When Joseph Campbell created the expression “follow your bliss,” he was reflecting an idea that seems to be very appropriate right now. In “The Alchemist,” this same idea is called “Personal Legend.” Alan Cohen, a therapist who lives in Hawaii, is also working on this theme. He says that in his lectures he asks those who are dissatisfied with their work and seventy-five percent of the audience raise their hands. Cohen has created a system of twelve steps to help people to rediscover their “blissful blessings” (he is a follower of Campbell):
1. Tell yourself the truth
Draw two columns on a sheet of paper and in the left column write down what you would love to do. Then write down on the other side everything you’re doing without any enthusiasm. Write as if nobody were ever going to read what is there, don’t censure or judge your answers.
2. Start slowly, but start
Call your travel agent, look for something that fits your budget; go and see the movie that you’ve been putting off; buy the book that you’ve been wanting to buy. Be generous to yourself and you’ll see that even these small steps will make you feel more alive.
3. Stop slowly, but stop
Some things use up all your energy. Do you really need to go that committee meeting? Do you need to help those who do not want to be helped? Does your boss have the right to demand that in addition to your work you have to go to all the same parties that he goes to? When you stop doing what you’re not interested in doing, you’ll realize that you were making more demands of yourself than others were really asking.
4. Discover your small talents
What do your friends tell you that you do well? What do you do with relish, even if it’s not perfectly well done? These small talents are hidden messages of your large occult talents.
Begin to choose. If something gives you pleasure, don’t hesitate. If you’re in doubt, close your eyes, imagine that you’ve made decision A and see all that it will bring you. Now do the same with decision B. The decision that makes you feel more connected to life is the right one – even if it’s not the easiest to make.
5. Don’t base your decisions on financial gain
The gain will come if you really do it with enthusiasm. The same vase, made by a potter who loves what he does and by a man who hates his job, has a soul. It will be quickly sold (in the first case) or will stay on the shelves (in the second case).
6. Follow your intuition
The most interesting work is the one where you allow yourself to be creative. Einstein said: “I did not reach my understanding of the Universe using just mathematics.” Descartes, the father of logic, developed his method based on a dream he had.
7. Don’t be afraid to change your mind
If you put a decision aside and this bothers you, think again about what you chose. Don’t struggle against what gives you pleasure.
8. Learn how to rest
One day a week without thinking about work lets the subconscious help you, and many problems (but not all) are solved without any help from reason.
9. Let things show you a happier path
If you are struggling too much for something, without any results appearing, be more flexible and follow the paths that life offers. This does not mean giving up the struggle, growing lazy or leaving things in the hands of others – it means understanding that work with love brings us strength, never despair.
10. Read the signs
This is an individual language joined to intuition that appears at the right moments. Even if the signs point in the opposite direction from what you planned, follow them. Sometimes you can go wrong, but this is the best way to learn this new language.
11. Finally, take risks!
The men who have changed the world set out on their paths through an act of faith. Believe in the force of your dreams. God is fair, He wouldn’t put in your heart a desire that couldn’t come true.
12. Be yourself and share generously
Thats the beginning of a life of dreams. Finally living your dream can easily be interpreted as being yourself unabashedly and offering your deepest gifts to those who seek it.
In my last 12 years of work as a Leadership Facilitator, I have come to a conclusion. Till the time “real women” (not those who have become like men n suit n tie) take charge, corporate India would suck badly. When I visit organizations, all I see is scared men (not all but mostly scared). Scared of their bosses. Scared of the system, scared of some stupid policy. But in all this chaos, I have met some powerful women who truely shine and make a difference. Some of them I would like to mention below
A. Manisha my biz partner. Most powerful leader I have ever witnessed n worked with
B. Lynett – Director Amdocs, HR. Who trusted us with their Sr. Leadership Work
C. Shambhavi Sharma – Founder of Splendid. A woman who stood and still stands shoulder to shoulder in mans world n still does the needful.
And I can go on and on.
What I noticed about these women is there pure fearlessness. At times, I have seen many Sr folks shittin in their pants in front of their seniors but these women have stood their grounds very powerfully.
And I honestly feel that transformational change can happen when “real” women take charge of boardroom standing shoulder to shoulder with “real men”. I know it’s difficult but in last few years we have seen amazing results ever since we made this our priority.
If you are a woman and reading this, my only urge to you is.
“Hey woman. Rule the world. Man needs to learn from you how to run a family, community n this world.
Just make sure, you don’t follow men in their footsteps, you follow ur heart.
That’s the best way to lead. Wishing you more power.”
This Red Poem is dedicated to the most powerful woman of my life, my business partner and a fellow walker on journey of life, Manisha. She is one natural leader, i learnt most of my difficult leadership lessons from. Lessons of transcending fear, lessons of being yourself unabashedly, lessons of being fearless when it comes of love and work, lessons of building a team and a family on threads of mutual compassion, love and deep respect for each others gifts. I will be honest, this woman taught me Authentic Leadership and at Red Wisdom though our clients never get to see her, i would like you to know that she is the source of undying inspiration for all that we do and create for organizations, families, communities and people at large. We both stand for the same vision. Inspiring organizations and communities to bring in more love and harmony to the process of creating genuine value for each other.
