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Are you above or below “the line”?

What do you think?   You are probably thinking “What is ‘the line’?”. What does your intuition tell you? “The Line” is a simple but profound concept.  When you are below the line you are closed, defensive and needing to be right.  When you are above the line you are open, curious and eager to learn.

Most people spend most of their time below the line. We do so because we are filled with stories about how our day should go, how we should be treated, what kind of raise we should get, etc. Our expectations set us up to think something is wrong when it doesn’t turn out as we expected. And, that draws us below the line.

Almost all of the negative emotions we experience such as frustration, anger, resentment and anxiety are the result of living below the line.  When you come to see this as true, you see the value of catching yourself when are below the line and choosing to shift to being above the line.

When you are above the line you are receptive to whatever is happening in every circumstance.  Slow traffic is simply slow traffic; it isn’t trying to make you late for work. An angry boss is simply an angry boss. It isn’t a boss who wants to fire you and cause you to be penniless.

Being above the line invites you to take responsibility for all that is occurring in your life.  You ask yourself questions like:

  • How am I causing this circumstance?
  • What do I have to learn from what is happening now?
  • What do I get from creating this issue over and over again in my life?

It is the insight gained from such open questions that leads to productive and rapid change. People who learn to move above the line find themselves more productive, less stressed and better balanced. They find satisfaction in their circumstances and easeful ways to change their circumstances when the opportunities arise.

Where will you choose to live today; above or below the line? Will you choose to improve your career? Let me know if you want some help at becoming better at this essential life skill.


About Jack Skeen

Jack Skeen
Jack Skeen, founder of Skeen Leadership, has been coaching bright and successful leaders for close to two decades, spending thousands of hours addressing every imaginable leadership, business and life issue with wisdom and professionalism.
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