I’ve started writing my Heart-leadership book. This post and podcast is from Sparkenation 2 'Hear Your Heart'.
A reminder a sparkenation is "a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what’s normal."
My favourite metaphors for essence are voice, song and music.
I was first introduced to voice/song/music as a metaphor for essence on the day I left hospital following what had been a life-saving operation.
I was 23 years old at the time and as I look back I was very naive then about matters of the heart.
My doctor had introduced me to the heart-mind-body connection and had begun to teach me meditation something was totally unfamiliar with. He had also taught me a mantra "I have an attitude of gratitude” to help me ensure that I became a survivor of what was then a 1 in 5 chance. I said the mantra out loud in from of a mirror for several days prior to my operation. It's a practice I have continued now for 43 years!
I didn't know it back then that I was beginning to tap into my heart by believing what my doctor was teaching me even though I had very little understanding at the time.
My doctor came to see my wife and I on the day I could finally go home after weeks in hospital. His parting words were “Don’t die with your music locked in you.”
My wife Carol and I had no idea what he meant!
Later we discovered these were words by the British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli who probably borrowed them from Samuel Beckett.
This discovery was the beginning of a what has become my life’s work to help people to find your voice, sing your song, play your music.
The Stephen R. Covey book that I recommend the most is ’The 8th Habit From Effectiveness to Greatness’, which digs deep into this topic of essence.
In this book Covey describes Voice as "unique personal significance - significance that is revealed as we face our greatest challenges and which makes us equal to them."
He says Voice is found at the nexus of talent, need, conscience and passion as illustrated below:
Talent (your natural gifts and strengths),
Need (including what the world needs enough to pay you for),
Conscience (that still small voice within that assures you of what is right and that prompts us to actually do it),
Passion (those things that naturally energise, excite, motivate and inspire you).
What are your natural gifts and strengths?
What needs are you providing that you’re being paid for?
What is that small still voice inside you saying to you on a consistent basis? Are you paying attention?
What naturally energises, excites, motivates and inspires you?
These 5 questions demand answers don’t they.
The world needs you to have found your Voice!
Sometimes we call your Voice Song and sometimes Music.
In many of my online conversations and in person workshops I ask participants to choose a theme song for where their live is heading. Many people immediately get their smart phone out and play their song!
What would your theme song be right now?
Possible Actions You can take to discover your essence (find your voice, sing your song, play your music)
1) Undertake my short online course to discover your essence. It's called ‘Magnificence’ You’ll find it here.
2) Seek out people you trust and who know you well and ask them to describe in a sentence your character and how they see you at your very best.
3) Reflect on your life’s work to date. What is it that you love to do more than anything else? What does this tell you about essence?
4) Play with Covey’s insights about your talent, need, conscience and passion and see where it leads you
5) Get used to hearing your heart before you start asking your head anything!
Do Your Work.