Show Notes

The concept of living above the line and below the line is one of the most fundamental concepts in conscious living. When we are below the line we are often closed, defensive, and committed to being right. On the contrary, when we are living above the line we are more open, curious, and committed to learning. In this podcast we look at how we can make an effort to live more above the line.

Below the line behaviours often show up as a victimhood mentality or failure to take personal responsibility. When someone operates from below the line they view life through the lens of a victim, always being at the affect of life and interpreting it through a “to me” lens.

They are closed, defensive, and committed to being right. Below the line behaviours are common, in fact it is actually the default state of being for almost everyone. Because we’re so committed to being right, we can even fool ourselves into thinking that we’re above the line when we’re actually below the line!

When we’re below the line, we view ourselves as a victim and don’t take personal responsibility for our actions.This manifests itself in the below the line behaviours of denying, blaming, and making excuses which are all part of an attempt for our ego to defend itself by being right. This creates a negative feedback loop where our below the line behaviours influence our below the line thoughts, and vice versa.

Below the line thinking often shows up in our desire to be right. Being right allows us to protect our ego, which satisfies our survival instincts. Below the line behaviours typically lead to several ways of thinking or finding yourself saying things like:

It’s not my fault
I’m right
They’re wrong
I know everything there is to know about the situation
It has to happen my way

Sadly below the line behaviours and thinking do nothing to contribute to our success and joy. They distort our view of reality and hinder us from achieving our true potential.

Above the line behaviours show a real openness, a security in one’s self, and the taking on of personal responsibility. When someone operates from above the line they view life through the lens of a creator, as someone who is able to impact and learn from their environment, interpreting life through a “by me” lens.

They are more open, curious, and committed to learning. Above the line behaviour doesn’t necessarily come naturally to us, because we have to work hard to achieve above the line thinking and above the line behaviour. When we do though, above the line behaviour is about taking ownership, accountability, and responsibility for one’s actions.

Above the line thinking is best exemplified in our openness and eagerness to learn. When not hindered by the urge to defend our ego and always be right, we are able to investigate the world and our own actions with curiosity and joy. We have the freedom to critique and look into our own words and actions because we aren’t threatened by the possibility of being wrong. With this perspective in mind, above the line behaviours often play out with thinking in ways like:

What did I do to contribute to this?
What else might be going on in this situation that I’m not aware of?
What could I be doing differently?
How can I take ownership and responsibility for what is happening?

Above the line behaviours and thinking encourage and empower us to ask questions we might not like the answers to, but whose answers will ultimately help us.

Asking questions is evidence of above the line behaviour that transforms both personal relationships and large organizations. Just as below the line behaviour and thinking results in a negative feedback loop, above the line behaviour and thinking results in a positive feedback loop. Its impact snowballs and grows exponentially with time, which inevitably can take us from good to better to great!

Above the line behaviour means being open, curious, and committed to learning, and nearly all situations can be improved by approaching them with this perspective in mind.

Acknowledgment of

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