The Role of Love in Success
Let us start from the beginning.
Can we all agree that there is change? Can we all agree that change means something new is happening? Can we all agree that in response to the new situation, we need to decide what to do? And that responding includes the decision not to decide, that it includes the option of staying put and not changing?
Would you agree that the decision to not decide can be the worst decision you could make? Deciding not to change does not mean the world will stop changing. The world will continue to change, and over time you will become more and more obsolete.
Whether you decide to change or not, you need to decide, and that is a problem because there is uncertainty surrounding what to decide whenever there is a new situation.
Also, if you decide to implement your decision, there is a new problem: there is the risk that your decision might not produce the desired results. On the contrary, it might produce results that make you regret the decision you made.
Whenever there is change, there are problems: uncertainty and risk.
Which company will succeed in this environment of accelerated change?
The one that can reduce uncertainty and risk.
First, we must learn how to reduce uncertainty.
Would you agree that no one is a perfect executive who can make perfect decisions all of the time and never err?
So, what we need is a complementary team: You see what I do not see. And I see or know what you do not see or know. Jointly, we know more.
However, working with someone who thinks differently can generate conflict and misunderstandings. Or, it can generate better decisions than the one you can make alone.
What makes the difference is the presence of mutual respect (MR). To paraphrase Immanuel Kant, to respect means to recognize the sovereignty of the other person, the undeniable right of the other person, to think differently.
When we feel safe to think and express our thoughts freely, we might learn something from each other and thus make a better decision.
Now, how do we reduce risk?
Organizations exist because one person cannot accomplish the task by himself. That means we need each other’s cooperation. If those “needed others” do not cooperate, although we need them, the risk that the decision will be badly implemented is higher than if all needed components are dedicated to making the decision work.
What will make different entities cooperate?
There is an issue with this conclusion because common interest is elusive. One cannot rely on it because change is inevitable. Over time, people develop diverging interests.
What to do?
The chances of cooperation are higher if there is a culture of give-and-take: I will give in to your needs now because I trust that you will reciprocate when my needs are more pressing in the future.
That means that conflicts of styles and interest will be positive and constructive if there are mutual trust and respect (MT&R). If there is MT&R, the organization will make better decisions, implement them with less risk, and thus beat the competition.
Good. What now?
What is MT&R?
Without MT&R, we cannot work as a team, we cannot be integrated.
What is the utmost point of integration? The point at which two people feel like one, where one person’s pain or happiness is shared by others. The integration is such that I feel you without you saying a word, like a mother who can feel that her child is in trouble somewhere in the world without anyone telling her. She feels it.
The utmost point of integration is love and there is no sustainable love without Mutual Trust and Respect.
The more love there is when making a decision, the better the decision will be and the easier it will be to implement it.
Imagine making a decision out of hate, or out of fear rather than out of faith. Tell me how good of a decision you think that would be.
Love is not a static phenomenon. It is dynamic. It grows and diminishes. We know that what we focus on grows because we give it energy. What we ignore shrinks.
“Love is like a muscle,” says the spiritual master Chariji. If you do not manifest it, it atrophies. The more you give love, the more you experience it in return. And to be effective, love should grow from the inside out. Start with loving yourself. I am not referring to being an egoist or narcissist. So, what does it mean to love yourself?
Do you love your little children?
Would you let them eat garbage, or anything not good for their health? Obviously not, because you love them. Right? So be your own parent. Loving yourself means not letting yourself eat garbage, either.
You want your children to learn. So why have you stopped learning?
Next, love your spouse. To do so, you need to start by loving yourself. Otherwise, you will project all your frustration with yourself onto those closest to you.
What does it mean to love your spouse or significant other?
Let us revisit the analogy of loving your children. Don’t you want your children laughing and giggling and happy? It makes you happy to see them happy, right? Well, imagine your spouse is like your son or little daughter. Make them happy. Ask yourself what makes your spouse happy and go do it. Why not? As long as it is not illegal, harmful, or overly expensive? Happy wife, happy life. By the same token: happy husband, happy life.
If you are happy at home and in your own skin, you are open to loving others. If you are miserable at home and hate yourself, you will bring your long face and pained expression to work and hate everyone else.
If you are in love at home and in your own skin, the love can expand beyond the family and to the workplace. You will be pleasant to your clients, to your coworkers, and to your employees.
People that love what they are doing are more productive, more innovative, and more pleasant to work with.
Do you love the product you are producing or selling? If not, why are you producing or selling it? I love going to a restaurant that has a big sign at the entrance reading, “We will not serve food we would not feed our children with.”
If love exists in your personal life, in your family life, and in your workplace, love can exist elsewhere. Do you love your community? If so, why don’t you do something about it? Love is not only in words but in actions. Do you love your country? It can go even beyond that. Do you love clean air, water, and the ground you walk on? If so, what are you doing about it?
Love can go beyond the physical environment. Do you love your dog? And if so why stop there? Why not love all dogs. Although they aren’t your pets, why not love the chicken and the cows as well? Why not love everything, alive or not? Just love the stars in the sky and the clouds and the rain and the sunset and the sunrise and the stones that pave the entrance to your house or to anyone’s house.
Just love. Love life and live to love and you will live forever, or it will feel as if you have lived—if not forever—then at least fully, which is as good as forever.
Have you noticed that people who are in love, and not necessarily with another person—with their job, with their project, whatever—look younger than they are. People in love look full of energy and people who hate look wrinkled and old.
Love prolongs life and hate shortens it.
Love will prolong your company’s life. Love will make your success sustainable. Love will make your life worth living.