For a couple of years now I have been on a search for more direction in my life. Mostly I have based my decisions and actions on short term tactics and reaction behaviour. I am pretty good at it, and it has brought me to where I am now. However, for the past 12 years I have the feeling that I am not living up to my full potential. I have even “lost” myself a bit in the process. As stated in my bio, you can read that I practiced Zen Meditation and Zen Buddhism (I still am, but I lost my Sangha). Through Zen I learned that it is important to educate yourself, but not get too attached to the content of what you are learning and the teachings themselves. It is a very common and easy trap to fall in. Whenever you are down, you reach for books, documentaries or people to get guidance, which is fine. But it will not essentially help you, it will only show you a possible way or direction. You, yourself, have to do the work. I remember asking my then Zen teacher how I could combine the Buddhist principles with business and marketing, he indicated that it all boils down to your “intention”. As long as your intentions are good, you should be fine.
Having turned 40 last year I am at a point in life where one needs to make certain career choices (at least that is how I feel). Therefore I have been reading up on many things. Some of my favourite authors include: Malcolm Gladwell, Tim Ferris, Tony Robbins & Stephen Covey. Their books provided me with many insights and tactics for life and business. Nevertheless, as the Zen teaching says: these are all just sign posts. It takes personal action to actually make things happen. And this is part of my frustration (I think many people out there feel the same way). I have all this knowledge and understanding, yet I still feel as an underachiever and not being able to really live up to my fullest potential. I even considered the fear factor, as a culprit of holding me back. And, in my case, it does have a certain influence. So at the start of 2017 my resolution was not procrastinate anymore. So far so good. ON a side note, I have had professional coaching in the year before as art of my career development; Thank you HR : ) During these sessions some personal stuff has been identified and I got some new tools and directives to push me into the right direction.
Now, halfway through 2017 I am more focussed and being the best I can be on a daily basis. Everyday we start from scratch if you think about it. One item that runs like a red thread through everything I came across was: adding value
The whole business world is based on adding value. “What is the added value of paying for that?” is a common question. As a marketeer I deal with this topic every day, and it is what determines our succes as a business. But also on a personal level. We add value to the lives of people around us through the various roles we play: Father, husband, colleague, manager, neighbour etc. Therefore back to 10 years ago to what my Zen teacher told me: it is all about your intention. While sitting on my pillow counting my breath it hit me. Whatever I want to do, or whatever I am searching for, the main question which will help me find the way is: what value am I adding
I believe this is also one of the key teachings of Tony Robbins. Even Oprah Winfrey said something similar, if I remember correctly: ” just do whatever it is you want/need to do to the best of your abilities and with the right intentions, and you will be successful and fulfilled”.
This blogpost will not end with a conclusion and a finale, but rather with an open end, or beginning to a new path. Currently I am learning about blockchain technology, as I believe it is something that will be big, and I need to be riding the wave early. For too long have I stood on the sidelines with knowledge but too afraid to jump on and therefore becoming a mass adopter (both in my private and professional life). I had a conversation with on of my best friends who is also experimenting with his own business ideas after leaving the corporate world, about how we can capitalise on this new Blockchain technology. And sitting and meditating, the answer came. I am asking the wrong question. I should be talking about, how I can add value by possibly using Blockchain technology in any new business or business model. And the beauty of it all is that I can apply this philosophy to everything I am currently already involved in such as my daily job, family, friends and community.
I will leave this post by claiming that my new life motto is:
How can I add value?