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Bring Meaning to Work and Purpose to Spirituality

On my flight back to Chicago on Friday, I watched Chariots of Fire, the
Oscar winning movie about the lives of two British athletes whose rivalry
and faiths won them gold medals at the 1924 Paris Olympic Games. As it
happened, I just had a conversation with a software business partner about
winning in business on the day before. I wrote him a note: "if software is
the chariot of your business and drug that of Abbott, what are the fires
behind them? Is there something universal in these athletes, you and me? If
we could tap into that deeper source of energy and power, I believe that we
can build extraordinary chariots and produce non-linear financial returns in
any field."

Of course, I did not elaborate with him that we have a secret weapon called
theory U! It sounds abstract but really very practical as well to
periodically re-examine and re-store the fires in whatever we are doing,
especially after we have been doing it the same way for a while and the
taste begins to dull and juices run dry … The simple truth is that nature is
much more interesting and resourceful than what we are capable of sensing
and leveraging at any time. It pays to take notice of the changes in the
rhythms and patterns of energy in and around ourselves in order to
continuously improve the quality and effectiveness of our lives, in business
as much as in our private lives. If we are honest with ourselves, as members
of our group have begun to acknowledge, we spend the majority of our
time/energy in repeating the same routines and protocols dictated by social
traditions and our own habits. That is only natural. Not doing so would
result in chaos and destruction of civilization as happened in France,
Russia and China during their revolutionary periods. On the other hand, the
universe is moving on – new phenomena and orders constantly emerge to
replace the old. How do we keep up with these contradicting forces of
nature? That's where the secret weapon of theory U comes in handy J To
practice our professions from the depths of field 3 and 4 is an effective
way of turning the wheels of nature within and around us so that we become
more effective and live a higher quality of life. Is it easy? No. Is it
worth it? It depends on what else are on your radar and plate. Our group has
made a promising start at examining where we are spending our energy
currently and a dawning realization in most cases that it's far from our
espoused ideals. Step two, starting on July 19, we will focus on creating
the motivation and ownership for change. In Otto's language, we have so far
been sensing "I-in-me", "I-in-it" and, to some extent, "I-in-you". I hope
that the video of Spiral Dynamics on next Saturday would serve as a catalyst
of shifting our frame of reference to "I-in-now" which is essential for
reaching field 4 and stoking the fires of transformative change in an
authentic and sustainable way. It is both inspiring and humbling to realize
that you and I are the custodians of such natural fires. In time, when such
fires are burning more steadily, we'll explore more practical and specific
ideas of making them felt in our respective professions. Does that sound
like an acceptable plan?

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