I discussed the Meta Program Sameness and Difference in my 'Seeker' blog. We have another Meta Program within us (of course Meta Programs are just ways of looking at our humanity- a model to help us understand. We don't really have software in us) [do we?].
The Meta Program Away From and Toward is especially helpful in understanding ourselves and others in terms of goals and motivations.
Let me tell you a story.
I had a friend once who had not taken a holiday for a long time. She liked to work. She had a sameness about that. Finally her holidays were approaching and her boss was going to make her take them.
I tried to be positive with her and asked her if she was excited and what would she like to do for her holidays? She looked rather anxious and apprehensive and said:
"I don't know what I want to do. I know I don't want to drive a long way. That would be boring and the last thing I want is to spend my whole holiday stuck in a cramped car."
Well, maybe you should fly off somewhere. Wouldn't it be exciting to fly off to the Caribbean or South America where it's tropical and hot?"
"No", she replied. "I don't fly. The thought of being up thousands of feet in the air with nothing under me but a little steel doesn't appeal to me at all. And I don't want to be uncomfortably hot."
"Well, then, how about going down to the big city and taking in some shows, good food, and a classy hotel?"
"Are you kidding?", she responded disgustedly. Big cities are dirty and noisy and over priced."
"Hmmm", I thought to myself. Then I decided it was time to end our conversation and said, "Well, whatever you decide to do, I really hope you enjoy yourself."
As Friday came, she seemed to me to more and more cranky and stressed out. She left on her holiday and two weeks went by and when she returned to work, I asked her how it was.
"It was awful" she said. "I didn't know what to do so I stayed home."
Now I have great respect for someone who is devoted to their job, but I also appreciate someone who knows how to have fun, relax, enjoy the leisure time that so many of us have. My friend was so focused on what she didn't want, she failed to move toward a deeper, greater and more expansive joy in her life. She spent a lot of time focusing on and moving away from things she didn't want.
Be aware when you are in the 'away from' mode and when you are in the 'toward' mode. Some people are always running away. That's a good thing in some cases. And some people are moving towards: towards their goals, towards better relationships, towards making the world inside them and around them a little better place than it was yesterday.