Conscious-Business.org.uk

A home for the Conscious Business community in the UK

Keep it clean

3 Comments

JR Ewing is dead.

Actually Larry Hagman is dead, and I always had a soft spot for him. But I understand the JR character for many epitomises the amoral, covetous and above all selfish worst of the archetypal fat cat business leader.

Selfishness is a theme than seems to be the back story behind much of the discourse around business and capitalism. Surely ‘fat cats’ are selfish? Isn’t the entrepreneurial dream of success a selfish journey? Isn’t business about selfishly taking what you want for yourself?

Indeed, selfishness may seem downright wrong to those who think that Conscious Business is all about doing things for others.

But contrary to this, talking to a friend the other day, I was reminded of how much I do things because I am trying to please. There’s a sense, nearly always at the back of my mind, of trying to help, to support, and to put right, to mend, to solve. I suppose that’s understandable given how I make a living, and perhaps explains it.

That statement – “I am trying to please…” – raised a question for me. Exactly who am I trying to please?

The answer was not immediately obvious. It has taken a lot of soul searching for me to realise that very often I am seeking to please other people. Parents, siblings, old friends, and various derivatives thereof.

And that has been big for me – to realise that much of my effort goes into giving to others who are actually long gone. Who might not want that particular burden anyway. And, therefore, that my selfless giving may not be quite so noble after all.

So, in praise of selfishness, I will from now on do whatever I want to do, whenever I want to do it. I will ignore the ‘shoulds’ and ‘oughts’ of the typical day. I will enjoy the moment. Give myself what I need, when I need it.

In the words of Joseph Campbell I will follow my bliss.

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Author: Pete Burden

Asking good questions in a complex world to help people navigate, learn & grow #Coaching #Leadership #ActionLearning #OD Projects & businesses with #SocialValue

3 thoughts on “Keep it clean

  1. I understand completely Pete. The influential people I’ve come across in life don’t go away completely their values stay with me as well as my need to please them. Great post.

  2. Love this. Massively. Thank you for sharing your thoughts so honestly. I have been asking myself this very same question for the last 10 years or so, and only recently do I feel like I have some idea of the answer. Compassion for ourselves enables compassion for others. Bravo!

  3. Love your honesty here Pete & you certainly reflect my demons. It still sounds wrong yet I intuitively know you must be right. Well done! N

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