Last Sunday morning, I went for a walk over land that is very precious to me. This wide expanse of earth on the North Island of New Zealand is where I hope to fulfill my dream of building an Earth Village. That day was hazy and overcast; I felt an occasional drizzle. As I looked at the land, my eyes saw the forest of pines, many wild hwangchil trees, and various fruit trees. But my mind’s eye saw even more. I saw over 100 cabins, each representing a different country, where Earth Citizens train and live and work in harmony with each other and with the land. I saw a place where universal principles are practiced and embodied, and where a new culture of earth management, in which the earth as a whole is considered in all decisions, flourishes.
For this dream, I started teaching mind-body exercises in a park thirty-five years ago, trying to find a way to allow people to experience the spirit of Earth Citizenship. I developed Brain Education, which I made into an academic discipline, and built many for-profits and non-profits, published many books, and traveled around the world to speak to many people. Each of these efforts was a step toward my dream.
I could not have progressed through each step without careful checking to make sure the actions I was taking were producing the results I wanted. It wasn’t enough to make a plan and put in a lot of effort. Without checking, I could have easily acted blindly and habitually, using a lot of strength with little results. I needed to check the results ceaselessly and learn from both my successes and failures. Through checking I was able to grow and really take action to achieve what I wanted.
Human beings are the only animals who are capable of having a dream and vision, and of dedicating their lives to a cause greater than themselves. It’s the nature of our brains. I recommend finding your dream and achieving it through comprehensive checking. If you have trouble checking yourself, try to find someone who is willing to check for you.
Checking and being checked can feel unpleasant and burdensome. It requires facing the truth of a situation and being willing to change what you’re doing. It also involves having other people see your challenges and failures, and it means being willing to grow. However, new actions are always the result of checking. And if you don’t take action, you can never achieve what you want.