THE ICEBERG PRINCIPLE: WHAT MATTERS MOST ISN’T ALWAYS OBVIOUS
2 parts of the iceberg
- There are two main ways of looking at aspects of life:
- On the surface: The outward, superficial appearance, especially as distinguished from its inner nature
- Going deep: To go beyond appearances to try to perceive the true nature of something; not to be fooled by superficial glitter or plainness
- The easiest of these two outlooks to adopt is to see things on the surface – it doesn’t require much time or thought
Are you a surface-dweller?
- How often do you act on impulse, just because your first thought or feeling is that something is OK or good?
- How often do you stop, evaluate, and research BEFORE speaking, believing, or making choices?
- How often do you follow trends (what everyone else buys, eats, watches, believes, tries) because they’re popular?
- The battle-cry of the surface-dweller is that if it sounds, looks, or feels good, it must be inherently good – period!
The danger of being a surface-dweller
- What seems good on the surface isn’t always good when you dig deeper
- The apple of Snow White: On the surface, it looked like a desirable piece of fruit, but inside it was poisonous
Learn to go deep
- Always look beyond the moment (the surface) – question anything that influences:
- What you believe – News stories, traditions, what people tell you (even those close to you) when people gossip/complain
- What you choose – If it says natural, best, #1, etc
- Your emotions – Entertainment, desire to do something, people with a motive
How to use this:
- Have a mindset to question everything – What’s the illusion?’Ask yourself:
- What am I missing? Have I looked for evidence/facts?
- What are the consequences?
- What does personal experience tell me?
- What are some potential negatives?
- ‘It’s fun’ – It may be on the surface, but what are the potential/long-term consequences of doing it?
- ‘Everyone’s watching it’ – So! How is it affecting them – their thinking, beliefs, emotions?
- ‘My heart says to believe’ – What evidence (not strong emotion) do you have for doing so?
- Don’t walk around paranoid about everything but remain alert to the potential need to look beyond the surface
Intended Lesson For This Map
To understand that not everything that appears ‘on the surface’ to be good, harmless, and enjoyable, really is! And to emphasize the need to adopt a mindset of looking beneath what’s visible (what’s often an illusion of reality) in order to discover the truth.
Key Ideas On This Map
Above The Surface: The Top Of The Iceberg
An iceberg is the perfect metaphor for understanding the principle idea of this map – that what you see on the surface is only a small part of reality. The top of an iceberg is what’s easily visible, and it can appear beautiful, bright, and shiny, and it doesn’t take much to be deceived and drawn closer to it, not fully understanding what lies beneath the surface. People, beliefs, what you feed your mind, opportunities you’re presented, and the choices you’re given, are all elements that have the potential to appear to be good things ‘on the surface’ but once you look beneath the surface, may be something totally different in reality.
Beneath The Surface: The Bottom Of The Iceberg
What’s unseen – beneath the surface – is more massive than what is seen, and it can have a greater overall
impact on your results, whether you choose to look for it or not. It’s not immediately visible, but requires effort to see and explore completely. What’s discovered here is typically closer to long-term reality. The dots at the bottom-tip of the iceberg have dotted lines that lead ‘statements of reality’ that are shown above the surface. This part of the illustration is used to symbolize what you see when dig deeper.
While looking beneath the surface has massive benefits, oftentimes, people still don’t it – they allow what they see on the surface to drive their thinking and decisions. What prevents them from looking beneath the surface?
- It may be something popular, which to them means it must be good
- It may make them feel good, which they ‘think’ means it must be good
- It may be something they do automatically – out of habit
- They just don’t care
- They may be afraid of what they might find if they look below the surface
The ‘GO DEEP’ Questions
These are questions that allow you to dig deeper into something, in order to help you discover a truer picture of the real effects it could have in your life. The question, ‘What’s the illusion?!?’ is highlighted because it’s a simple, easy-to-remember question to ask yourself when presented with choices in life.
Next Actions For This Map
Next Actions are practical suggestions for immediately putting this map to use.
- Think about the people you associate with, things you feed your mind, opportunities you have, and decisions you’re about to make, and ask yourself if you’ve really looked beneath the surface
- Ask yourself if you allow popularity, gratification, habits, apathy, or fear to prevent you from looking beneath the surface of something in your life
- Adopt the mindset of asking yourself: What’s the illusion?!?