I don’t believe in karma. The idea is offensive to me, really. Thinking like an activist, in our world of war and poverty, karma as we know it could only be described as prejudiced and punishing. And I don’t do heartless.
But I do believe in love. I believe that if you give love, you will receive it–not as a reward from the universe but as a side effect of living authentically. When our actions align with our values, our lives reflect it. Give love, live love.
I’m a big fan of the strengths movement and my number three strength is Connectedness. This strength indicates my deep sense of connection with myself, the world, and the people in it–and it’s probably why I love doing team building and cooperative theater work so much. I believe that connectedness is the wellspring of compassion and compassion flows into love.
In my business life, Connectedness translates into a deep compassion for my fellow awesomepreneurs–mold-breaking people pursuing their heartwork. This spring and summer, I participated in a Strengths Mastermind group led by Brent O’Bannon, a client and colleague, and I had the opportunity to work and play with an incredible group of awesomepreneurs from around the world. All via Skype. For ninety minutes a week, we gathered together on a conference line and Brent led us in a discussion of that week’s strategy for harnessing our strengths and living more authentic, purposeful lives. We shared our strengths, of course, as well as our dreams, our passions, our business goals, our stumbling blocks. (If you’re a strengths skeptic like I was, take a look at my RKA in LA post, My Love/Hate Relationship With Positive Psychology.)
I got lucky with my Strengths Mastermind. The ninety minutes we met each week filled me with purpose and positivity. And the incredible individuals in my group–coaches, consultants, photographers, doctors–became a part of my virtual family, expanding my sense of Connectedness to other awesomepreneurs.
A few of us strengths ambassadors still keep in touch, sharing the ups and downs of awesomepreneurship and finding creative ways to nudge each others’ dreams along. We form strengths partnerships, not business partnerships–a more meaningful form of networking, if you ask me. (Is “heartworking” taking it too far on the Corn-o-Meter?) Getting to know each others’ unique talents and unique visions helps us support each other when/where we need it most, without the bottom line being the bottom line.
When I receive a message from one of my fellow Masterminders, it makes my day, boosts my productivity, and gives my work a deeper sense of meaning. I love swapping stories, giving virtual hugs, and sharing business woes. And when I can, I love being of service to others–give love, live love. The benefits of “heartworking” with other awesomepreneurs don’t end in zeroes. And it’s not about karma, either. It’s about making meaningful connections with those around you, no matter what you’re doing, enriching your life and the lives of others. No money changes hands. Awesome.
When I worked in the “real world,” I remember rolling my eyes at my co-workers instead of finding ways to connect with them. I wonder if I would have felt more fulfilled by my work had I cultivated meaningful relationships with my teammates.
Now that I’m in the entrepreneurial world, pretty much everyone feels like my teammate. (There’s that Connectedness strength again.) I’ve seen the error of my ways. I’m not wasting any time switching up my game. Give love, live love–no matter what I’m doing. I can’t say it with any less cheese.
Tip #2 for working with heart – love on your fellow awesomepreneurs.