5 Things to Think About (no.5): Review

In the last 4 posts I wrote about 5 things to think about and this is the last in the mini-series.  So for number 5 I thought it is about time to look back at the year and review things. Look back over the mountains and valleys I have traversed. This is in line with the previous 4 posts and continues the challenge of living the values that I have identified.
As I mentioned previously I am now much more aware that freedom, simplicity and creativity is of high value to me.  This is due to a constant review process and also specifically looking back over the last year and asking myself three questions: What worked?  What didn’t work?  What needs to change?
What didn’t work for me in the last year was that my activities aren’t aligned with my values.  This created massive amounts of tension internally and was visible as impatience and anger on the outside – that has got to go!  …But how?  Sometimes I feel like the victim because how can I keep on changing without passing out on the floor or getting a brain transplant?  I sometimes feel like I constantly have to change, then pause and realise it is not about changing but revealing an artwork from the raw stone – hard work.  It is about peeling away layers, carving away all the unnecessary and revealing what has been there all along.  This can only happen if I stand back and look at what I have already done – I have to review my progress.
I have to be very clear, I don’t believe in new-year’s resolutions.  I do however believe in recognising the journey that I am on, the messages that come my way and responding by working on myself as an artwork captured in stone.
So what did work in the last year?  Identifying what some of my core practical values are.  Even though the last year I could say didn’t work in general (see the previous post about dark places) it has paradoxically also worked.  It seems that the only way to move forward is to go through a broken time that fixes me.  It is perhaps that part of the sculpture that is truly exquisite and that takes more time – at the time it seems impossible to complete and constantly on the edge of failure but when you step back and review it is clear that the difficulty was the key to revealing what is precious.
So what needs to change?  In the next year I need to live in alignment with the values (freedom, simplicity, and creativity) that I have identified.  How?  I know that I do not like specific targets or goals.  Whenever I have tried to put specific goals in place it has made me anxious and irritated (goals could however work for you).  What I know really works we for me is keeping a higher purpose and meaning for my life in mind and then building habits in support of the meaning and purpose.  The critical element is discipline guided by value (in my case freedom, simplicity, and creativity).  I am also aware that I need to do things because it is about experiencing and spreading joy, passion and fulfilment.  Join me in the next year right here as I share this journey with you as it relates to all parts of life.
Perhaps you have better ways of being the sculptor and would like to share it – go right ahead.  What I try and do here is foster energy and hopefully inspire action.  If you would like to add and multiply this effort I truly welcome it!

5 Things to Think About (no. 4): Define Your future

In the previous post I wrote about revolution that is dead.  I also linked it to how business are afraid to truly innovate and initiate deep change.  What I find even worse is how we as employees allow the definition of business by business to define our futures.  This links to waiting for a job to give definition to your life and also spending too much time at work (see the previous two posts).
I always try to write from my own perspective as this makes me sound cooler and gives me credibility.  In this regard I realise how my environment and other people’s agendas influence my own.  Especially in the last few months I have seen how other people’s perspective of me have influenced my own self-worth.  Just because I don’t exactly fit in their idea of success I see myself as inferior.  What a load of nonsense (soft word so your kids can read this as well)!
In reality their perspective and lack of fit have just me realise that I have something truly unique to offer and that I am on a journey of discovery to add passion and joy in every instance.  In the darker parts of the journey I have the privilege to discover how I react – I see my fears for what they are and also the potential that is within me.  This cannot be revealed any other way.  The darkness gives me the opportunity to define myself and therefore define my future.
Quite recently, and perhaps still, I am going through a dark place.  As I was driving in the car the other day I intuitively and instantly became aware of certain values that I in fact hold dear.  I have always held them dear but throughout the challenge of a dark period and the desire to be fully alive that kept me going through this period I have become aware of these values that is at my core.  The process of awareness was not so gradual although the inner process has lasted months.  The result, as mentioned above, was an epiphany!  In that moment it was as if the impurity that blinded me was removed and after many months of feeling lost and confused clarity washed over me.  It became so clear that I truly place high value on freedom, simplicity, and creativity.  
This knowledge immediately eliminated certain options for moving forward and highlighted others that are important.  In this regard it has taken months and moment to more clearly define my future.  As I sit here now and write this I am once again inspired to spread the message of going from survive to alive.  Perhaps you are caught in a place that you feel lost, confused, or even captured by darkness.  My simple message to you is that your life matters.  It matters now!  Your trials do have meaning and that if you hang in there with a hunger in your heart continuously hungering to get to know yourself better and through this journey make this world a better place you will!
I encourage you to define what is valuable to you and continue on your journey of discovering meaning and helping others define meaning.  We need to take an active role and define our future.  If you are passive someone else will project their values on you and define your future.

5 Things to think about (no. 3): Revolution is Dead

From my experience in the corporate market I can see that revolution is dead (we’re stuck behind the barbed wire).  It is the time of moderation, small steps, and low risk.  Everyone is afraid to really make inroads into the historical territory of old capitalism.  The elites are fortified in their towers and have no incentive to change a thing.  And why should they?  If their current position of power serves them this well they have no reasons to be hasty with change.

So we have a number of large layers in the financial industry, energy, and resources that don’t question their entrenched positions.  As history shows, those who do not question their entrenched positions normally fall the hardest.  I am referring to the way that business simply keeps the scientific approach to business management as the dominant management system.  It’s all black belts, MBA’s, business schools, and no real direction as to what we are actually doing in business – what’s it all for?!
Mediocre increments is the order of the day and innovation has become another colour for corporate logos. Innovation (something new or different) has lost its real impact.  We can rather speak of nuances (a subtle difference).  Perhaps it is not time for real revolution, perhaps certain things need to be maintained as it is because there is so much change.
Personally I am disappointed to hear about execs that are once again getting ridiculous remuneration after they paid off their loans to the government.  Personally I would have loved to see things change dramatically but I am aware that it boils down to human nature and material focus will remain.  It comes down to money, sex, and power in their different forms.  Trying to change that is like trying to change the direction of Earth’s orbit.
So why write?  Why spend my free time at something useless?  Simple: The biggest thing that I have changed is me.  I am  done with the big ideals, but I rather focus on the immediate.  Be fully alive now and focus on infusing my relationships with the right focus – people!  It is the higher ethic of freedom.  We keep people captured because of fear inspired control (or power) and keep our planet in chains because of greed – we just can’t stop taking.  We have put a vicious system in place that feeds of credit and natural resources.
Hey!  This is it!  I am starting the revolution.  Every post is an effort to keep the fire alive, to spread the word that we can dream of revolutionised world where business truly serves the people they do business with and improves the environment where it does business.