Blog: Columbus and his compass
09 October 2017
Every year the beginning of autumn is the point at which people really start to flag. It’s the time when baggy eyes tend to stare back at you from your bathroom mirror to the sound of an occasional rasping cough. Year on year it feels as if the pressure is rising; both professionally and private. Every year you think, really, the next time around this surely can’t be any busier than last year. But it always is. A common sentiment expressed in most work environments.
Time these days feels compressed, a rough and continuous pressure exerted on man’s limits.
An over accessible and relentless world assails us, from the moment we step out of bed to the point when we pull the duvet over our heads in the evening; an endless cascade of possibilities. We need to steel ourselves in the teeth of an increasingly complex reality which unfolds day after day in an unavoidable motion of perpetual flux; of unremitting cause and effect. You experience in a single day what formally required a lifetime to sustain: too exiting to miss, but too much to process fully. The hyper context in which our lives play out changes so fast that we are no longer able to make sense of it.
Viewed from this perspective, we appear as the helpless victims of our own progress, dogpaddling awkwardly in the tsunami of development we have unleashed. Worn out by the trials of sorting daily reality into something organisable and manageable. Our burgeoning agendas make us dependent on the context within which we live.
And maybe it’s exactly this approach that drains our energy. Perhaps the scorching pace of life desires to teach us the art of surrender; a lifestyle in which as fully equipped explorers we come to accept that in the morning we won’t really have any idea where we will be by the evening. Where we no longer make shallow bids to fathom our world, before fully discovering it, which is an impossibility anyway.
Columbus had no control over his world before setting out to discover it. But he did have a good compass.
The most valuable compass in a world with so few certainties is us… ourselves. Therefore these days it pays to invest energy in yourself; as a person, as well as an organisation or company. In a conscious development process where every day you create increased clarity about who you are, what you want and how you want to achieve this. In a world carpet bombed by impulses, it may appear you will lose time doing so, lose traction as the environment accelerates. But the opposite is true.
You will not disengage from the buzzing world, but rather it will provide you with the facility to handle it with more focus and increased awareness; a self awareness which will help pierce the everyday fog. This will create time and space to connect in a much sharper and more centred manner with the people who offer you prized additional value.
In other words, developing your self awareness means simultaneously developing a capacity for making thoroughgoing and sustainable connections.