We at BW Coaching, Germany are beginning 2018 by apologising to our clients for our loud Newsletters in 2017. What we sent to our clients last year, instead of our usual relevant information and impulses, was mostly marketing news. This approach seems understandable at first sight, because we are a coaching firm and want to make you aware of special offers. Looked at more closely, the approach reveals itself as wrong, because that is not where we are coming from.
Over the past eleven years, BW Coaching has made a name for newsletters that discuss topical themes in the field of leadership, follow important trends and pass on practical tips for routine performance in leadership roles. Endowing sense and preserving sense held, and still hold, the first place in all our activities. For this reason, we are turning away from “Tell & Sell”, and reflecting once again about ”Back to Meaning“!
“Back to Meaning“ – Finding Sense in a mad World.
The buzz words of our time are digitalisation, agility, permanent distraction, VUCA and stimulation overload. The typical symptoms are shortness of breath, nagging insecurity, workplace marathons, superficiality and disassociation. Not only is the world becoming crazier, but also we, isolated figures in it, are finding that our value systems, customs, biorhythms, work environments and perspectives are permanently moving. Jolts go through our lives that knock us off-centre. New models plunge us into doubt about what we have grown used to. Disruptive changes turn whole branches of industry upside down. Virtual worlds demand a new kind of attention that devours our time. In spite of making ourselves ever more open to changes and novelties, we are posing ever more insistently questions about the reason and the sense of it all.
In a world of digital techniques and artificial intelligence (AI), we cannot get past one immovable observation: the human personality does not allow itself to be digitalised. We remain creatures with emotional needs and a body made of flesh and blood.
In these mad days, our need has grown for compass bearings and a direction, without which we cannot feel safe. We want to know whether it is worthwhile to pursue a set goal, and to know what the road looks like that is supposed to lead us there. More often we query the instructions, information or opinions we are given. We want our actions to make sense, which is to say, to have meaning – meaning that shows itself by a satisfying result and an accompanying sense of fulfilment.
Sense is always Personal!
We cannot find THE sense that is universally valid, but rather we must find our own sense for ourselves. Sense is always personal – and not to be found outside!
Outside, the hyper-interlinked world endlessly bombards us with messages, and thoroughly distracts us from ourselves. We are hyper-actively riding the highways in the virtual world, liking on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and checking the News Online. But do we ever actually take note of how we are feeling, or how we are?
Finding your own sense means gaining a sense of your own self, and listening in to your own needs. Very often we look for sense in the sense of other people – in what others have tried to present to us as being sensible. Almost mesmerised, we take note of what entertainment stars, politicians, gurus, VIPs, bosses, colleagues or friends prescribe for us, and live out in front of us. We must go higher, further and faster, and be glitzier and wilder, and we want all of it. How strenuous!
No Meaning without Clarity
And when we stop to think for a moment, we begin to understand: only when we reach clarity about our OWN values, desires, limits and needs will we find the answer to the question of meaning. Try this out with our five-minute exercise:
- Make yourself comfortable in your chair, whether in the office, aeroplane, train or at home
- Breathe in and out three times, to draw your attention to the coming question
- Ask yourself: What is really important to me personally? – and give space to all the thoughts, images and feelings that come. No censorship, just let them flow, and keep on breathing quietly
- After about five minutes of free association, your thoughts will have calmed down and sorted themselves out
- And then ask again: What is really important to me personally? – and listen conscientiously to the answer that is spoken by your inner voice. It could be a sentence, a word or an image, but which of these is not important. What matters is that you understand the answer.
With this little exercise, you can achieve clarity and gain access to your own vitality. You can perform the exercise everywhere and often, and so keep on posing the question that absorbs you most. The exercise provides you with a moment of quietness in our loud world, helping you to become yourself, and to remain so.
A Word of Thanks
For being so patient with us, we thank you! If you have read this far, we have achieved our goal of providing you with some meaningful impulses.