Nearly 30,000 participants have experienced “CorporateTheatre” workshops over the last seven and a half years. They have come from a wide variety of nationality, industry, hierarchy, and culture. What has never ceased amazing me is how, irrespective of their background, age, or seniority, every group in every workshop demonstrates almost exactly the same behaviour, and shares almost exactly the same insights.
In their concluding sharing of insights and experiences, almost every single participant talks about the absolute fun, enjoyment, and relaxation that they experienced, while delivering excellence using new-found competencies, under conditions of constant change, increasing challenge, and intense pressure. I have often pondered about the universality of this experience and tried to put a finger on exactly what makes this possible. I have often sensed and shared that this is the outcome of natural team instinct which manifests itself the moment we remove the blocks and expand personality boundaries. This leads to participants experiencing the 3 pillars of natural teams (described in detail elsewhere in this blog), and functioning with full attention and availability in the ‘here and now’.
Recently, however, at the very end of the book, “The New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle, I came across what could be the precise answer to the question of how delivering excellence can become actual enjoyment, fun, and relaxation.
Eckhart Tolle, best-selling author of ‘The Power of Now’, and ‘A New Earth’, and renowned thinker and teacher, has this to say in the last chapter of his book, “A New Earth”:
“THE THREE MODALITIES OF AWAKENED DOING
There are three ways in which consciousness can flow into what you do and thus through you into this world, three modalities in which you can align your life with the creative power of the universe. Modality means the underlying energy-frequency that flows into what you do and connects your actions with the awakened consciousness that is emerging into this world. What you do will be dysfunctional and of the ego unless it arises out of one of these three modalities. They may change during the course of a day, although one of them may be dominant during a certain stage in your life. Each modality is appropriate to certain situations.
The modalities of awakened doing are acceptance, enjoyment, and enthusiasm. Each one represents a certain vibrational frequency of consciousness. You need to be vigilant to make sure that one of them operates whenever you are engaged in doing anything at all – from the most simple task to the most complex. If you are not in the state of either acceptance, enjoyment, or enthusiasm, look closely and you will find that you are creating suffering for yourself and others.”
The moment I read this passage, I realised that I had found the answer to my question. The words that occur most frequently as participants share their experiences at the end of the workshop are these three words – Acceptance, Enjoyment, and Enthusiasm.
Very often, fun and enjoyment are equated with being casual, or doing ‘fun’ things like playing games, partying, etc. It is difficult for many people to accept that you can have a great deal of fun while handling very demanding challenges, observing very high levels of discipline, meeting exacting deadlines, delivering unbelievable levels of creativity and innovation, and actually pushing yourself beyond your physical and mental comfort zones, as well as your perceived competence zones. Understanding this one important truth can make a huge difference to the way we experience our lives and careers. We need not sacrifice the quality of our lives to be successful in our careers. More importantly as we go up the leadership ladder and become responsible for creating the work environment for hundreds and thousands of other people, we can create an environment where our teams can also enjoy their lives while delivering excellence under changing, challenging, and high pressure conditions. We can contribute powerfully towards making our organization, and the world around us much happier places.
While this may sound rather idealistic when put in words, the practicality of this concept has been consistently experienced and behaviourally reinforced by nearly 30,000 workshop participants.