Is It In You?

I have been studying, or I should say using, Practical Philosophy for about 13 years. I take these classes at the School of Practical Philosophy and Meditation in NYC and for a few years now I have had the honor of teaching one of the nightly introductory classes aptly named Philosophy Works. Last night was the first class of the term, and one of the questions on the table was: where is Wisdom? The purpose of the class is to find out in experience, via our daily lives, if the words of the wise throughout the ages are true and can be of use to us. So, Plato says in Laws, that there are four primary human virtues: Wisdom, Courage, Temperance and Justice and, of these, only Wisdom is innate. The others have to be learned. Now in my experience I believe Wisdom is innate. I believe finding Wisdom is much more a question of removing the barriers to it within our selves then starting with the premise that it is something we lack. When we eliminate things like judgment, expectations, criticisms, worry, self-doubt or fear then we find that we are brighter, happier, more efficient, smarter, tolerant and peaceful; and those seem to be qualities of Wisdom. Stripping away all these barriers leaves us with a more natural us, real us, true us, authentic us. The whole point of this blog is to encourage and possibly show some ways that we can discover and speak with our authentic voice.

The question of where is Wisdom got me wondering whether the same is true for communication? Is there an innate ability to communicate and communicate well? Could one of the benefits of discovering a more authentic us be more natural communication?

As I thought about it more, those who present for a living or have ever had to develop a presentation go through a kind of internal search. From the abundance of brainstorming to the conscious precision of words spoken, ideas communicated and images displayed the presenter removes the unnecessary. Whatever gets in the way of the message is removed. That IS the same process as discovering ones authentic voice.

This is not to discount learning techniques and tools for better communication and presentation design. However,  I encourage all speakers to learn and use technique as a means to uncovering your authentic voice, recogninzing it and feeling comfortbale with it. So, like Practical Philosophy I say we test this out and see for ourselves. Let’s work toward being our selves in front of an audience and discover if good communication is also innate.

Moment of Zen Tip (props to the Daily Show):

The less YOU are on the stage the better.

(Think about it)

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