Monday, July 28, 2014

True Nature and the Selfless Self

“We are what our environment makes is, and if our environment is such as to produce excellent health, beauty, joy and comfort, it will reflect immediately in our lives.”

Rudolph Schindler

The quote above is almost 80 years old – 80 years ago there were “progressive” thinkers out there, pushing the edge and challenging the status quo.

I recently saw a little Rudolph in an issue of Dwell magazine, relating it to how modern design functions best when it embraces and supports nature, and I am seeing a pattern much more universal at play here:

When any form of success is desired, start by including what’s around you first, instead of focusing on ‘you.’

Heck, I think the “me” culture has gotten us in trouble… I think we can agree we see evidence of that all around us.

Take the popular and inspirational meme “be the change you wish to see.” There is a fascinating outward-inward dynamic that can inspire (and create) successful change. For instance, while there may be perfectly legitimate moments for you need to create your own happiness first, what if your own happiness was created by making those around you happy first? What if this attitude of service to the world around us was our modus operandi for life? Oh, I know, just call me Mr. Idealist, but I’ll still try…

Be the change you wish to see, by seeing the change all around you, or better yet…

Be the change < > Enable the world to create change for you

Or something like that.

Basically, just pay attention to both… don’t cut yourself off, keep both arms as you strong-arm your success!

The delicate interaction between internal change/success and the external environment is waiting. You could even argue that the “internal and the external” are ultimately the same thing, and that the human mind is the only reason there is separation: it has been the only way we can easily understand it… but that’s changing.

The consequences of focusing on ‘us’ (as an individual) first? I submit that while it certainly IS useful in many situations, if it is our only approach – and we don’t pay attention to the delicate dynamic between us and the world – we cut ourselves off from the power of the universe to work with us, provide us energy, and ultimately create the circumstances for our happiness. WHOA, now that sounded spiritual. That said, I can cite numerous times, when I have seen it work! Maybe that’s another post, and you’ll just have to believe me for now.

Like a CEO colleague of mine once said (and this is NOT a quote): helping others first is ultimately self-serving, because it creates energy that comes back around to encourage and rejuvenate your own success.

Well, no matter how you phrase it, here’s to holistic success, and a thriving internal/external personal and professional environment. Focusing on the whole, creates a whole new successful you.

Why do I do what I do? I’d love to say it’s just selfless service to the world. But we are all IN the world – and ARE the world. Carry on friends!!!


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