“He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how…”
In the United Kingdom we might have killed off our Industrial base, but the mind-set is still all pervasive: keep everyone down, pay them as little as possible and ignore them until they shout.
Of course, in times past, if you were living in abject poverty, the prospect of slowly crawling your way out of dire circumstances was the right thing to do. You didn’t mind sacrificing your time, effort and dreams (and your life!) for certainty.
But, nowadays, certainly in the developed West, the situation is very different. The opportunities are boundless. You only need look at the number of new businesses started – usually with nothing more than a laptop – to understand that people have stopped waiting to be picked.
However, this entrepreneurial group account for only a small part of the workforce. The majority of people are housed in a slew of cubicles. It may be conjecture (but I think I’m right), but all of them live a life that compromises their latent genius and unexpressed self.
There are exceptions where someone has found their vocation but, as long as the bargain struck, turns on financial recompense, there will always be an element where people feel unrewarded for their labour.
For people who work external to the business – particularly in the human dimension – we are often called upon to fix, what is, a moribund model. But, at best, we end up adding yet another sticking plaster to a fragile model. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t decry those who have made a commitment to working in the business, but the truth is that most businesses have no intention of realising the genius that lies within.
There are numerous reasons:
- They’re afraid of the consequences;
- They don’t have the roles to satisfy the increasing demands of their enlightened cohort;
- They will have to pay them more;
- They will leave and start their own business;
- They will expect more say in the running of the business;
- They will be harder to manage; and
- They may inspire others to believe there is a better way.
Call me cynical but all of these smack of the autocratic, old fashioned command and control model where everyone knows their place and is in their place. Usually, there is a strong financial motive for maintaining the status quo. Those people at the top have had to endure for so long that under no circumstances are they going to sanction their own demise!
As a aside, it always staggers me to think that there all these dissatisfied and unhappy people running around an organisation and yet none of them ever think collectively how they might change the business for the better. Are they really that scared?
This post is of course self-supporting of my raison d’être. Why not? It’s my passion – to see every person achieve their potential. I don’t like to use profanity, but the whole thing *isses me off to the point where I feel driven every day to not only raise the issue but in time to share my thinking of where I think businesses can make the biggest difference in unlocking the unexpressed passion of their workforce.
You might wonder about some of the other areas that I have spoken about and shared: social media, business development, brand you and marketing. When I look back now, I see that most of these have been part of my own journey of self-discovery. You have to remember that up until recently (in my working life) I have been driven by the desire to be the best lawyer possible; but, as I have repeatedly said, all that did was keep the curtain drawn and obscured the possibility of understanding the real me. It’s not that I think of myself as some personal development guru but, rather, I’m inspired to act and in turn to help others.
Nowadays, I see myself much more in the writer and speaker mould than I do consultant. Even around these areas, I’m not sure I want to follow the normal path of creating gobs and gobs of material to sell. What I would like to do, much like the dialogue in Eckhart Tolle’s book The Power of Now, is to test my ideas surrounding the premise of Awakening the Genius Within in a business and personal setting. It’s not that I don’t understand my own thinking but we learn much more by sharing and teaching than we do when we stand up and merely preach. It might be a slower, incremental process to flesh out the complete thesis of my work but I know that those who start curious, and move towards a process of discovering, internalising and becoming the most of anything – one small step at a time (genius happens that way) – will be able to share a more meaningful message.
The point is that no one book or seminar is going to change you. Of course, you have to want to change but drawing back the veil and awakening isn’t to be taken lightly. Let’s face it, it took me until I was 42 to experience the sudden seeing that life was not meant to be lived out in a career, even one that prima facie was meant to be professionally fulfilling.
I know, for many, the idea of change is scary as hell. Most people as they grow older accept the status quo and resile themself to never improving their lives. And I don’t just mean in a financial sense. I mean to understand who they are and their purpose in life.
But you have to accept that change is part of life. If you’re not changing your slowly dying and not just in a physical sense.
Our internal critic is never our best friend when it comes to change. If anything it will perjure and falsify the situation to make us belief that any change will bring the house crashing down. I know that for many people they will never experience that moment of clarity sufficient to achieve a breakthrough. But that shouldn’t stop you from thinking there has to be a better way.
I hope in my work to illustrate a process – I know that sounds cold but change is like that and not driven by a completely new way of living – where you develop your insight and shield it from your inner demons.
A good first step is to start a journal. It won’t always work but writing down your thoughts every day – no matter how vague or imprecise – will allow you to work through your fear. After that it’s a case of habit change. And if you stick at it before you know where you are you will have internalised the new behaviour which will give you the self-belief necessary to tackle some of the bigger, life changing projects.
If there is a goal it’s to live a higher purpose. One that moves you each day to do what you have to do in becoming the most of you.
Let’s be clear this isn’t some happiness agenda. It’s a higher purpose agenda. One where you come alive in every moment.
As I have repeatedly said, I’m driven to help others. It’s part of who I am. But there’s one big difference from where I’ve been before. I genuinely believe that if I can only help one person to awaken their genius then my life’s purpose will have been met. I’m not dismissing the help I give to my children but even if my life was to end today, I know that they would realise their genius. Why? Because they are doing right before my eyes.
I look forward to sharing my message.