I’m writing this post in early February which means spring is less than six weeks away, and there are only 46 more weekends before you’ll be opening Christmas presents again (just 44 weeks until the first day of Hanukkah!)
That’s pretty shocking, isn’t it? But I hope that instead of causing you to have a mild anxiety attack I can convince you of the importance of living in the moment and enjoying today for the miracle that it is. I recently read something that said if we only had seven more days on earth that we would surely make the effort to see all seven of those sunrises AND sunsets. We’d take the time to sit with loved ones, holding hands, hugging, talking… We’d eat ice cream, laugh and cry. The moments would be meaningful and our senses intensified to notice every detail, every nuance and bit of beauty.
The “small stuff” (i.e. most of what takes our attention on a daily basis) would seem insignificant as we got back in tune with that which really matters. I like to think that we would be kinder, more loving, more intentional with our thoughts and actions. In our “normal” every-day life, however, we tend to live with the illusion that we have all the time in the world. So often you hear about someone who gets a terminal diagnosis only to go on to say that in fact, that news was the best thing that could have happened to them because of the way it changed their entire outlook and life experience.
Without getting too esoteric, I would like to suggest that we don’t need the knowledge of a diagnosis or the threat of having just a week left on earth to decide to be more conscientious, mindful, and committed to finding in our work a real alignment with our true purpose. I believe that business and the higher sense of purpose/ spirituality/ mindfulness are all intertwined and actually lead to better business decisions and a stronger brand and culture overall.
I have to be honest and say that a few years ago the main reason I was running my business was for profits. With my eye firmly on the bottom line I lost sight of the more important questions of our mission and how we were ultimately going to give back to the community in a meaningful way. During the past 18 months or so my business underwent a major shift that allowed me to rediscover the company’s core values, and to make decisions based on how aligned they were with those values. I stopped chasing the wrong clients and started doing the work that felt meaningful and important.
When this happened I started seeing some very interesting results. More of the right kinds of clients started finding us, which meant that I had to spend less of my time and energy on business development. Profits started climbing and the work started becoming fun again. I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night now and start working on my laptop, not because I am stressed and worried, but because I am inspired and have so many ideas for our clients that I want to get them all down before I forget them. I rediscovered a passion for the work that I hadn’t experienced for a long time, and I think that for many of us that is the elusive element, the thing that got away, the answer to everything.
Rediscovering the passion and the purpose doesn’t necessarily mean leaving your job or starting a whole new company. It can, instead, be just a small shift that brings it all back into alignment. The first step is raising your awareness that something more really is possible and then it’s a matter of taking mindful and intentional steps towards discovering (or rediscovering) your mission and purpose and aligning everything and everyone with that vision.