Will We Become the Light or the Darkness?
I have often said that whatever we pay attention to is what we become. I’m up early catching up on work. A few days ago, we lost our beloved dog. Right now, one of my few assets in moving forward through this tidal wave of grief is to support someone else. Fortunately, that has been my default mechanism for many years and it works.
Crafting a client’s brand identity allows me to see, once again, the strength and beauty of someone’s spirit. Brands are about consistency. In looking beyond someone’s day-to-day story, I always find a kind of spiritual fiber that is moving and beautiful. Helping them see that is always based on truth and not hope or aspirations. Since their brand definition is based on truth, it is easy to remember and no, it is not a bland “elevator pitch.”
In the hard work of regaining a positive outlook, I have to curate what I look at on Facebook and social media in general. The “culture of outrage” is snagging far too many of us. Yesterday, we had a Skype visit with a dear friend who was once a client. I met her after she had made the difficult decision of leaving after playing a leadership role with one of our country’s most hallowed entertainment brands. When I walked into her office, she spun around and proclaimed, “You are my solution!” I laughed and asked what was driving this extraordinary introduction. She asked, “Have you watched The Secret?” I smiled, “Ancient wisdom passed down through the centuries for $19.95?” “That’s it!” Today, she lives in London, so happy, that when we visit, she literally skips through the streets.
We talked about the turmoil and anger rolling through the United States. It is sad and embarrassing to both of us.
We talked about the royal wedding and what a lovely celebration of love it is for all of us. But later, getting through the comments on Facebook without poisoning the appreciation of this event also required not getting snagged by the outrage of its cost or the stain on Oprah’s dress or the guest’s probable gender preferences or the hateful Queen and her past. Such outrage obscures a love story that can uplift anyone.
These outbursts towards each other obscure opportunities to become better versions of ourselves at every turn. On Friday, one of my online syndicators republished an article in which I portray disengagement as perhaps the greatest challenge in today’s culture. This set off the culture of outrage where many readers said “how dare you” settle on this one problem. I am more than up to this feedback. Because the trance of disengagement, of outrage over superficial differences, the acting out, the commitment among many to look at the dark side of life, distracts many of us from the greater terror of not having a compelling and workable vision in a world where change accelerates and leaves so many behind.
Our country has attracted the greatest and most diverse talent pool on the face of the earth. But, it is being squandered. As I was writing The Workplace Engagement Solution, it became clear that a huge portion of our citizens needs to learn how to change not the world but to change themselves. Accelerating change from the world is leaving many of us in the dust. In the old industrial culture, was usually bad news. But, the scarier truth is that many people believe they cannot change. It often takes a remarkable challenge such as recovering or dying from an addiction to push someone to actually transform their beliefs, values, behavior, and outlook. But, we are now living in a time where transformative change is offering radically new opportunities or obsolescence. And, the tectonic shifts requires in all of us.
The fear of self-change is leading to a culture where we blame others for our distress. That is a complete and utter waste of time. In fact, it seals our fate. Blame the 1%? We will live in poverty. Blame our leadership? We will become distracted from producing great leaders. Blame our neighbors? They will turn against us.
Life is short. And, it can be tough. My wounded heart will attest to that. But, the only way I find myself way back to the light is to re-experience the love that I have for everyone that I love whether they are here or not, alive or dead. Toni Morrison once said, “We die. Perhaps that is the meaning of life. But, we have words, and the words that we use is perhaps the measure of our lives.” Think of that as you write your next post.
When I began Inspired Work, participants would walk through the door and I would quietly judge them, thinking, “Oh, this one will never get it.” They had the wrong political outlook, religious background or education.” I was even a geographic racist that required a narrative about someone’s limitations based on where they lived! But, having a spiritual contract to serve them, no matter what, led to my realizing the same degree of spiritual power coursed through everyone’s veins and that I was centering my attention on superficial differences.
Want to stop an ugly reality show? Stop watching.
Want to be happy with life? Look for all that is good in life.
Want to change the world?
Develop your real purpose and not the one that was foisted on you by someone else.
Shine more brightly than ever.
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