I’ve been thinking about inspiration and why we, normal, high achieving business people would give a tinkers about it. I mean, what value does it add to an already busy life?
I can’t really say that being inspired is better than not being inspired, because quite frankly, it’s bloody hard work maintaining it. You’ve no choice but to get up early, can’t buy into the eat, sleep, work, sex, sleep model of consulting life and that means effort. So I guess the question is: “Is the effort worth the pain?”
As a management consultant I found sport to me my sacred cow. It sort of lifted me clear of the mental grind and responsibility of thinking logic and solving problems. I loved running, going to the gym, sweating and of course my kayak paddling. But as I grew in seniority, and the number of people depending on me to turn up each day all day in a good space grew, I started to sink into a pattern that I hated.
My pattern, I don’t know about yours, was to become proud of my work, to start identifying myself with the results I achieved, to measure myself by income and to become more effective and efficient at my daily output. In other words, I became a robot.
I couldn’t sleep. Robots never sleep. Robots are always right. Never wrong. Robots are always competent, never incompetent and if they are, it’s the fault of someone else. So, I achieved more, got paid more, won more business as a robot. But I couldn’t sleep.
Eventually I learned tricks and habits to get me to sleep. Those aren’t always the source of good sleep. It became a vicious cycle. I even fell into the trap of taking holidays to apologise to the family I was delegating to the school and my partner to take care of. I made more money, did bigger projects, but I was in a prison of my own construction – a loop, a habitual adaptation where I thought being a robot was normal.
What I did next made things worse. After the divorce, I studied Zen, Yoga and Meditation. I became a spiritual robot. I listened to the calming rhetoric of Eastern teachers who had certified themselves over a weekend and had never done a day’s work in their lives. I became a half robot, half working, trying to do it smoothly, trying to be at peace, trying to save the ions that I digested with my organic carrots. I became a nothing, a half hybrid car, great for nothing good for everything. People liked me more, that was a winner but the work, the clients and the income plummeted. I didn’t care, I was zen.
It took many years to learn how to be switched on, alive, naturally on fire at work, then switch off, and be equally on fire at home, and then, sleep deep. Sleep really is the barometer. I love the fact that when you are at the height of inspiration in your life, you put your head on that soft fluffy pillow and enter another universe, a universe I call, recovery.
I love the fact that when I wake up inspired, the world looks great even on a cloudy day. I no longer blame the restaurant for serving too much wine, I no longer blame the day for my day, I no longer blame my heritage or ex wife or anything for anything. I’m inspired and my life is the culmination of my choices. I choose inspiration because if feels great to be alive and, there’s no half arsed efforts.
There is no such thing as a half hearted success story and yet, with East meets West as we struggle to deal with work load there’s a growing ignorance that calming yourself with zen or yoga is really the best route to life. It isn’t. LIFE IS LIFE. Meditation or yoga, the escape from life, makes the reality of life even more judged and cynical. Life is Life and to run the script “LIVE LOVE LIFE” means – to be in it, up to your ears, 110% Inspired. And there’s no reason not to.
Breaking the old pattern, bringing in Inspiration and replacing desperation takes 30 days. But you’ve got to want it bad. You’ve got to be hurting. You’ve got to have that feeling that making money, being attached to the puppet strings of results and remuneration is not a good way, you’ve got to realise that running away from life and work, doing stuff with some crazy notion of work life balance is not healthy. You need to turn up in life. Life is meditation in action. Spirituality is reality. There is no separation. You are inspired, IN SPIRIT, every day but your mind may not know how to bring it to your work. And that’s what the 30 days of the 30 day coaching program brings.
Inspiration has three key components:
A vision of the future that’s real, inspirational and doable with a big stretch.
Turning up, being here, right now, in this moment with 100% love for whatever you are doing.
Purpose greater than self … I know, it sounds a bit Deepak, but it’s great. Everything we do in life has two elements WIFM and WIFO (what’s in it for me) and (what’s in it for other). If you target the WIFO high enough you’ll lead the world. Inspired.
If you’d love to comment, I’d love to read your thoughts below.