Essence, the sailor and the port
It takes courage to sit still for a moment and look within... really look within.
I see it during my work with corporates and I see it in my counselling practice with individuals and couples.
Only few are willing to take a moment of pause and look at that part of us that we know is there, is suffering, is calling for attention, but that it is too painful to intentionally look at.
And yet, it is from those moments, and by looking in the abyss, that we often emerge renewed, clearer in our intention and purposeful in our actions.
This is a short reminder that our lives are best lived in alignment with our essence.
Essence, as I define it, is the combination of all the dimensions of our existence, which in each and every one of us combine in a unique concoction of potential.
Businesses who operate in alignment with their essence tend to be successful. People who live in alignment with their essence tend to have a more fulfilling and satisfying life.
Nurturing our essence is key to our growth and expression, and yet it is one of the things businesses and people spend the least amount of time on.
A world-renowned sociologist, Domenico De Masi often says, "If we haven't done at least one hour of jail time for our ideas, we haven't contributed to real progress".
The idea is perhaps extreme, but it drives home the point. It is when we speak our truths that we have the opportunity to make a difference. And our truth comes from our essence.
Making a difference of course is not limited to ending world poverty, achieving a more equitable distribution of wealth or stopping climate change. It includes making a difference within our own world, however small or large it is.
Are you willing to "go to jail" to finally drop that product line? Are you willing to "go to jail" to introduce that idea in your community? Are you willing to "go to jail" to exit that damaging relationship?
But I know how difficult it is and how much courage it takes to go against the flow. We are asleep!!!!
We are fooled and hypnotised by the pricing strategy that delivers immediate profitability or the new product that customers want, even though it does not represent us.
We are fooled and hypnotised by the promise of the big promotion than never comes or by the materialistic depiction of success that we are led to believe is the only way to be.
Let me tell you, no matter how much you delay looking at that painful part of you, no matter how much energy you invest in ignoring its signals, it always comes back to surface.
Whether it is in the form of a fine for unethical business practices or in a totally unexplained medical condition that baffles every doctor you visit, the part of us that needs our attention eventually shows, and often in destructive ways.
Our Essence, whether as businesses or individuals, is the most precious gift. It is what makes us unique, it is what makes us stand out, it is what holds our leadership potential.
If you feel that your business has lost its way, if you feel that it's time for your untapped potential to emerge, invest time to reconnect, rediscover and bring your Essence back to life.
However painful this may be, it will save you much greater pain further down the line.
After all, as Seneca once said, Ignoranti quem portum petat nullus suus ventus est (No wind is favourable for the sailor who knows not which port to sail to).
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