Going beyond memory


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I operated my first, very basic computer in the early 1980’s. Back then as a six year old little girl, I used the computers in our primary school's learning lab to practice reading and math. We also played games to learn shapes and understand simple geometry. And we accessed pre-written programs from large, floppy discs. Remember those?

Later on in the early 1990’s, I found myself back in the computer lab at Agnes Scott College, writing papers, pulling all-nighters and living on coffee and sugar. By then, discs were getting smaller and we used them to save important information. Remember those 3.5 inch floppy disk cartridges in all kinds of fun colors that you could label with a pen?

Later still in the 2000’s and 2010’s, floppy discs had become obsolete and we were saving all of our data – anything and everything we knew or had experienced and wanted to remember and be able to call up at any time – on our computer’s hard drive or on the Internet.

Today, there’s almost nothing you could be curious about, that you couldn’t find the answer by googling it on your smart phone in a minute. Believe me, I know.

My younger sister was recently here in Germany, visiting from the US. And every time she didn’t know something about a road sign, a city we were in or a cultural reference, she googled it immediately.

Information is literally at our finger tips. And particularly over the last four decades we've gotten really good at and also really comfortable with working from memory.

But I’m not just talking about the kind of memory found in modern technology. I’m also talking about our own and best personal computer. The human body, including our brain, guts, muscles, DNA etc. In this manifestation in the form, we also save everything.

We record know-how that we’ve picked up on our journey through life. We save skill sets that we have acquired through interest and practice. We collect good and bad experiences and corresponding conclusions and beliefs. We register imprints of viruses and illnesses. And so on and so forth.

As people in business we refer to memory (inside and online) to find out which business or marketing strategies have worked for us or for others in the past. Memory reminds us of the things we are intrinsically great at (e.g. speaking freely on video) or have worked hard to master (e.g. sales conversations). We rely on memory to tell us which types of tasks bring us pleasure, but also what things we usually hate to do. Etc.

And as business men and women we’ve learned or been told that working from memory is desirable, reliable and safe. And in fact, working from memory can be cool. I mean, why rediscover the wheel at every turn, right?

But maybe the better question is: „Is there something beyond memory that we haven’t been looking for or paying attention to enough?“

The answer in my mind is: yes, absolutely. So, let’s have a look together.

(Before we do that, just as a disclaimer: the following insights are based on what I personally have seen on the topic of beyond memory. Please don’t take my word for it. But rather, look in the direction of beyond memory with me and see what you can see for your self. Let’s go!)

For a moment, imagine you want to create something new in your business. Perhaps you have an idea for a series of lessons that you would like to put into a sequence and offer as an online course. And suppose you want to get that course out to thousands of people online.

Where would you start? Pause here for a moment and think about it.

Most people would start working from memory.

They might start by asking themselves, „What do I already know about the topics of the series that I can share?“. They might consider how they’ve created content in the past and choose a format of delivery they've previously been good at. They might ask a masterminding partner what they've done to be successful at reaching more people online. They might buy a book, hire a coach or take a class to help them launch their course.

That's working from memory  – from their own memory or from the memory of others. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with working from memory.

But here’s the thing …

For most of us, working from memory is part of our conditioning and an automatism that we rarely question. When we are working from memory, we are usually doing so on autopilot, unreflected and unaware of another option.

Now let’s imagine you want to create something in your business. But this time, let’s pretend that there’s no memory to work from. You’re starting from a clean slate and you need a fresh source of insight.

(Please notice and I’ll repeat: You’re not looking for existing information, you’re looking for fresh insight. These two things are entirely different.)

Where do you look? Take a moment to consider this.

Wherever you look, it must be beyond memory … somewhere not on the floppy discs, not on your hard drive, not on the Internet, not within the information field of your own body and not in someone else’s documented experience.

For me, what I have started to see is this …

There is something greater than me of which I am also a part. A deeper intelligence behind life, from which I sprang forth and with which I am deeply connected. When I am currently conscious enough and want to go beyond memory, I go there. I go to the well, an unlimited source of fresh thinking, ideas and impulses.

How I get there is simply by noticing the feeling of that source energy. It’s a soothing stillness, a subtle feeling of something wanting to come through me, a gentle nudge in a certain direction or an inclination to speak to a particular person.

When I go to the well, I could get pointed back to a useful piece of information on my personal memory stick. But I could just as easily be guided to try something entirely new – even if I can’t see why and it doesn’t appear to make sense. Even if it means a learning curve for me. And even if some degree of discomfort is involved.

I could get the urge and successfully hold a group online program with fifty participants, even if I consider 1:1 coaching to be my greatest strength and personal preference. I could find myself writing insightful articles, even if I don’t consider myself to be a proficient writer or actually like writing that much. I could find myself in a mastermind group with peers I would never have thought to join up with.

(All of these things happened to me rather recently.)

If I stay open and welcoming, anything can come from the well. Absolutely anything!

And to me, it get’s more exciting every day to see what I will get from that source and to observe how life is effortlessly unfolding through me when I go there. The more I look in the direction of beyond memory and notice the feeling of the well, the more fulfilling and fun my business feels to me.

(Not to mention the possibilities for more innovation and standing out in the market place and delighting clients with fresh ideas.)

That’s why I wholeheartedly invite you to look beyond memory and see what you can see and experience for yourself and your business.

CU again soon online :-)

Your virtual coach,
Shailia



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