At the beginning on July, I wrote about my commitment to being grounded in my spiritual practice as I reentered the corporate world. Although I’ve been burning the candle on both ends of late, I’ve managed to start every day with meditation and journaling, even if somewhat abbreviated than before when I had more free time. In addition to my daily spiritual routine, I use Sunday mornings to vision for the coming week, to seek higher guidance.
On this past Sunday’s visioning session, what I got was essentially a continuation of the theme I wrote about last week, i.e., finding the simple in the complicated. More specifically, the guidance I received fell into these four related messages about living and leading with simplicity.
1. Be Wise, Not Smart
When I asked what I needed to release, part of what I received from my inner wisdom was:
Ego. Fear. Being the smart girl. It isn’t about being smart but wise. That’s leadership.
The other day, my boss complimented me on some modeling work I’ve been doing to inform our strategy that no one else before me had done. A similar reaction came from a business development colleague. The kudos made the smart girl within me proud and fed my ego desire to continue to show up as a picture of success—the defensive personality of which I try to be mindful.
The above message from my inner wisdom reminds me to keep ego in check. My focus needs to be on helping our company make wise decisions based on solid analysis, not for me to demonstrate how smart I am or what I can do. It’s human to want positive reinforcement and acknowledgment, so there’s nothing wrong with that. However, gathering pads on the back can’t ever be the primary motivation. More importantly, that’s most certainly not the way to model leadership.
2. Get Down to the Basics
Embrace your innate knowing. Don’t spin your wheels and make things more complicated. Get down to the basics. Simplicity tells the best story.
When our inner wisdom speaks, it aims for simple and succinct clarity. It’s fear-based ego that worries about taking risks, messing up and thus tends to overcomplicate things unnecessarily. Don’t know about you, but I grew up believing that life is complicated, a myth I have to remind myself constantly not to perpetuate. It seems that we just can’t trust what’s simple and obvious, especially when big decisions are at stake. So, we spin our wheels—often with the help of sophisticated tools these days—to create scenarios, construct contingencies, and vet the pros and cons, lest we make the wrong decision.
My inner wisdom reminded me again to be mindful of my subconscious belief that big decisions must entail a ton of hard work and close scrutiny—lots of wheel-spinning. Instead, when I quiet my mind and listen to my inner knowing, the wise thing to do is to look for the simplest story without layers to obscure the path to right action.
3. Embrace Humility
[Humility] goes with innate knowing. It isn’t about, “Look what I know,” but rather, “This is the truth, the solution to the problem. I’m just the conduit for facilitating its unveiling.”
This reminder is related to #1. I’m truly grateful to my inner wisdom to remind me to keep ego in check. The purpose I’m meant to serve in doing this job is not to show how smart I am and what I know. Rather, if I remain laser-focused on my purpose to serve, then my role is truly nothing more than being the conduit for bringing forth the truth, the solutions to problems, and the wisdom for enlightening the path to right action. That’s the stuff of fearless leadership, and that’s what I signed up to learn and to model.
4. Remember to Have Fun
[Fun] is the whole point of this human experience. You may experience challenges and struggles along the way. They’re meant to be for spiritual evolution, and never the be all and end all. Joy is the purpose. Love is the fuel. Don’t take it all so seriously. In the end, you can’t get life wrong. Remember this, and always do your best. It doesn’t need to be more complicated than this.
This isn’t the first time—nor will it be the last—my inner wisdom reminds me to have fun. As I’m processing the above message to share here, I’m having a light-bulb moment. Fun, simplicity/not over-complicating things and just remembering to do my best are all connected in one cohesive message. Its simplicity is deep and profound!
Fun is lost when I take things too seriously and over-complicate them. Fun is impossible when I expect myself to do what’s beyond my best from one day to the next. If I could manage to remember that nothing is worth doing unless it’s fun, perhaps I could keep in check the tendency to over-complicate things and tame the over-achieving smart girl in me. Perhaps…It’s so simple that it’s almost too easy to be true!
Over to you: Can you relate to any of the four points about the wisdom of simplicity? What guidance or insights would you offer for living and/or leading with simplicity?
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