“To suppose that [Infinite Life] could make people as individual, without leaving them to discover themselves, would be to suppose an impossibility. Individuality must be spontaneous; it can never be automatic." ~ Ernest Holmes
“WeCrashed is an American drama streaming television miniseries depicting a story of a real-life married couple at the heart of WeWork, a co-working space company whose valuation reached $47 billion in 2019, before crashing as a result of financial revelations.” (Wikipedia)
What is fascinating about the story outlined above, is the speed at which Adam Neumann, the co-founder and CEO of WeWork, exponentially grew his workspace concept from ground zero, in just 8 years. Granted, the company has now shrunk considerably, but that is not what interests me most. What I am interested in is Neumann’s character. What does it take to be a person who steps way outside social business norms toward the realization of a multi-billion dollar company? Is he extraordinary, or can we all learn something from his methods that we might put to use for ourselves?
There are many successful people with unique perspectives whom I admire, and they all seem to have a similar massage. Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia Outdoor Clothing and Gear, is one of them. Here is Chouinard’s perspective, in his own words:
“A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both.”
The path that Chouinard has described is not an easy one. It may sound easy on the surface, and it is easy from the perspective of the heart and soul, BUT… there is a whole lot of our society that pushes against this idea. So what do we do in response? We cede the way. The pressure is too great. Family, friends, school, media, politicians, employers… they all vie to convince us of what is the one right way. And, when we don’t follow the social norms, we are scolded.
As a young woman, I discovered the idea of alcoholism and quickly realized that my father fit the description. I had no idea I was a child living with this dis-ease in my home, until this new awareness sent me on a journey of abstinence. (I wanted to make sure I didn’t have the same problem).
My family members were distressed with this new development, because they were uncomfortable with my decision. (How dare I ‘make’ everyone else feel so awkward?) It took great strength of character and personal fortitude on my part, to hold my position and march onward. Eventually, I found a group of like-minded people who could offer me strength and support, which made the going easier. And, I can report that here I am today, 40 years later, and now my family members go out of their way to provide me with beverage alternatives.
The cold shoulder happens to all of us, though, in so many ways; subtle and not so subtle. So, how can we manage an ongoing onslaught of rejection and condemnation? Well, this is where a spiritual education comes in handy. Knowing that we all are made up of Body, Mind and Soul, I have learned that it is important to dive deep into study in order to reveal one’s ‘right path’.
We have learned a great deal about the health of our bodies from various sources. There are schools that offer lots of options for education on a wide array of topics, and now there is even ChatGPT and other AI applications to help us access more information than has ever been historically available. But what about our souls? Spiritual organizations are increasingly losing favour with people, and are being replaced with… what? Nothing! As a society, we seem to have “thrown the baby out with the bath water”. We need to find a way back to our souls.
The Soul is the voice of the heart, and it exists within each and every one of us. It is calling to us every day, inviting us to, “Go this way…”, but so many of us have learned to stomp it out… to turn away from that calling, and to follow the crowd instead. We may reap temporary benefits but, in the long run, a fall is inevitable. When we don’t listen to our hearts… to the calling of our souls… our lives begin to break down, one way or another.
Japanese billionaire, Masayoshi Son, apparently once posed this question to Adam Neumann: “In a fight, who wins: the smart guy or the crazy guy?”
Neumann took a minute to consider Son’s question. “The crazy guy,” he said.
Son’s reply? “You are correct, but you … are not crazy enough.”
Listening the the call of our hearts may look and feel crazy, but it is the most sane way to live. It only feels crazy because we have been conditioned to ignore our inner voices and to listen to societal rules instead. When we let go and trust our passions, it may seem like everything is going to fall apart but, really, the opposite is true.
Here is Adam Neumann’s advice: “Do what you love. Find your passion so that you can dedicate your life to it. Money will follow. Don’t give up. Be willing to fail, learn why you failed and do better next time.”
It is people that create our world, not ‘making a living’. When we ‘find ourselves’, and discover what makes our hearts sing, we discover Life wanting to expand through us. Once we all learn to trust this path, a harmony will break out over the land and we will see ‘a world that works for everyone’. Living from wellness, self-expression and empowerment is the change that is needed.
Be the change. Trust Life moving through you… the call of your heart… the song of your soul.
If you need a group and materials to give you strength and inspiration along the way, perhaps consider joining our upcoming book study: The Lion Tracker’s Guide to Life (by Boyd Varty). Here is the link to sign up: https://www.thecentrecr.org/event-details/lion-trackers-guide-to-life-book-study-2023-08-21-18-30
I will be there.
ACTIVITIES FOR TRANSFORMATION
~ Each night, write down the things that made your heart sing that day. Do this every night, for a week or more.
~ Also, make a list of those things that happened in the day that brought your energy down.
~ At the end of a week, make a promise to do more of those things that brought happiness, and begin eliminating those things which had a negative impact on your joy.
~ In time, watch your life take off and soar.