May 31, 2014
Luis A. Marrero, M.A., RODP, LLP
Boston Institute for Meaningful Purpose
“When we get to wishing a great deal for ourselves, whatever we get soon turns into mere limitation and exclusion.” ~ George Elliot
I was pleased when this May 2014 I finished another successful Meaningful Purpose Psychology (Logoteleology) Laboratory; this time in Massachusetts. Another international group has gained a keener glimpse to Logoteleology’s central concern, which is to explain why people have such difficulty solving their most pressing problems despite the fact that they are surrounded by answers. And while these graduates still have more work to do, they now have a deeper insight of their environment as well as greater self-understanding. These individuals are now more capable of being present in and with life. They also have a confident command and appreciation of what their lives mean; and why life is worthwhile thanks to their newly determined meaningful life purpose. For them it is a wonderful first step toward a better future.
It is to be expected that participants will want to continue conversation after the learning experience. For some reason a few press to know more about me, because I am the author of The Path to a Meaningful Purpose: Psychological Foundations of Logoteleology, and the developer and facilitator of the Meaningful Purpose Laboratory. There is keen interest in learning how I practice meaningful purpose psychology, and how I am getting along. There is especially much interest in learning how I practice allowing, the first of Logoteleology’s Three Pillars of Success, and the subject of this post. So before sharing how I practice allowing in my life, let me quickly review what meaningful purpose psychology is, and what its central thesis is.
Logoteleology or Meaningful Purpose Psychology (MPP) is the scientific study of the meanings that enable individuals and communities to thrive.
Logoteleology came to being as the result of one fundamental concern: Why is it that despite the availability of answers, humanity’s most pressing problems persist? Logoteleology explains why individual and social problems persist, and fortunately it also provides a path to the right solution. Allowing is one of those tools.
To allow is a meaningful action that actively supports others’ inherent right to achieve their individuality and potential. Its opposite is a meaningless action where people are prevented by others from being themselves and from reaching their potential as well as hindering, disengaging, and underperforming. Quoting from my book:
“Allowing is the path of self-determination and self-definition. When we respect others’ meanings, we allow. Allowing is also valuing others’ right to choose, to grow, and to evolve organically at their own readiness and pace. Allowing entails having the wisdom to know when to back down, yield and walk away without giving it a competitive meaning of surrender or defeat. To allow is to work with the willing without the expectations that others have to support our agendas. In allowing there is no coercion. Neither is this autonomy-supportive description meant to be ‘permissive’ or laissez-faire. The goal of allowing is not to leave the person alone; rather, it is to have the individual interact more effectively with others through cooperation and transcendence.”
It is also possible for an individual to prevent her- or himself to self-allow through conditioning or other circumstances. As a rule, people who do not self-allow will do the same to others. It is a vicious cycle.
Returning to the curious who wish to know how I think about and practice allowing. Their goal is to learn tips which they can follow and practice. Here are a few thoughts; and I hope that those who have not benefited from attending Meaningful Purpose Laboratories can also profit.
- Though I assess, coach, consult, and facilitate, I do not consider myself a teacher. I am an eternal student who learns with, through and from other students. Such self-meaning reminds me that I am not better than others, and that – even though I am an author — I have plenty to learn from anyone. That does not mean that I don’t have power or a voice. Rather, it means that my power and voice is not above others’ right to express theirs. Allowing is about giving others a meaningful meaning. It also means that we must remain humble and teachable. Actually, as I write my third book on meaningful purpose leadership, I hold the belief that one of the reasons our species lives in such a mediocre state is because we have too many teachers and too few willing students.
- I accept that individuals and societies – myself included — are ruled and influenced by unconscious scripts and habits. Being guided by unconscious scripts means lacking awareness of one’s behavior. A lot of what we do is on auto-pilot. Said differently, the individual is not aware of the real “why” driving her or his behavior. According to meaningful purpose psychology one of life’s tasks is to bring the unconscious to awareness, to assess the content’s meaningfulness, followed by a decision to either continue or to put an end to the behavior. And where required, to replace the meaningless with the meaningful. This means two things to me:
- I will allow myself to be my meaningful best through self-understanding, self-development, and self-determination. Making this conscious choice is known in psychology as self-efficacy, or the capacity and confidence to tackle life’s problems head on.
