“Don’t listen to the crowd; listen to your own soul.” – Unknown proverb
When it comes to making pivotal life decisions, business decisions, or personal decisions, what do we measure before we say yes or no? Do we think about its impact on the people around us? Do we think about its impact on ourselves? Or do we delve deeper and consider its relation to our firmly held beliefs, morals, and even our subconscious
Your soul is regarded by some as the only immortal part of your body, as a spiritual being that will endure on long after your physical body is gone.
But we can look at it in a practical way, too. We have a body that looks, hears, touches and moves, a mind that perceives, thinks and decides. We have a heart that feels – happy, sad, loving. We also have a soul that can lift us to a higher level of experience. We get this – every time we experience a stunning sunrise, or hear a beautiful song, or allow a powerful poem to wash over us with its deeper meaning. Unless our minds are too busy, of course!
Do you listen to your soul? Are you in touch with your own soul? Most importantly, do you let it guide you through critical personal and business decisions?
Here are a few ways in which you can identify if you are living with soulfulness:
- Do You Choose Money Over Meaning?
Many of the greatest minds and public figures of our time, from Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, to Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey, have said at one time or another, it’s important to do what you LOVE. Something that means something to you. The rest, they suggest, will fall into place. Why? Because people can sense genuine meaning; we can often tell when something is simply a scam for money. When we feel someone ‘means’ what they say, we take much more notice. We trust. We’re even a bit inspired.
Therefore, do you choose money or meaning? Or at least a good balance? When it comes down a big business decision, if you want to live a life that can nourish your soul, look for meaning. Both in the journey and the outcome. You’ll be surprised at how quickly the money will follow. More and more people are now looking to buy from brands they believe in; brands that contribute something to life on the planet rather than just exploit it.
- Do You Stick with Convictions, or Change Them?
It’s only human to have your own opinions and closely held beliefs. Do you stand by the beliefs even when it gets challenging, or do you flip-flop as it benefits you? Those living with soul stand by what nourishes their soul, even if it’s unpopular at the time.
When we see the work of Cicely Saunders (founder of the modern hospice movement), Nelson Mandela (champion and president of the inclusive South Africa) and others, we can sense that soul is driving their work.
- Do You Care About Ultimate Impact?
When you go to make a pivotal decision, do you reflect on what it will do to you and your career, or do you reflect on how it will impact not only your employees and coworkers, but society as a whole?
The ego is all about ‘me.’ The soul-level is about ‘we.’ The soul connects all of us and how we participate in a living breathing human ecosystem.
If you really want to do something with soul, then consider how it will impact the entire community of your company, as well as mankind. Business leaders who have been driven by ego-mind and the desire for personal wealth at all costs have left our planet in a perilous condition.
Opting for a selfless viewpoint is one of the defining elements of a soulful life.
- Do You Care More About Impact or Advancement?
Finally, when you speak, do you speak with presence and impact? Do you speak to share and influence, or do you speak to say what people want to hear or just impress? Driving business with soul starts by aiming for a persuasive impact that is rooted in your core convictions when you speak to employees, colleagues and other stakeholders.
Hiding behind a heavily stacked slide deck and just reading them, or a boast to show how great you are, is allowing your ego to drive the ship. This can ‘ping’ on the other egos in the room and they may retaliate. Connect people at a soul level with a powerful story, and things can be very different.
A 360 Degree Vision?
Today’s business world is often volatile, complex, dirty, and filled with individuals who would sell their sister for a buck. To get the results you want to become a leader that has presence and impact, start by identifying your own unique soul, and what nourishes it on a daily basis.
We need to see the bigger picture – a 360 Degree Vision.
From there, the rest is history. More than this, it is about writing a better story, together.