Visionary Mind Shifts
(previously Power To Stand: A Course In Greatness)
Written by Michael Skye for the Vision Force Academy

Warning:  Each Visionary Mind Shift may be easy enough to grasp at a glance, yet each is a puzzle piece in a larger puzzle called the Vision Force Matrix.  The more you integrate this shift with the other shifts, the more the matrix will begin to emerge.  Your understanding of the distinctions and the matrix itself will evolve as you move through the course.  To speed that evolution, do your best to view each word and distinction as something new, a mystery, rather than by relating it to what you already know.

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Visionary Distinction:

Trained Goodness  |  Natural Greatness

part 2 | part 1

A provocative inquiry into human consciousness (and "conscience")


The great cellist, Yo-Yo Ma, once told his parents, I can be a good Chinese son, or I can be a great cellist, but I cant be both. 

Consider this:

Inside of goodness it's inherently very difficult to be great.  Very difficult.  Greatness means being willing to risk the very thing goodness requires: the approval of those who say what is good and what is not.  

Yet consider that greatness is inherently simple.  It's natural.  It's simply a matter of returning to you--to your natural conscience or consciousness--to your innate call to courageously face reality honestly and courageously act in line with your values.  

What's actually hard is being "good" in so many other people's eyes--all the time.  Everyone judges you by different standards, standards which can change at their whim.  On top of that others' perceptions of you are always limited and always changing.  See how it's hard to be good?

Now consider how your conscience or consciousness is continually reminding you not to ignore or compromise your values for others, and you can see how it can be harder to be "good, rather than great!

Yet we're trained from birth in the art of being "good."  We're trained at home, in school, at church, at work, etc., etc.  We become so conditioned for goodness, that goodness becomes easy and greatness becomes difficult.

Greatness becomes extremely difficult, because we've been trained all of our lives not to think for ourselves and act courageously on our own thoughts.  We're trained instead to defer to others' judgment and to follow their lead.  

So when it comes time to stand for something in the face of authority's or majority's criticisms, we don't want to be outcast.  We don't want to lose their estimation of us as a "good" person.  So we choose goodness over greatness.  And with every such choice, our spirit dies a little more.

Being true to yourself and living a heroic life doesn't need to be a constant uphill battle.  The more willing you are to let go of "goodness," the more swiftly and naturally you can step back into greatness.  

This course is about coming back to you... but in a stronger, higher, more aligned sense than you've probably ever experienced before.  Welcome back to another session in Power To Stand: A Course In Greatness! (TM)

This session is the second part of from Trained Goodness to Natural Greatness (part 1).  In that session we looked at how via conscience we naturally--already--have at least part of a guidance system for greatness.  In other words, our minds have a faculty which is continually calling us to honestly face our choices and to stand for our values.  This does not mean, of course, that we all develop our capacity for natural greatness.  In fact, we often receive training while growing up that short-circuits our natural development of and reliance on our innate capacity for greatness.  We are trained not to be great, but to be "good."

In part 2 of this distinction we are going to look closely at that goodness training, and see how it interferes with and weakens our natural greatness.  Are you ready?  

Take a deep breath and let's begin!


In the last session we asked, "What separates the person of goodness from the person of greatness?"  And we saw how the person of greatness is guided primarily by his own consciousness and conscience.  The person of goodness on the other hand is primarily guided by others.

We also saw that being guided by conscience is quite natural, and thus greatness could be quite natural for human beings.  So why then, we asked, do we receive so much goodness training?

There are plenty of good excuses for goodness training.  Rather than concern ourselves with why it exists, let's take a closer look at how it works, and what its affect is on our natural greatness.

Goodness training starts early.  Most all of us have been taught what to believe, who to follow.  We've been rewarded when we believe and obey, and punished when we question and disobey.

