I fell in love with learning later in life so as a result I was often found with my head in a book. Whilst working as a consultant on leadership and peak performance, my boss said to me. ”Martin, you know lots more ‘stuff’ than I do because you’re always reading and researching, but the few things I know very well, I can apply to lots of different scenarios.”
“To know ten thousand things, know one well” ~ Miyamoto Musashi
From that day forward I set forth on a quest to uncover knowledge that could carry the human race to the next level. Years later, after much searching and study, of whittling away the superfluous and adding the necessary; I eventually uncovered the three ingredients we most need to transform our lives and the economy. Wisdom, compassion and courage are the three essential ingredients.
The wisdom is that there is a universal life cycle that applies to everything. If we don’t all understand this then we’re destined to carry on making the same mistakes. Wisdom is counter intuitive logic. If the decisions you’re making in business today feel natural, then you’re making decisions based on past experiences. Doing Wisdom feels uncomfortable and it only becomes comfortable when it’s been applied many times; by which time you’ve reached a higher level of personal development.
Our outer world is a merciless reflection of our inner world, not in some abstract sense; but literally. If I tell you a story, you’ll create a movie inside your head. Now we have televisions and movie theatres. Our brain is complex and adaptive like the internet which many consider to be our brain on the outside. Our evolutionary and biological life cycle is also expressed in everything we do. Our relationships, businesses and the economy all follow this same path. Once understood, we can begin navigating the path more effectively.
“Personal transformation can and does have global effects. As we go, so goes the world, for the world is us. The revolution that will save the world is ultimately a personal one.” ~ Marianne Williamson
The second ingredient is compassion. Our society is in the adolescent stage and it’s time to grow up. This age is characterized by 1C (competing) and 2C behaviours which are controlling and conforming. We’re either competing to be in control or conforming to the hierarchy we find ourselves in much like the adolescent stage hoping they will accept and look out for us. I’ll let you into a little secret. ‘They’ won’t because to really help you they would have to set you free and make themselves redundant in the process.
Technological advances and our potential for personal development, freedom, collaboration, creativity and compassion are already colliding into the systemic limitations of our 2C world. Politics has become pointless, religion rendered redundant, the environment’s endangered, the economy is exhausted and capitalism corrupting. If we don’t develop the ability to not only feel how our behaviours and self interest negatively affects others, but do something to transform the situation, then we hurt ourselves in the long run.
“Being wise selfish means taking a broader view and recognizing that our own long-term individual interest lies in the welfare of everyone. Being wise selfish means being compassionate.” ~ Dalai Lama
It would be preferable to move towards a 3C world in which we’re connected, collaborative and all able to contribute to the whole. Free to pursue our life purpose with passion and mastery; making the world a more socially just, economically prosperous and fulfilling place to live.
The final ingredient is courage. Fear begins with a question: “Will I be okay?” When we ignore the question the fear grows, attacking us just when we least need it. Like all lessons in life, challenges are repeated over and over until we either collapse and disappear overnight or truly ‘get it’.
This is evolution at work and we ignore it at our peril but it will take the courage of a peaceful warrior to transform ourselves, the economy and the way we do business today. To follow the path of wisdom will feel uncomfortable, but transformation is coming because it always does.
“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt