Saturday, April 25, 2009

Susan Boyle - Lessons Learned!

Susan Boyle has been the eye opening, heart stopping phenom courtesy of British television’s, Britain's Got Talent. A plain looking woman who has an ethereal quality voice that shocked the judges and audience. See

She sang, I Dream A Dream from the hit musical Les Miserables which seemed to be in sync with her personal story as it unfolded before and after she sang. Helen Fisher, anthropology professor at Rutgers believes "the audience’s reaction was due to “rush of dopamine” from the surprise pleasure of hearing her voice. “Novelty drives up dopamine in the brain and you feel good,” she said. (

Susan Boyle is a lesson in synchronicity and serendipity

Carl Jung created the word synchronicity to describe a form of connecting. Synchronicity occurs when two events seeming to be unlikely come together and create meaning. I find synchronicity to be refreshing and generating AHA! It also stirs hope and  a sense of wonder that many of us lose as we become older. Susan Boyle is synchronicity! Lesson: Expect the unexpected! Be surprised! Recognize the power of being open to possibilities. Nurture wonder!

Serendipity is a positive accidental discovery. You go looking for something and discover something else. Serendipity is often referred to ‘chance favoring an open mind.’ (Louis Pasteur.) Susan Boyle got the chance to sing before a large audience, one of her hopes and dreams, and WOWed her audience. We, the audience, were looking for something else, perhaps even hoping for a “negative” something else. Lesson: Susan Boyle’s performance opened our minds to being open to accidental discovery. Nurture being nonjudgmental! Be the Golden Rule!

Many times when working with groups, I begin the workshop or program asking people to be aware of three filters we have continuously turned on.

Phantom Rule or the-voice-in-the-head filter. This filter speaks, “Can't,” “that’s impossible,” “I/we have always done it this way,” “that’s not my area,” “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” This filter keeps us from being open to possibilities, from learning and from stepping out of our comfort zones. To break phantom rules or to ignore the-voice-in-the-head can lead to some powerful break throughs for each us, for the people we love and for the people with whom we work. What did the-voice-inside-the-head say to you as Susan Boyle walked on stage?

Blinder filter. The Blinder filter is related to being mindless. The blinder filter keeps us from being truly present and totally engaged with someone else. Multitasking activates our blinder filter. Email, texting, Twitter and other social networking channels invoke the blinder filter.’ Activating the blinder filter is akin to going on autopilot. This maybe be useful in doing things, but hurts relationships and demonstrates bad etiquette. Thank goodness the judges and audience acknowledged the blinder filter and went on to give her three ‘yes’ votes!

Fun House Mirror filter. The fun house mirror filter is the distortion between reality and perception. The more out of sync our perception is to reality, the more problems we create in our own well-being as well as with others. Truth is reality. To ignore this fact, is live in a different world and suffer the consequences. Susan Boyle made many of us reexamine our perception and reality of appearance. Susan Boyle is a beautiful person! The reality is in her inner beauty.

Perhaps Susan Boyle’s greatest gift is not her voice, but the incredible lesson she has re-taught us during this time of crisis! Don’t waste the lesson!