Creating a Moment of Enlightenment that Energizes and Liberates

Some people just don’t get it.

You’re trying to help someone see the light, but nothing changes.

Enlightenment happens when we see ourselves in a new light – when we rethink beliefs and challenge assumptions.

Essentials of enlightenment:

  1. Enlightenment begins with not-knowing. Those who know remain in the dark. Certainty is the enemy of enlightenment, unless you’re sure you don’t know.
  2. Stubbornness holds enlightenment at arm’s length. Humility and vulnerability are essential to enlightenment.
  3. Enlightenment begins with disappointment. The status quo becomes undesirable. Self-evaluation causes distress and discontent.

It feels strange to say enlightenment includes not-knowing. But those who have arrived, are lost.

Know enough to know that you don’t know.

The UNenlightened KNOW. Enlightened leaders change their ways.

Helping others find enlightenment:

Create space for people to see themselves.

The moment of enlightenment often happens when you notice energy and ask a question.

“I noticed your voice grow quiet and you sank a bit in your chair. What’s going on for you?”

“Your eyes just light up. What’s going through your mind?”

“Your voice is energized. What’s different about this?”

“A frown just came over your face. What came to mind?”


Describe energy. Don’t judge it.

Enlightenment requires vulnerability, not defensiveness.

When you say, “You look worried,” they say, “I’m not really worried.” People tend to defend themselves when they feel evaluated or judged.

When you say, “I noticed your shoulders drooping,” they can’t say, “No they’re not.”

Noticing isn’t judging. Noticing creates space for people to explore.

When you shine a light in someone’s eyes, they turn away. But when you notice something they don’t see, they turn toward the light.

Note on stubbornness:

Stubborn people don’t seek enlightenment. Ask, “What if you’re wrong?”

The unenlightened are always right in their own eyes.

What’s been true when the light came on for you?

How have you helped others find enlightenment?