14 January, 2011

Creating Meaning

Which Life Will You Create – Pleasant, Good or Meaningful
Holidays bring with them time to reflect, time at the beach and time to catch up with my TED talks. A couple of the TED talks that stood out for me included Martin Seligman’s State of Psychology and Brene Brown’s Power of Vulnerability.
As a recovering control freak and an eternal optimist both of these talks resonated with me. The Power of Vulnerability highlighted to fully live and reach your potential you need to stop controlling everything. You need to be OK with a bit of mess. You need to be OK with the uncertainty of life. You need to acknowledge your own vulnerability and let it breathe and flow. By doing this you can take risks, be OK with things not working out and therefore know that you can get through any situation. Exercising your vulnerability allows you to step up and grow in different ways that you could not imagine compared to trying to fully control a situation. Being vulnerable for me is exposing myself to failure. Without risking failure how can we fully succeed? We have had many great ideas that sizzled and then fizzled. That has not stopped us from creating new ideas, we don’t know which idea will work. All previous ideas were great practice experiences to help us really appreciate when an idea actually does work!
Allow yourselves in 2011 to be a little risky – create a little mess, trial new experiences seek new adventures and allow your teams and families to play too.
Martin Seligman spoke about the more positive lives we could live and categorized them into 3 types: Pleasant, Good and Meaningful.
Pleasant lives – emotionally feel positive in the moment, but the feeling dissipates quickly. For example the feeling you have when you watch a funny movie, or buy a new pair of shoes or new clothes. Allowing ourselves to be fully present and mindful to savour our lives can make a pleasant life even more enduring.
Good lives – when time stops and you are in the flow/zone and you are immersed in whatever you are doing. You are so into your experience you do not recognise anything that is going on around you. For example athletes, musicians, artists are totally immersed in their experiences and nothing else exists. When I am coaching, dancing and writing I am in this zone – it feels like time just stops. At these times we are generally working with our strengths and allowing them to shine.
Meaningful lives – ability to use your strengths to contribute to something bigger than yourself. Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jnr and Nelson Mandela are examples of leaders who have led meaningful lives. Becoming a parent definitely added a new dimension of meaning to my life and any work that we provide to charities and community groups definitely has a long lasting positive impact on me. The challenge is to find your own meaning in your life.
Which life are you living?
In our work lives what environments are we creating for ourselves and colleagues – are we amplifying the work stage to allow vulnerabilities to be tested and shine? Are we creating pleasant work environments, where people love to come to work? Are we encouraging people to work in their zones playing to their strengths? Are we creating meaning in our workplace where people can contribute to a greater cause?
If we truly want our businesses to be innovative, rise to the new technological and environmental challenges we need to take risks and create meaning. Live fully in 2011.

1 comment:

Antony said...

Hi Sarina. What a cool blog post. Thank you! I too have taken some time to to think about our family, our work environment and 2011 (and to watch some Ted talks too!) So your writing really resonated for me! Thanks again. Ant Gaddie