- While I can clearly discern when people are acting through scripts, I strive not to operate as if I need to make them aware of their scripted behavior; particularly when (1) they have not asked me, and (2) they are unwilling to change. I allow individuals to choose their own path, regardless if I believe it is meaningful or meaningless. Hence, allowing is to accept people without judging and needing to fix them. It is very liberating to me.
- Related to the previous point, allowing is aligned with my meaningful life purpose, which is to work and share my life only with the willing. I acknowledge that despite its positive reception across international borders, meaningful purpose psychology, and what I consider to be its noble agenda, are not going to be embraced by everyone. I am happy that I am reaching those who are willing, and that logoteleological concepts are emerging in daily conversation, thinking and practices around the world, regardless if I get the credit or not. Hence, I allow by doing my life’s purpose work, which includes supporting the growing meaningful purpose psychology community. In short, allowing helps me to fulfill my meaningful life purpose with those who want to. Anything else is irrelevant. Remaining on my meaningful purpose and not being distracted is also very liberating. That is the power of meaningful self-efficacy.
- Allowing is to be present. Meaningful Purpose Psychology and Mindfulness share a common agenda – to help people be more self-aware (present with self) and aware of one’s surroundings (present with others and the environment) in a non-judgmental way. I am fortunate to have an excellent Mindfulness facilitator in Shalini Bahl, in Amherst, Massachusetts. While Meaningful Purpose Psychology has helped me become more centered to what is meaningful, mindfulness methods have deepened my ability to pay attention to the here-and-now, and to delight in life with greater depth and consequence. Allowing has put me in a path where I share life with loving people; where I experience genuine peace and happiness, and where I am intellectually nurtured through interesting and fulfilling activities. And while I can occasionally feel upset, being troubled is short-lived. I can quickly refocus toward the meaningful.
- Allowing puts others in equal standing. With being present, I strive to validate and reinforce others’ innate and unconditional value as a behavioral standard. In logoteleology, allowing is not about tolerating, putting up with, condescending or even “giving permission”. Allowing is about respecting others’ meanings, even when giving them tough feedback and when in disagreement. Putting others in equal standing means that neither party submits to the other. There are no “winners and losers” – instead, the highest standing goes to the one who allows the most. In allowing there is no anger or upset.
- Allowing is about investing in others for success. Meaningful Purpose Psychology offers that a very important reason for being on this planet is for us to build one another so that each person can fulfill her or his potential. For instance, graduates of Meaningful Purpose Laboratories are encouraged to further their development by forming learning communities or chapters. These communities are purposed to serve and build like-minded individuals so that they may grow and succeed in their meaningful life calling. This permeates all sorts of groups such as families, professional associations, as well as for-profit businesses and not-for-profit entities. That is why The Boston Institute for Meaningful Purpose leverages Meaningful Purpose Psychology to make people and institutions successful, not by pursuing success, but rather by being dedicated to build others (i.e. allowing).
“Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it.”
― Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
The Meaningful Purpose Laboratory
At the end of the Meaningful Purpose Laboratory (MPL) I share with participants a few tips to help them transition back home. One of them is, “Don’t try to explain this experience because you will not be able to.” Each individual’s learning experience is unique, and words many times cannot convey what has been a very insightful and powerful event. You can read about Meaningful Purpose Laboratories in the Boston Institute for Meaningful Purpose web page, http://bostonimp.com/ and our product and services site shop.bostonimp.com. If you wish to learn how to participate in one of them, and deepen your understanding on what allowing is, and much more, you can contact me below.
© 2014. Luis A. Marrero. Boston Institute for Meaningful Purpose.
 The other two are cooperation, and Transcendentalism (Altruism).
 Marrero, Luis A. The Path to a Meaningful Purpose: Psychological Foundations of Logoteleology. Bloomington. IUnIverse. 2013. Page 88.
 Ibid. Page 90.
 Marrero, Luis A. The Path to a Meaningful Purpose: Psychological Foundations of Logoteleology. Pages 7 and 8.