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Wisdom 2.0 Process Dramatically Improves How You Work

Each year the Wisdom 2.0 conference draws 3,000 people from around the world for conversations at the intersection of wisdom and technology.

So, why is this important?

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Wisdom 2.0 2016: From left, Soren Gordhamer, Byron Katie, Jon Kabat-Zinn

If you haven’t noticed, our access to technology is filling every crevice in our lives with information. Most of which we don’t need.

A recurring theme of the 3-day conference was finding ways to quiet the mind. Left unchecked, (and ratcheted up by technology), the mind spins an incessant narrative that drowns out our internal guidance system.

This isn’t only crazy-making. It’s also crappy-work-making.

The mission of Wisdom 2.0 is to bring together business and wisdom leaders, and explore ways to live more intentional lives with all these gadgets in tow.

Wisdom 2.0 strikes a chord close to my heart: the unprecedented opportunity of technology to fuel our expanding consciousness. The obvious, inherent challenge, is that technology often makes us behave unconsciously.

Access to the internet 24/7, now wearable on our person and in our pockets, creates a fly wheel of distraction and over-information. Google executive, yogi, and author Gopi Kallayil summarized this in his talk about his new book “The Internet to the Inner-Net”. There are, for the first time in human history, more than 7 billion smart phones in circulation.

More than ever we need to establish boundaries and rituals that support us being human. Time in nature, in meditation, and in inquiry with ourselves is crucial to remember just what it was we’re here to contribute.

The founder of Wisdom 2.0, Soren Gordhamer, shared the origin of the event in his opening session. Years ago he was walking aimlessly around a tiny New Mexico town, processing the loss of both his marriage and his job. He shared that on one these walks he was hit by a “breeze” of insight that told him he needed to create a technology and wisdom conference.

He didn’t have contacts in Silicon Valley. He was just passionately communicating his vision. Seven years later he hosts events all over the world. In the room I was in, 3,000 people gathered to hear author Byron Katie, mindfulness pioneers Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn (both pictured above) , Sharon Salzberg, Russell Simmons and many other highly-conscious tech leaders share their wisdom.

In my view, Soren’s story contains the single biggest takeaway of Wisdom 2.0…

In a chaotic, bustling world, when at best we can feel overwhelmed by too many choices, or at worst stripped of our sense of identity, we can find the wisdom we need inside ourselves.

Simple 4-Step Process

  1. Pause
  2. Become embodied. Fully inhabit your body, drawing your attention to experiencing life in this moment.
  3. Ask: What does my life want from me right now?
  4. Listen, and act accordingly

Are we to believe our wise next steps magically appear whenever we pay attention? On some level, every speaker’s personal journey reinforced what Soren shared.

If we’re honest, wisdom doesn’t arrive via email, or in our newsfeed. We’re usually hiding in those places consuming information.

As I’ve been tackling simultaneous full-house and career renovations, this simple yet profound process was a great reminder. Alice Bandy, a teacher and scholar of all-things spiritual, confirmed this: each of us, whether we realize it or not, is on our own narrow, singular path.

It’s our job to walk it, with as little outside influence, and distraction as possible.

PUTTING IT TO WORK

How often, especially in organizations, do we find ourselves taking action as directed by someone else? How often is the project still alive 6 months later, when we’re likely onto the 10th revision and still unhappy with the results?

Assigning meaning to a task keeps us personally invested in the work.It’s also essential to staying motivated. If we’re barely staying on the hamster wheel of our to-do lists, how can we be sure the actions we’re taking are right actions?

How many solo entrepreneurs can really trust their own to-do lists? Aren’t they often full of ideas and misguided advice?

The simple act of pausing for reflection before swinging into action creates space.

As we become more grounded and present, we can tune into our body.  How do we feel about the work at hand? Is it causing us stress in our shoulders, or neck? Do we feel at any level like we’re on a wild goose chase? What are we missing that has the potential to bring us lasting joy, or provide a better approach?

If you’ve made an effort to become conscious before swinging straight into action, (or start outright resisting your work), you’re winning the game.

The question “What does my life want from me right now?” at first yields some obvious responses. Like, “A better job!” or “A million dollars.” I’ve found the true answer is usually pretty Zen: To be at ease. To happily serve, and contribute. To feel valued.

Now that you’ve made the inquiry, the actions you need to take can be more more focused, happy, and efficient.

Let’s do a quick experiment. Take 2 minutes and follow Soren Gordhamer’s process. 

  1. Pause
  2. Become embodied. Fully inhabit your body, drawing your attention to experiencing life in this moment.
  3. Ask: What does my life want from me right now?
  4. Listen, and act accordingly

Try these few steps as many times a day as you can. How do you keep your work in line with your values, while minimizing distractions? I’d love to hear any answers you received.

