Bring Meaning to Work and Purpose to Spirituality

On my flight back from London on Friday, I watched a movie (don't know
its name since I started halfway) about a guy falling in love with a
girl whom he met in a bookstore. This guy makes a living as a
newspaper columnist and advises other people and his three daughters
not to confuse sexual infatuation with love - his punch line to one of
his teenage daughters is that one does not fall in love in three days!
One of the books that he recommended to the stranger in the bookstore
contains a line, "love is not a feeling, it's an ability". He then
went on experiencing and learning the true meaning of it in the next
three days during a family reunion in which the woman in the bookstore
showed up as his brother's new girlfriend! At first, he tries to walk
his own talk by dismissing his feelings as sexual infatuation. Pretty
soon, however, he found himself incapacitated in performing his
"normal" functions as a professional and parent. His mind clashes
violently with his heart! A similar process plays out within Marie,
who attempts to stay cool but find it increasingly difficult to remain
true to herself by attaching physically to the athletic and playful
brother while her heart is crying out to the other. Finally, she told
the heart broken brother that she appreciates him as a good friend but
they are both better off to part and seek true soul mates. The climax
of the movie comes when the whole family goes to a bowling alley only
to find the departed girl and the other brother enjoying their first
honeymoon together as freely united spirits!

That's a perfect appetizer to our meeting today with the "Da Coach". I
used a set of presentations (see uploaded file named "Heart and Soul")
that I developed several years ago to facilitate our time together. As
far as I could tell, Gerry, Kelly and I were quite taken by the
experience. We had a mini-dialogue on every quote/page, relating to
our own experiences - challenges, hopes, strategies and practices. We
barely made it to slide #13 when the clock stroke 3:30! What have we
learned from this experience? The first comment that Gerry made when
he walked into the door was that he felt we are "stuck" on the left-
hand side of the U and he felt impatient to practice some swings on
the right-hand side. By the end of the session, we clarified (1) there
is no question that we must come out of the U swinging. Otherwise it's
nothing more than a fluke; (2) the quality and power of our swing
every much depend on the depth of the source or field of energy that
initiate it in the first place. The swing from field 1 is not the same
as that from field 2, 3 or 4 in terms of its power, authenticity and
effectiveness. We are already swinging and will continue to do so as
long as we are alive. It's only a matter of becoming conscious of our
own swings: from which fields are our actions originate? Are they
authentic? Truthful? Impactful? Sustainable? Organic? In other words,
how close are we to feeling that "one authentic swing' in our
decisions, priorities and actions of professional and family life? The
chances are that we have some ways to go. "Da Coach" can help. On
slide #13, Einstein laid out the essential elements of the "one
authentic swing": all organisms (human beings included) start their
existence swimming in the sea of experience. When we are 5 months old,
our mother's breasts are far more important than democracy and theory
U! Download is beautiful, baby! When we grow older and start school -
if we are lucky enough to be born where an education system actually
exists and functions no matter how poorly - we learn how to use
abstract knowledge to organize and manage our otherwise quite messy
experiences. Welcome to field 2. That is the power and danger of
knowledge. Without such abstraction, we cannot function any
differently from any other animals. The risk introduced by such
"civilization" is that knowledge, by definition, is an abstraction of
and to various degrees distortions of our true experiences. Therefore,
knowledge both empowers and endangers us by making our experience
actionable and fallible. What is the remedy? Enters field 3. We need
to learn how to swim back to our experiences, reconnect with our
roots, repair the wounds suffered by the distortions of knowledge.
Moreover, we need to accomplish this without abandoning knowledge.
Otherwise we become autistic, back to our mother's breasts as adults!
Download is no longer so cute, man/woman! What are we got to do then?
Become hippies and join protects against inhumanity? Sure, some people
do and there is even some good to it. But it cannot possibly the
authentic solution. That's when the incubation of field 4 begins and,
eventually and hopefully, comes out swinging in a fundamentally
different direction. Einstein observes that this is largely a
psychological process leading to a revolution of our very conception
of reality, human nature included. For those of us becoming restless,
the fundamental question is where does your energy come from? What is
the source of your leadership (labeled blind spot by Otto)? Who is
your Self? What is your Work? Once you become clear of this point for
yourself, your incubation or metamorphosis is completed successfully.
You are ready to become a butterfly into the real world. It then
becomes possible to crystallize your vision, prototyping an
implementation and scaling up the impact - the next steps on the right-
hand side of the U. When you have achieved this complete cycle, you
will know how the "one authentic swing" feels like and you will have
transformed love from merely a feeling to an ability.

Gerry revealed that he will be addressing 50 of the top managers at JP
Morgan on the subject of leadership on Feb 22. He felt both excited
and anxious about this opportunity/challenge. Will it produce as much
impact as he desires? Will it boost or damage his reputation as "the
expert" on leadership at JP Morgan? He is clearly in "the box" and
will be coming up swinging. We wish him the best and will be grateful
to him to share his learning from the experience, success or failure,
with us afterwards. For rest of us, what "box" are you in? Do you like
your swing? Does it feel right? When is the curtain going up? What is
preventing you from stepping onto the play matt?

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