In your life, do you have an “inner scorecard” or an “outer scorecard”?
Normally, I am wary of leadership books written by b-school professors. (I only read this book on the recommendation of a trusted friend.) Business schools, represent for me, a philosophy which seeks to manage and control the outer, material world. While there’s nothing wrong with engaging the outer world, a pre-occupation with the outer world encourages a massive blind spot in one’s inner world.
Almost everyone thinks they are right. They then take action using techniques, methods, analyses, algorithms, and other modern tools (often promoted in b-schools) to achieve a desired result in the outer world. Many of these actions are unseemly, immoral, even grotesque. Yet, almost no one questions themselves or their motives. The path to hell is indeed paved with good intent. But…
What are we putting out there in the world?
What we do on the outside is actually just a reflection of who we are on the inside. If we have desires, pain, and suffering on the inside that we don’t acknowledge and work with, we will visit this on the outer world. Do we actually want to do some “good”? Then the key work is to work on ourselves.
Of course, working on ourselves is hard. This is where this book could be helpful. The Author identifies five inner aspects for us to cultivate. He calls out five “Core Energies”. They are:
- Purpose: Pursue a purpose-driven path in life, paved with values, with goals as your milestones.
- Wisdom: Uncover and embrace the truth in all matters, and direct your emotions and thoughts in the service of your purpose.
- Growth: Each day, grow your inward connection with your Core and your outward expression of it in all you do.
- Love: Take joy in others’ joy and find success in their success.
- Self-Realization: Be centered in your tranquil and joyful spirit within.
As you cultivate these five Core Energies within yourself, you will see that what you put out there will naturally be of service to others and the world.
In then book, the Author recalls an encounter with a monk who challenged him with a question, “You people are always talking about God. Tell me this. How do you define God?”
The monk replied, “God is your highest potential.”
What is true success? What is a life well-lived? It is in the process of developing your potential towards a connection with something that is greater then yourself. This development is life and is the inner work for all of us.