Yesterday we had the 13th session of the 100 Day Warrior. The theme of the day was ‘New Vision’. Due to some delay earlier in the morning and a little improvised birthday ceremony for 2 of our Warriors I felt a bit rushed and I did not deliver the message in the way I had in mind. I confess that this bothers me more than I would like. When I feel chased by the clock and responsible for finishing in time I am less present as I can. And ‘New Vision’ is such a beautiful theme, it deserves full heartfelt attention. I feel a little bit guilty for not being able to give the best of myself.
New Vision is what you experience if the veil of fear is removed. It is also known as the Beginner’s Mind. In the beginner’s mind there is no thought, “I have attained something.” All self-centered thoughts limit our vast mind. When we have no thought of achievement, no thought of self, we are true beginners. Then we can really learn something. The beginner’s mind is the mind of compassion. When our mind is compassionate, it is boundless.
Because the participants of the 100 Day Warrior all come from the creative industry and have created successful companies based on their visionary perspective in a specific field a concept like ‘new vision’ is immediately compared to the current vision. When asked to reflect on ‘new vision’ it seemed like I invited them into an abstract discussion on marketing and strategy. It would have been better if I had replaced the term with ‘beginner’s mind’ in that moment. I think it would have lead us more clearly in the direction I wanted to explore.
I do think that the introduction of Beginner’s Mind into company cultures is the New Vision we are looking for. When we are allowed and expected to do our daily work with no thought of self, and no thought of achievement but from the mind of compassion the employees are offered opportunities to grow by doing their jobs. The whole company would grow spiritually while the output becomes better.
To address the spiritual component in creativity and design driven companies is very important, I feel. Everybody who is blessed with a fertile connection to his creative source knows what if feels like to lose himself to that force and just be taken over. But the dangers lie in fear, insecurity, pressure, overload and feelings of being squeezed dry or exploited. These are real dangers, capable of ruining the soul and the body. But they are also imaginary dangers that are caused by egos who fear inadequacy and deficit. Introducing the notion of Beginner’s Mind would dissolve these dangers.
Allowing Beginner’s Mind to unfold has the potential to invoke magic inside and between people. Especially for creative people a special state of consciousness comes in sight.
Famous scientist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi discovered that people find genuine satisfaction during a state of consciousness he coined ‘flow’. In this state they are completely absorbed in an activity, especially an activity which involves their creative abilities. During this “optimal experience” they feel “strong, alert, in effortless control, unselfconscious, and at the peak of their abilities.”
“The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times… The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.” ~ Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1990, p. 3)
In the footsteps of Maslow, Csikszentmihalyi insists that happiness does not simply happen. It must be prepared for and cultivated by each person, by setting challenges that are neither too demanding nor too simple for ones abilities. My addition to that would be to deliberately and consciously add ‘Warrior Training’ as a designated tool for aforementioned preparation and cultivation. Tasks approached with an open and courageous heart, a straight back and a quiet mind will produce beautiful results in both the experience of creation as in outcome. Just like Zen monasteries are organized in such a way that circumstances become favorable for satori or kensho (an experience of enlightenment) to happen, a Warrior Company creates favorable conditions for flow to happen.
The first companies who have the courage to embrace New Vision as their new vision will inspire many other companies, not only by what they create but also how they created it. They have the opportunity to nurture body and mind and create beautiful and meaningful things simultaneously.
This is episode 86 in a series of 100 blog posts that will be published daily during the 100 Day Warrior, a unique program around physical strength, inner wisdom and meaning. All posts are written by Atalwin Pilon, founder of Basic Goodness and creator of the 100 Day Warrior. For requests for motivational speaking, in-company workshops, online coaching and mindfulness training click here. If you would like to join our international community of brave and inspiring human beings or just follow this blog and receive updates, please click here or sign up on the right side of the page. Atalwin specializes in coaching smart and creative people, both groups and individuals. If you are interested in a free coaching session click here.