Monday, October 12, 2015

Finding Spiritual Meaning in a Painting

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. (Viktor Frankl)

I work in a group where a handful of people try to figure out the state of the world together. I am one of the few strategy voices while the rest zooms more into the analysis of countries. One of our colleagues who also did strategy together with me decided to retire early a while back and I lobbied hard to find a new colleague who would also do strategy together with me. As it turns out, my request was turned down and we got someone who was more of a generalist. Somewhat disappointed I looked at the situation and figured that at least he is an expert in politics, which was an important angle I had done very little work in. So the upside implication was that I had even more general resources to draw upon, even though I had to do more of the strategy work myself. So be it, I thought to myself.

When the new colleague arrived, I took a look at the painting he had brought into his new office. I always do that because I have discovered that this subconscious choice of an art object says much about the person and the environment he is operating in. I could make out two sail boats on a rocky sea. Well, the symbol of a volatile sea is a powerful image in our investor world as it often takes volatility to generate investment opportunities, and it somehow seemed as if these two boats were heading right my way given that his office was just adjacent to mine. We discussed what seemed to be inside one of the two boats, and I offered "egg" as an idea. That seemed like a good symbol, maybe there is a birth of a creative idea in the making?  A third colleague joined our discussion and discovered "beacon" in the other boat. So we named the boat "Breakfast for Champions" as a title for his painting. From that day onwards, whenever I saw our new colleague I was thinking of how bacon and eggs, figuratively speaking of course, was coming my way.

I think this example speaks volumes about the Power of Positive Thinking. You associate a positive outcome with someone and because of it, you manifest it that way. In the meantime, the new colleague not only provided breakfast for me, but lunch and dinner as well. His strength is marketing and he has put many of my investment ideas on the map for me, in a way I never could have done. So it turns out that your attitude about someone determines the ensuing relationship. But then, I am not telling you that you should go out and be naive about things and people, but I would encourage you to use that little creative spark that the Tao is always so happy to supply; so please jump at the opportunity that presents itself! Everyone can work together after you have hung out for seven years or more. The opportunity of the Tao is to accomplish the same feat in seven weeks or seven months instead. Wherever the Tao shines, care, creativity and connection are just around the corner. 

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