We like to think of ourselves as being rational, but most of us are far more defined by our emotions than we are by our logic. Most of our thinking and most of our choices are lead by our emotions. Therefore understanding our emotions and where they come from are critical to our authenticity.
Last weekend we had both the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton and the death of Osama Bin Laden. The former, hopefully, being a love match ending a tradition of transactional marriages. The later being an individual defined more by hatred than any public figure we have seen in 66 years.
Love and Hate, together with Fear, are, perhaps, the most influential emotions we experience. The key component, of both Love and Hate, is that, by definition, they go beyond the rational.
Love is the bit that describes any positive relationship, that goes beyond the transactional. A transactional relationship is one that is based purely on what the individuals can get out of it for themselves. A Love based relationship is one where both parties seek the best for the other.
In a loving relationship there is pre-emptive forgiveness, complete trust and unconditional commitment. It is not that anything will be forgiven or that one party will stay committed in spite of abuse – it is that both parties want the best for the other and will avoid anything that compromises the relationship. The relationship exists in a space between the individuals and the commitment is to the ideals and direction of the relationship.
The individuals form a team committed to a common purpose. That purpose may be personal, such as creating a family, or it may be commercial or ideological in a business or political partnership. The qualities of a successful romantic partnership are not so different from the qualities of other successful partnerships. The key, for all relationships and teams, seeking to go beyond the transactional, is the letting go of the ego, the personal agenda and allowing the integration of them with the team.
We are all touched when we see evidence of true love. There is something innate in our desire for such trust, intensity and connection with another. If we truly want it for ourselves, we have to be prepared to integrate our path, our ambition, our ego with another. If our new Royal couple can provide an inspirational role model for true love they can be transformative of the monarchy and more widely too.
Just as Love derives from an irrational connection, Hate derives from irrational fear. Fear is a valuable emotion, it can save us from foolhardiness, however it can also limit us or motivate us to hatred. The most dangerous sort of fear is someone else’s fear that becomes infectious. A meme of fear and hatred that infects a community can lead to defensively justified violence on a truly horrific scale.
In biology monocultures are always more susceptible to epidemic infection than more diverse cultures. Likewise communities that lack diversity and interaction with diversity are more susceptible to infection with fear and hatred.
Douglas Adams wrote of the people of the planet Krikkit, whose planet was surrounded by a cloud and could not see the rest of the universe. When an alien rocket crashed through the cloud and landed on their planet, the people of Krikkit vowed to destroy all other life forms, to make the universe conform to their understanding.
It is this kind of fear of the other, fear of the unknown, fear of difference that is behind much of the worst brutality of humanity. Osama Bin Laden was able to play on the ignorance and misunderstandings of both sides to spread fear and hatred and motivate atrocities by both sides. We can see the same underpinnings to millennia of violence.
Fear can be used to motivate people in business as well. Fear of a common corporate or ideological “enemy” for example. It can be effective in the short term, but it is rarely sustainable. On the whole fear motivates destruction, rather than creation, defence rather than exploration, narrowing rather than opening. Few entities can survive a culture of defensive destruction for long.
For our social and commercial enterprises to flourish and be sustained, in the longer term, we need to embrace diversity, let go of our ego, let go of irrational fear and open ourselves to the potential of True Love and diversity at all levels.
We all know from personal experience that the only relationships with people, places, things, activities, hobbies, organisations, brands or anything else that are truly sustained are the ones which involve LOVE. The ones that go beyond the transactional, beyond the rational and into that wonderful, irrational space beyond, the space of passion, of Love.
Authentic and love based businesses are the future of prosperity. If you would like to see your organisation heading in this direction – give me a call.
In response to my recent “Magic Monday” survey I am now also offering to train personal coaches and business coaches and trainers in my unique techniques, I have also set up “Authentic Tube” to share inspiring videos – please send me your recommendations and I will add them to the channel. Subscribe to the channel to get updates on new videos added.