All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him. – Buddha
I have spoken a lot about this universal truth on this blog. Most religions and countries of the world have their own version of this common saying: “the Golden Rule”, What goes around, comes around, Do unto others as they shall do unto you, Kharma. Treat others as you wish to be treated. Again, it is a universal truth.
What does this have to do with entrepreneurship? Entrepreneurs engage people.
When one has has a vision in mind, which only first presents itself as sparks and electricity in one’s head, it is then their job to help others see their vision in their respective minds. It is, in part, the job of the leader to inspire and lead. In order to lead, one must help others to see the potential of their idea, of their cause of their dream (sparks and electricity) and to inspire them to rally their energies around that idea, to commit to follow or support.
It has been my experience that if one engages in poisonous thinking or dark thoughts or thoughts that attempt to cause harm to another or are entirely self-motivated, that inevitably, such thinking effects the outcome of one´s leadership. Negativity attracts negativity and, inversely, positivity, itself.
It is so easy to get caught up in a cycle of victim-thinking or victimization. No one respects a victim. They might feel sorry for a victim, but they will not respect them. More, few want to follow a victim.
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, physics tells us. What you put out into the world–your energy, your thoughts, your intentions, come back (or so I have experienced). It may take time and the energy return may not always be in the form in which you desire or expect, but it will return–like a pendulum swinging back and forth. First it curves upward and then gravity pulls it back towards its point of origin and past. Repeat, ad-infinitude.
It is so easy to fall into a pattern of negativity and victimization. The world is hard and at times does not seem fair. Well, you are not going to change the world. It is as it has always been and always will be–chaos and a mess. Don´t try to fix the world, fix yourself and, in doing so, change the world in some real measure.
The renowned mythologist and phenomenal storyteller, Joseph Campbell, encourages through his writings and teaching to “Choose to live joyfully within the sorrows of the world”. Note how often Campbell encourages people to “follow your bliss”. He goes on to say that if you follow your bliss, you always have your bliss. But if you follow money, that money may go away and then what do you have?
As an exercise, as a game, commit to one hour´s worth of “acting with pure thoughts”. What sort of emotional shift do you experience, if any? What sort of outlook change do you experience? As you practice such thinking, note if other people respond differently to you.
Here is another little game to play: Practice present consciousness. Hear the noises around you. Just take note. If thoughts arise (past, future or imagination, let them pass and come back to the present). Personally, I find that when I bring my consciousness to the present, that the light that my eyes intake, grows. Quite literally, things become brighter. Metaphorically speaking, they become brighter at the same time. Take in more light and you will have more light in your life.
How does this help one´s business interactions? People like to help those they know, like and trust. Negative Nancy´s and Sour Pusses are hard to trust, especially with resources and risk. Most people are attracted to a positive outlook as such an outlook is life-affirming.
Where do you habitually sit in your thinking? Do you gravitate towards the light or the dark? Positive or negative? Certainly, each is our choice. We are creatures of habit and with concerted effort, we can change our habits and, consequently, our destinies.
Truly, each of us reaps what we sew.
Jim Hart is the founder and Rector of The International Theatre Academy Norway. Hart is an actor, director, producer and teacher.