May the Fourth Be with You!
There are four requirements for world and personal transformation.
The four conditions.
The four solutions.
The four pillars of wisdom.
The vital fourth missing ingredient.
This missing ingredient is the activation key. Once added to the mix, transformation to a brighter future will spring forth. But, before we learn what that secret ingredient is, let’s examine the others.
The Four Conditions.
Before people will shed their comfort blankets, these four conditions must be present:
Total disillusionment with the illusion now present.
An insight into a better world.
Enough motivation or inspiration to do something about it.
A path or practice to get there.
So, everyone is reporting on the latest atrocities—probably on the latest, coolest Mac shipped in from a sweat factory in the far East. Choose your ego poison, there is plenty to get mad at in the world.
Whether it is ‘royalty’ shooting at wildlife for fun, the Chinese suppressing the Tibetan monks or the senseless killing of troops and civilians in Afghaniraq, there is enough work for Enlightened Entrepreneurial Leaders (EELs) to get stuck on.
But be careful, because motivation by anger is short lived. Furthermore, you have to wait for ‘things’ to get very bad before you act. This leads to what most politicians do: be satisfied when they get ‘caught trying.’
There will be a lot of noise, but nothing fundamentally changes.
Pain motivates people to short-term reactions and non-effective response. In revolutions, you find the oppressed attacking the oppressors when they can stand no more. The former oppressed then become the new oppressors and business continues, as usual.
You better not wait until the really mad/bad stage is here before you act.
Find a purpose that inspires you to move towards a new vision of the world. Make your work the path of the re-evolution.
The Four Solutions.
There are only four solutions to any challenge within a given situation, person or system.
You can put up or shut up.
Try to change the situation, person or system.
Change your response.
Knowing the above makes life really simple. It is just a case of choosing the one that fits. One caveat: trying to change ‘them’—i.e. system or person—is practically impossible and it will be short-lived even if you succeed.
I am with Bucky Fuller on this point: “Don’t fight the system, better to make a new system which makes the old one obsolete.”
We mostly put up and shut up now because we feel powerless, and this suits big corporations and governments. They are never going to change because they’re motivated to stay at the top and in control.
So that really only leaves you two options: change your response and move away. These two solutions may be our best choices. Move away from the establishments/systems that are disempowering us, and change our own behaviors.
Changing your own response is the best way to change the behaviors of others. EELs look at their own environment and find opportunities to combine work and transformation.
A personal example:
I decided to make authentic beach bum jewelry, with natural recycled materials, sell it cheaply and only sell it in the village.
I am now attaching a note to every piece, asking the owner to return the materials back to the sea once they have finished using them.
EELs look for opportunities to be highly differentiated, principled or heroic in their businesses. I won’t make much money; a lot of people will copy the idea and make their own, and that’s exactly what I want, since it serves a purpose here and now.
It stops cheap imports travelling thousands of miles and landfill sites and beaches filling up with plastic. Plus, I reckon it’s good karma to support the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan monks by moving support away from Chinese exports.
Now, imagine if everyone did something similar, even just as a sideline or hobby. It’s a 3C world. Everything is Connected, Collaborative and Contributing to the whole.
As Mother Theresa said,”it’s easy to love those far away,” but the small things you do in your own neighbourhood often have a greater impact.
The four pillars of wisdom essential for achieving goals.
A clear outcome.
Rapport is about being in tune with others, the world around you and also congruent with yourself. You need a clear outcome so you and everyone else ‘gets’ what you’re trying to achieve.
You need sensitivity to notice if what you’re doing is working: e.g. try bitching at those in power and see if they stop doing whatever they please. If it doesn’t work (and it won’t), don’t waste your energy on it.
You need to bring the power back to you; adapt if you need to or move on when you have achieved your outcome.
“Self awareness and self acceptance leads to self confidence” ~ Thích Nhất Hạnh
So what’s the missing ingredient?
It’s You, of course. The world is not going to transform unless you personally determine how you are going to contribute and get stuck in. I don’t mean ‘you’ in the collective sense, I mean you, the one reading this now. This is your call to action. Nobody now in power is coming to save you or me, we have to do it ourselves.
There is no hiding from the fact that you are either part of the problems or you’re out there creating solutions. Which one is it?
“To affirm that men and women are persons and as persons should be free, and yet to do nothing tangible to make this affirmation a reality, is a farce.” ~ Paulo Freire
Complaining about it is not enough. Waiting for the perfect time is not enough. Writing about it is not enough (the bombardment of negative messages just adds to the feelings of helplessness).
Getting ‘caught trying’ by throwing money at the challenge is not enough. Running marathons is not enough. Occupying the parks isn’t enough. You’ve got to make it your life’s work.
I don’t believe in work-life balance; it’s all life. I don’t believe in social enterprise organisations or ‘not for profits’. Business and society are one. A business is either contributing to the ecology or it needs replacing.
Economy in its original form means to take care of one’s household. “Be the change you want to see in the world” is not some twee comment, it’s a survival necessity and as Mark Twain proffered:
“Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.”
Questions to ponder:
What are you leaving for others to do or paying others to solve now?
How can you contribute from your location now?
What issue are you ignoring now about your world?
What do you wish was different?
When is now a good time to get started on transforming that last answer?
(P.S. Will some bright spark make a home grown eco version of a Mac, please?…)
Editor: Andrea B.