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7 Responses

  1. Thank you for sharing Soren Gordhamer’s 2-minute process. Excellent!
    I shall implement it as an additional daily tool with my current process of setting my phone to alarm 3 times a day with pop-up message, “Be Here Now!’

    In response to your question, ” How do you keep your work in line with your values, while minimizing distractions?”

    Your work, your Life and all your actions must be inline with your values. Otherwise a conflict occurs and distractions easily prey on a person’s life/time/focus.

    A major problem for most people is, although they have an idea of their personal values, they have never DEFINED their top 10 values and written them down on paper. (better yet, place them in order of importance. Even better… justify the placement in the order). The next step is for you to live and make all decisions based on your values as they are defined today. And periodically reassess personal values, as they change over the years.

    We know this well known phrase, “Simple to do, yet simple not to do.”

    Learn to stop before making a decision, look at the situation and ask yourself:
    “Will this feed my confusion or strengthen my clarity?”

    Thanks KC for sharing your wisdom. Congratulations on your move from your corporate career to one serving more teams! You will help many people! Best to you and your family, always!

    Peace,
    Gene

    1. Hey Gene, really appreciate you sharing your values work here. It’s something that’s SO easy to forget when you’re in transition, or moving too fast. Thanks for the props on the move. My career renovation is happening concurrently with my home renovation and move, so it’s a lot! hahah.

      I’m grateful to readers like you who take the time to share wisdom. I align with my virtues almost daily through my “Lens Statement” exercise but I love the simple, powerful idea of revisiting my top 10 values. Will tackle that tonight. Much love. -kc

  2. Thanks KC for this recap and sharing an invaluable process that we all needed to be reminded of time and again. I actually find it very challenging to pause and discover the meaningful answers to the question, what does my life want of me right now? (I was amazed by Soren’s story about how Wisdom 2.0 “founded him”). Almost like with time, and with lots of “busy-ness”, I have lost my ability to tune into my inner voices and wisdom, and struggle with going deep within to listen. Or perhaps I know, and don’t often like the answers I hear. In this moment, if I pause, ask, and listen, what I hear is that I want to be healthy, I want to slow down, I want to be fully present for all of life’s experiences, I want to contribute in a way where I am making the impact that I am supposed to make, and I want to pursue work that feels meaningful and doesn’t feel like work. I am not sure exactly the “how to” guide for those answers, but that is what comes to you. Thanks as always for your wisdom and insights.

    1. Hey Monisha, was so bummed I missed you at W.2! Next time, for sure.

      Your answers are so in line with 95% of awakening humans. 🙂 If you look at it this way, these are some GREAT requests to be making of the universe: optimizing an already great life. This is top of the Maslow Pyramid as far as needs go.

      No less challenging, or taunting… I’ve grappled with just about all of these myself over the last 4 years. The answer I keep coming back to is that all of us can only start where we are. Blowing everything up is wreckless and creates too much uncertainty. Look around where you work now, how you work, how you nourish yourself. Make those tiny, patient tweaks, and speak up when there’s opportunity to ask for better impact work.

      You’ll be surprised how often the answer is YES, only because not enough people are hip to answering better questions.

  3. Thank you, KC, for this simple reminder. As a Pilates teacher I spend my time helping my students fully inhabit their bodies and listen to the wisdom that their physical self is trying to share. I have my own practice too, I love to move, dance and play. I long to live in the physical, intuitive world all the time and struggle to be mentally disciplined as I create my online presence and programs. The idea that I can integrate the two worlds seems like cheating and yet I know that is my only hope. Today, with a long to-do list and rising anxiety about getting it all in, I will pause, feel myself fully in my body, ask and listen to the answer. This will be a big change from spinning my wheels and being endlessly distracted by technology. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks for your calming, sensible, clear voice.

    1. Thanks for sharing this, and so great hugging you last week! That’s the challenge right? Letting ourselves feel like what we’ve done today is enough.

      As far as your online presence and programs, you DO remember that they are just extensions of all the amazing stuff you do offline, right?

      That’s all it is… Articulating clearly the impact you’re having, and what you’re learning/teaching in your classes. Don’t approach it as something separate and massive. And also, the online stuff only really matters if you’re using it to pack your classes, right? Or is the plan to expand the platform well beyond the physical classroom?

      Teaching everyone to be crazy, playful, dancing, expressive YOU sounds amazing. Start offline and create some bite-sized videos that give away some of the tips and tricks. It will force you to get comfortable with the workflow, but it will also grow your platform.

      Much love. -kc

      1. Hey KC, thanks for responding. My plan is to expand outside my small studio. I love creating videos, I’ve made tons of them and I’m sharing them too. The playful stuff is easy for me but getting everything lined up technologically is exhausting. I’m definitely making progress though and getting lots of help is imperative. If I remember that it is fun and keep checking back in with my body I can stay in the flow.

        It was really great to spend time with you in San Francisco. A real live hug is priceless.

        Be well,
        Kristen

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