others to plagiarise but it does mean a lineage, a humility and an orientation towards attribution and honour are appropriate.
The value of a true idea is not the idea itself but rather the experience people have with the idea. As such, it helps to then consider that we might be in the experience business, not the idea business. True then requires us to have a close relationship to the ‘means of production’. It’s hard to systemise and entrepreneurise truth when it’s more effectively delivered experientially via service, not at a distance product-tised. Our job is to make ideas relevant, meaningful, engaging, and practical. There is a bias towards utility over uniqueness towards experiential over educational. Application being the measure of impact and meaning, and meaning preceding monetisation. If people value it and use it, they will pay for it.
In our pursuit of ‘new’, we may spend too long trying to protect what we know and tell everyone how special it is. When we work in the field of truth we become less attached, more in service and generously humble around the work we do as Thought Leaders.
True not new.
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