11/08/2010 07:25 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Leadership Insights: Sail Away from Your Shores

Sail away from the shores you created for security before they enslave you. Ride the wind out into the ocean of the unknown, and come back and make a report. If you stay on safe shores, you will never discover new worlds. Your old hills and valleys, though familiar and safe, will rob you of wonder. Once we become attached to the way it was, our ego's needs and desires, or anything temporal, we are lost without going to sea. Business leaders who become attached to old business strategies are failing today. People who are attached to their ideas, the way it was, or any other form of illusion, suffer. They miss the dance of life.

To Create the Future We Must Venture into the Unknown

Columbus used existing technology, the great sailing ships, which were equivalent to our space shuttles, to explore and discover two continents. No one in the Old World knew these vast lands existed. When Columbus lost sight of the shore heading for a new trade route to India, he truly entered the unknown. He was willing to head out into the unknown with a purpose. The result was enormous wealth and power for Spain, which sponsored him, and a reduction in the power of Italy, which had refused. The hope of more trade with India led to the discovery of the New World and it vast riches, but first Columbus and Spain had to have the courage to explore the unknown.

Not being attached to our beliefs, while at the same time using them as a platform for discovery of new realities, is the key to happiness and business success.

Why Do We Cling to Our Beliefs?

Our beliefs and egos help us navigate through the unknown that surrounds us daily. They give us a foundation and direction, security and a feeling of self. Our ability to use language is the reason we have dominated this planet. We learned to store up supplies for the winter, use fire, and build shelters. But for each new discovery, we had to let go of an existing belief. We had to try something new. Knowing when to let go and leave the old behind is the key.

Discover New Realities or Shrink Back Slowly

The only way to discover new realities in anything is to let go of what you think you know to be true, if only for a short time. Even three minutes without the filtering beliefs from our insecurities could yield insights that could change the way we live. Having written a lot about genius, I have learned that geniuses have beliefs and assumptions that govern their lives, but they hold them lightly. They use their framework of beliefs like Columbus used the latest technology, as a platform for discovery instead of identity. Clinging to frameworks of the past in an ever-changing world causes suffering.

Our thoughts are at best approximations of reality; they are useful, but they are not reality. They point to possibility, but to achieve that possibility we must let go of them and venture into the unknown. Yet we will often fight and die to be right about something we decided. How could a thought or belief possibly describe the experience of deeply living the moment? Thoughts can only point to something beyond their content. They are approximations, and wonderful building blocks for the future, but they get stale and can harm you if you substitute a word or a thought for the experience of swimming in "The Flow of Heaven." All thoughts and beliefs have been formed in the past; therefore, placing importance on them draws our attention from the present, which is the only true reality, and the gate to the future.

When Is It Time to Let Go?

When we watch repeats of our favorite TV Shows, no matter how good the acting, there comes a point when we become bored. We stop laughing and become restless. It just does not turn us on anymore. Likewise, a belief loses its usefulness. The actions the belief drives loses effectiveness. Our results diminish, and we just are not inspired anymore. If we are bored or unhappy, this is an indicator that our beliefs no longer serve us. We need to let go of them and venture out into the unknown.

Imagine the adrenaline rush when Columbus and his crew realized that they no longer had enough supplies to return to the shore they left behind. They were at the point of no return. They might have been frightened, but not bored!

Then imagine the feeling of landing on an undiscovered shore, the feeling of accomplishment when they returned to Spain. If you are not feeling like this, it is time to let go of some beliefs and venture out into the unknown. Find a mission and do it before you bore yourself to death.