While leading your life and your family or your team, once in a while it is good to take risks. Especially if you are very young and starting a career or if you are going through your mid life crisis.
The rewards will slowly come if you are patient.
Few risks you must take, I truely suggest.
1. Quitting or taking a break from a job that you don’t love.
2. Going in that direction when your heart points towards a dream that keeps you awake at times, take some actions in direction of that dream.
3. If you love someone, tell the person so with no expectation of favourable or unfavourable response.
4. Trusting people in your life more than you trust yourself. Especially your family members. Going beyond the games and really caring from your heart and dropping judgements.
5. The most difficult risk which you must take. Love yourself, unconditionally.
Take these 5 and I promise, you will suddenly improve quality of your life n you will love yourself. Never be afraid of the new positive changes, one day you will realize, you only asked for it. 🙂
While you take these risks, keep the following in mind.
1. Stop Borrowing or Create a plan to become debt free
2. Use your creativity to provide for your family
3. Simplify your life and learn to see how little you need
4. Always keep a mindset of this and that rather than this or that
5. Say i love you to yourself and those around you regularly. Some prayers are best done everyday. Make expressing love as your heartfelt prayer. Take this last risk, and you never know you might stumble upon an easy going, blissful life. Doing what you love to do and building a great family and community with some selected fellow walkers.
Life is joyful. Let go and learn to enjoy. The biggest exhilaration comes with risking for something for collective good. It will help you lead a powerful and meaningful life.
But above all whether you win or loose, dont loose your heart.
Hold everything lightly and never take yourself seriously 😉 Tension lene ka naai, aur deneka bhi nai. Majje main reheneka.
Leading is simple. It is a process of discovering and being yourself. Sometimes easy n sometimes difficult. It is a path. It is a calling.
Those who lead, lead because they love to not because they have to. Real leader is real. Unafraid of current reality. SHe respects reality and hence is always fearless to create something new.
The one who has discovered power of yin, leads longer sometimes even after she has left the team. She leads by the message she leaves in the hearts of her fellow walkers.
Thanks for dropping by. Am Raj Mali. Co-founder of Red Wisdom. A Pune based OD consulting firm, with a specific focus on Leadership Development & Executive Coaching.
Me and my partner, Manisha Belvalkar started this company with a simple vision of supporting organization to inspire and generate Authentic Leaders, who can lead with balance of Head & Heart.
What we do is…
1. Inspiring and facilitating new leadership paradigms which balance head and heart without compromising on bottom line.
2. Bringing forth power of clarity, balance and awareness to everything an organization or leader does.
3. Doing & Delivering point 1 & 2 with “extreme” simplicity. 🙂
With each engagement, whether its about OD or Leadership or Coaching, my effort is to bring forth power of balance, clarity & simplicity in all aspects. Presently there are 4 dimensions to my consulting practice.
I have been working with organizations like Amdocs, Kpit cummins, Tieto etc., designing and delivering interventions and programs in the area of Leadership Development, Inspired Creativity, Intense conflict, Mentoring & Coaching. This typically involves working closely with HR or OD teams of our clients to understand specific needs. And then designing & delivering programs or topical interventions that can best address those needs. Ensuring perfection over time with a robust feedback mechanism. Please click here, find more about Leadership Development facilitation practice here
2. Inspired Creativity Labs
These labs are created for enabling people n organizations to temporarily create altered perception of reality using dance, movement, music and other means to find deeper inspiration hidden within each human being. Being an artist and having perfected various spiritual arts, I share a process through which you can become more creative and lead an inspired life. To find more, please click here
Having worked in the Leadership domain, i would always end up with requests of one-to-one coaching from time to time. So one assignment led to other and have slowly built a fairly moderate size of Life n Executive Coaching practice. So far have coached many Sr. & Mid. level executives from organizations like Tieto, Amdocs, Kpit Cummins etc. Please click here for more on Coaching
OD consulting using Appreciative Inquiry & Healing wounded Organization Archetype
This we do only for evolved organizations which truely cares for itself and wish to become sustainable, who wish to understand its “Organization Soul.”
It begins by first surfacing the wounds and also surfacing hidden healing n inspirational potential within the complex organization system.
An organization is a complex organism or open system just like an Individual. It has its own past, its own beliefs n values and its own soul. Like an individual is constantly talking to himself, others n universe, an organization also is doing the same. When the perception of any of the 3 is altered an organism goes through healing transformation.
I had been a lover of Carl Jung’s work on Archetypes and Principle of Serendipity so over the years have evolved a way for organizations to identify and heal wounded aspects of itself and come forth as a powerful entity which can find a new meaning n purpose for its own existence.
AI for uncovering & unleashing power of Organization Archetypes – With my experience with companies like GE and many other MNCs, i have discovered that apart from their key values, business model & strategy, what also drives growth of these organization is their Collective Unconscious Organizational Archetype. These have a certain impact on each individual who is directly or indirectly associated with the organization. There is an enormous power folded in the understanding of your organizations archetypes. This process can help business leaders at the helm of the organization take some very critical decisions about direction, organization focus & purifying process of generating value for stakeholders.