In fact, to be successful, goodness training must override one's natural greatness.  Let's look at how this works.  Natural Greatness is evident in the two functions of conscience, as discussed in the last session:

  1. To lead us to FACE (self-honesty, courageous inquiry)
  2. To lead us to STAND (courageous integrity)

Goodness training requires that we,

  1. Look to the leader for guidance (rather than face)
  2. Follow and obey (rather than stand)


  Trained Goodness Natural Greatness
 Highest Value Appear good in the eyes of others Respect and honor in own eyes
Guidance Values 1. Blind faith (not looking for inner guidance, not questioning, not facing) OVER self-honesty/vision (looking for inner guidance, questioning, facing) 1. Self-honesty OVER blind faith
  2. Blind obedience (being true to highest outer guidance) OVER integrity (being true to highest inner guidance) 2. Conscious integrity OVER blind obedience
Conscience orientation Turn outward, away from conscience, towards a leader's vision Turn inward, towards conscience and towards own vision
Consequences Growing self-distrust, anxiety, self-doubt, dependence, disconnection from self Growing self-trust, peace, confidence, inner power, connection with self
Reaction/Response to Consequences Seek more external guidance Seek more internal guidance
Results Decreasingly powerful vision, awareness and grasp of reality Increasingly powerful vision, awareness and grasp of reality
*Nevermind for the moment if this is not fully clear.  This is just the beginning.

Caution: Goodness training often results in fearful minds.  And fearful minds look first for agreement and disagreement, as if exploring new ideas is a matter of defend and attack. "I agree with this, but not with that."  Fearful minds react quickly to ideas that seem to conflict with their own.  They run back to their position and hide behind the safety of the walls of their beliefs and judgments.

Great minds relate to conflicting ideas differently, and the result is ever emerging wisdom and vision.  So be conscious of how you explore this course.

And please remember to relate to the terms in this course, as defined in this course, rather than how you may define them.  For example, if faith means something different to you, then understand that we're not talking about that kind of faith.  

Most disagreement and miscommunication in the world happens when we assume that someone else means the same thing we do when using a certain word, when he means another thing entirely.  So, if there is disagreement, first look to understand the other person's context or definition.  There may be no disagreement at all. 

And, rather than looking to see if you agree or disagree, look to assemble the new ideas into a puzzle you've not seen before.  

Wrap Up: 

The format for this session and the last one was a bit different with no specific distinction or example.  Yet the ideas are vital to the rest of this course.  Please review this session and part 1 again before moving on.

Visionary Advantage: 

Tomorrow's visionaries will not be accidental or "born" visionaries.  They will consciously guide themselves by new protocols that give them ever expanding powers for guiding themselves with conscience, wisdom and vision.  

Visionary Dynamic:

The more you face yourself and reality and look within for guidance, the more powerful your vision becomes.

Visionary Challenge:

As much of a leader as you may be in many areas of your life, look for areas in which you doubt yourself.  Who do you defer to?  Whose guidance do you seek?  What gives them more ability than you to know what's so, or what's best for you?  How can you reverse the cycle of dependency, and put yourself on a course of looking within to build ever more wisdom, power and vision?

Meet other visionaries and discuss how to integrate this distinction into your life on the Forum Boards.

Visionary Training:

Being good can get you very far in life.  You can become a very successful professional with fame, fortune, family, friends and almost anything you want by learning to play the game of life well.  If you're highly successful in the world, why on earth would you want or need to be a visionary?  Why go an an inward journey to become more deeply connected to your values and your vision than every before?  

Read John's experience of the Vision Force Boot Camp in his own words.

Additional Resources:
Download your Visionary Mind!

> The full 8-week program on Audio CDs, professionally recorded by Michael Skye.

> 100 page, 3-ring binder Workbook, with comprehensive worksheets and assignments. 

> 14+ hours of live recorded conference calls (MP3s) We give you the entire Vision Force 101 program (normally $397) on a digital CD--a perfect supplement to Visionary Mind.  Listen to participants do the exercises and learn from their insights.

> Access to private on-line member area, where you can interact with other students for years to come.

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