Happy New Year

Posted: 04 Jan 2011 12:55 AM PST

We have a little New Year’s ritual. Whoever we are with, we all sit down and draw a picture of our intentions for the coming year. 

In the past I have been quite specific about wanting to achieve particular goals. This year, I chose to take a higher level focus on the overall experience I would like to have. You can see the image on the blog page and also on Facebook.

The image is made up of seven concentric hearts the innermost is beige and the outermost is both yellow and turquoise. The colours are a reference to Spiral Dynamics (one of the things I teach) and my intention to learn to integrate all levels this year.

On the Red layer of the heart are the words “Love” and “Peace”. These words and the heart are mostly about how I want to feel on the inside. Both would be good externally in the world as well, and that requires enough of us to have an inner experience of peace and love.

Love remains an unfashionable word in the business world but, we all know from our own experience, that the only positive relationships that are sustained are the ones where there is love involved.

We talk about wanting “loyalty”, “trust” and “care” in our businesses and these things only come when you go beyond transactional relationships. Transactional relationships are only as good as the last performance.

Loyalty requires unconditionality and that can only exist through love or addiction. Addiction is destructive, so love is the way to create loyal, trusting and caring relationships.

Peace is about inner peace. I have come a long way since the time when my head was full of white noise and the only way to quieten the noise was through extreme activity. These days peace is a much more common experience, but I still experience doubt and anxiety.

Peace comes partly from being able to detach from events and observe them as interesting learning experiences, rather than getting too caught up in them. And partly from creating peaceful circumstances.

Like many people, most of my anxiety is to do with money. Turning that anxiety to peace means having a good strategy for income and being detached from any fear around it.

In the past seekers of inner peace would detach themselves from this stress in a very physical way, in a monastery or similar. Today the challenge is to find inner peace whilst also being part of society.

In the outermost heart the words “health” and “wealth” appear on the yellow side and “happiness” on the turquoise. In Spiral Dynamics terms, yellow is at “Second Tier” consciousness, where the primary motivation is love and the approach is more strategic than creative.

Health and wealth appear in the yellow area, because both require a strategic approach.

Health needs a good combination of diet, exercise, rest and minimising negative stress.

Wealth needs a focus on the area where we are at our most valuable, finding those who value and are willing to pay for it and delivering great value.

Happiness appears in the turquoise side because it is a more creative act. Happiness is not passive, it is active. We create happiness by taking responsibility for our own happiness and by creating happiness for those around us. We need to know what makes us and those around us authentically happy and focus our time and energy on those things, while allowing the distractions and junk to fall away.

Having a Happy New Year is a choice not a chance.

Best of TED this week: Birke Baehr with the brilliant clarity and wisdom of youth about our food systems. Watch his TED talk, put it on your web site, link to it and talk about it to everyone you meet. I have put it on www.neilcrofts.com

If you would like help in finding your authenticity, give me a call.

Join us on our Authentic Business Radio show every Thursday at 5pm UK, 6pm Euro or 12.00 EST.

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With love


Neil Crofts
Neil Crofts
authentic business

+34 646391384
Skype – neilcrofts


About Neil Crofts

Writer, coach and consultant on authentic business and authentic leadership. Neil has inspired and motivated hundreds organisations and thousands of individuals to their highest potential. Neil has written three published books and numerous e-books. Neil is a coach, facilitator and consultant helping people and businesses find their authentic purpose and use it to inspire and motivate them to be everything that they can be. Neil has raced cars, been self-employed, run a company and sold it, been employed by large companies, experienced growth and contraction at the heart of the dotcom boom, tried changing companies from the inside and from the outside as European Head of Strategy at internet consultancy/rock band Razorfish. Neil has been independent for over 10 years and delivered his Authentic Leadership message to a diverse range of business audiences including people at BP, Shell, Microsoft, Kraft Foods, MSN, Jamie Oliver, South Gloucestershire Council, National Blood Transfusion Service, KaosPilots Business School, Fashion company By Malene Birger, German technology company Eleven.
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