Melanesians of the South Pacific islands have a legend about the time when humans were immortal. When they became old, they would shed their skins like snakes and become young again. Ancient legends often trigger my imagination. What if the legend is not only a story of rebirth but also of loss, pain, and love? What if we never lost our immortality, but simply forgot how to access it? This short story is part of a book I'm writing, titled "Resilience - Learning To Thrive In An Age Of Uncertainty."
"The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places."
I love this quote. It is from Ernest Hemingway's novel “A Farewell To Arms”, about Hemingway’s experience as a young ambulance driver in Italy at the end of the First World War. A few years ago, I discovered the Asian version of that quote. Actually, it’s not really a quote. It’s an art form.
A large factory had too many fatal accidents and was having trouble bringing the number down. Health and safety standards had been audited multiple times, procedures analyzed and improved over the years, and yet, fatalities were still occurring. The organization was highly committed to safety. The CEO rated his own commitment at 9 out of 10, and his direct reports at 8 or 9. It was pointed out that perhaps people were dying because of that. It sounds elementary, but while 9 is indeed very high, it is not the same as a 10.
We're Not In The Information Age Anymore
The world is shifting from an Information Age culture to a new age of creativity, innovation and intuition. It’s going to be as challenging as moving to another country.
If you feel your organization is not creating enough sparks, that disruption is happening too fast, that innovation seems to be rolling in from outsiders more and more, then you are experiencing the shift to the Age of Creativity. I see this very much as culture shock, the move from one culture to a very different one, where the language, thought patterns, and way of life are unfamiliar and disorienting.
It's easy to focus on war, violence and religious intolerance and get the idea that things are really bad. Taking the long view, humanity has actually progressed massively in terms of empathy, tolerance and non-violence. All in the blink of an eye. We have some big issues to address. I believe we have re-wired our brains in preparation for that work.
Is your startup stuck in a rut? Maybe you’ve developed your first product, got friends and family on board, but now growth has stagnated. Maybe you’ve even begun losing the passion you had at the start of your venture.
When this happens, we tend to strengthen our grip to force the results that we want. One way to reboot is to step back and loosen your grip, like an artist.
I’m blown away by the power of our minds. Positive affirmations can rewire our brains to get rid of habits and beliefs that limit our potential. So that we can reach for the stars and achieve our biggest dreams.