SACAP Festival Of Learning: Ontology, The Power Of Observation
Management & Leadership

Psychology Festival of Learning: Ontology, and the Power of Observation

May 20, 2016
Ontology and the Power of Observation
Mobile Curve
Mobile Curve

There’s little doubt that we are living in the most demanding, complex times.  The pace of life keeps quickening, new technologies require constant change from us, and what it takes to be successful just gets more and more taxing.  

All of this has led us to having more conversations and asking more questions about what we need to cope effectively and to live a meaningful and fulfilling life.  Ontological coach Karen White, who will be speaking at SACAP’s Festival of Learning on 27 May, points out that to deal with the issues and stresses of contemporary life we need to learn.  “The critical question,” she says, “is what learning do we need to do in order to live and work well?”

Some of us may learn yoga or how to mountain bike in an effort to bring more balance, self-care and fun into our lives.  Others may read tons of articles and books about ‘What Successful People Do’, and apply the tips.  But do these well-meaning efforts actually bring about long-lasting change, or are they Band-Aids that make us feel better for a time?

Ontology is the study of being; the study of what it means to be human. We all have, what Ontological Coaches like Karen call, a ‘Way of Being’; and this is the dynamic interrelationship of our language, emotions and bodies. Deeply embedded in our habitual Way of Being are our often deep-seated perceptions and attitudes that are the underlying drivers of our behaviour and communication.  To learn to cope better with life’s stresses, to learn to live more purposefully, we need to deeply know and understand our particular Way of Being.  And, this requires that we become more powerful, more conscious observers of ourselves.

By exploring and keenly observing our language, emotions and bodies we can unearth our hidden beliefs, perceptions and attitudes that aren’t helping us in our quest to live well.  When they are out in the open and we can recognize them, we are empowered to change them and create lasting, fundamental shifts that can radically change our experience of life for the better.

Our perceptions and attitudes are often out of our awareness, and they can drive our behaviour in ways that we aren’t tuned into,” says Karen, “When we develop our capacity to observe and become more conscious, we understand how we use language and what that generates; we learn the role our emotions play and how they impact on how we see the world; and we become aware of how we configure our bodies in subtle ways that influence how we perceive ourselves and the world.”

Learning about ourselves through ontology can provide new perspectives, as well as give us the capacity to take new and different actions, which opens up what is possible for us and brings us to the awareness of the contribution we really wish to make in our lifetimes.

Whether your goal is personal or leadership or team or business development, ontology can give you a deeply-rooted, holistic way of bringing about the changes you really want to see in your life.

INSPIRING TRANSFORMATION is the theme for the annual Psychology Festival of Learning, which will be hosted by SACAP (The South African College of Applied Psychology) at their Johannesburg campus on 19 and 20 May and at their Cape Town campus on 26 and 27 September.

The 2016 festival includes a short talk programme (evening) and a day programme.

Johannesburg Programme

Thursday, 19 May: Short Talk Programme (evening) R200-00
Friday, 20 May: Full-Day Programme R200-00
Student tickets for both events are R80-00

Cape Town Programme

Thursday, 26 May: Short Talk Programme (evening) R200-00
Friday, 27 May: Full-Day Programme R200-00
Student tickets for both events are R80-00

Tickets for the Psychology Festival of Learning as well as the programme with speakers details and topics are available on the website:

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