There is a sense within each of us that strives towards harmony. It’s as if we have a strong magnet right at our core that lets us know when things are out of whack. If you set your life’s compass by your inner magnet it will never let you down. Living your life where you feel the strongest, most positive, pulls may not take you down the easiest of paths, but it will always lead you to your highest good.
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” The wisdom of Lao Tzu’s words resonate, we know everything changes, we even know – in hindsight – that things generally work out for the best, yet much of the time we continue to resist change and fear it as an enemy.
Life is like standing on the edge of the seashore with your feet sinking in the sand. There’s an illusion of permanence - the tide will come in and it will go out again. Yet the spot you are standing in right now will never be the same spot again, sands shift, sometimes imperceptibly, other times dramatically. Impermanence, change, is the natural order of things.
"this is a time of significant change - from the inside out"
In the world at large we can point to many atrocities that humans inflict on each other and on the planet. For most of us though, few of those impact our own experience of daily life. However, this is a time of significant change - from the inside out.
In organisations the pace of change is faster than ever before. The resistance to change has become more an ambivalence, eroding loyalties and the sense of belonging. More and more are seeking fulfilment, "there has to be more to life".
On the home front, mixed families are becoming more common with divorce rates globally trending upwards. People are less willing to be unhappy, which in itself is a good thing.
Yesterday I heard from an uncle, who had been reading my articles, and felt it put him in mind of Rousseau when he said ”Man was born free and everywhere he is in chains". Indeed, if we look at our life through the lens of our mind that is true. “I can’t” is a mantra of the mind which tends towards the more pessimistic as it usually runs in survival mode as a default; unless you change it.
There is much more to us than our mind. You are born into this world with talents, traits, perhaps even a purpose, and - most importantly – a sense of what is right and wrong for you, and only you; your inner magnet.
"only you know what is truly right for you"
You are unique. In the history of mankind, as Sir Ken Robinson pointed out in an interview recently, there have never been two humans exactly alike. Therefore, only you know what is truly right for you.
I look upon life as a journey I wanted to undertake before I ever arrived. There’s no memory in mind of why I wanted to take it, because my mind belongs to this physical body, which did not exist before I was conceived.
"there’s a deeper knowing within"
However, there’s certainly a deeper knowing within, that inner magnet, that continually gives you feedback about whether you are on track should you choose to listen. Mind, body and spirit, all three are great feedback systems when you listen to what they are actually saying.
It’s really simply, if you feel good (in all three), you’re on track. If you are out of whack, it will show up in thought patterns, distressing emotions, illness and malaise.
So how does all of this relate to what’s happening today in our world, with people becoming disenfranchised in their home and work lives? I use that term deliberately, because it relates to people being stripped of their power – which is what happens in traditional workplaces and in the sense of traditional relationships.
"be unwilling to be shackled by conventions and bound by ‘rules’ that make no sense for you"
What we are seeing is people starting to take back their power, unwilling to be shackled by conventions and bound by ‘rules’ that make no sense for your natural growth throughout life.
Earlier in the week I was asked whether my partner and I would ever get married. Yes there are benefits to couples making commitments in the raising of children, but to expect someone to feel as they do today, to want what they want today, to need what they need today, in 20, 40 or 60 years from now, just doesn’t make sense.
"by getting past the need to put external controls on others, there will come a harmony"
If we can get past the need to put external controls on people, instead of the anarchy feared in the minds of many, there will come a harmony.
As Fredric Laloux talked about in ‘Reinventing Organisations’, any organisation that makes the change from ‘management’ to ‘self management’, does go through an unsettled period. However, self management is where profit, purpose and personal fulfilment can thrive together as discussed in my recent article about the remarkable new organizational structure.
The same is true for us as individuals. With freedom comes responsibility, consequences are directly felt. Therefore the adjustment is usually fairly quick.
First though, you have to wake up to the conventions, cultures, beliefs and unwritten rules you’ve unknowingly subscribed to, the things that make you think “I can’t”. Try turning that around, “what needs to be true for me to…” and follow your inner compass, not the one society has set for you.
Embrace change and you will change not only your world, but the world around you for the better.
This article was originally published on LinkedIn.
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/65910542@N06/6320137795">Which Way?</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/">(license)</a>
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