Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Three Engines

I believe in building engines (to power the things that matter) and buffers (to protect the things that matter). A friend of mine who works with business owners has a similar philosophy which he calls the 3 Fs (Financial Security, Freedom and Fulfilment). Not all good ideas are good business ideas. Some times we do what we want to do, but first we do what we have to do. First we deal with scarcity, and then we work within abundance. The order of the 3 Fs matters.

I am working on three key engines. The first was my own. I 'declared independence' almost three years ago when I felt I had sufficient marshmallows. I had delayed gratification sufficiently to shift focus from engine building to living. If you have control of your ins and outs, and have shifted from a relative to an absolute enough, then you can live sustainably as a custodian.

The problem is independence is an illusion. We are interdependent. 'Problem' is the wrong word, because this link is where the beauty comes in. I believe we are the connections we have to each other and to the world we engage with. Conversation. Touch. Action. How we listen. Who we love. What we build. The way we empower each other.

'Umphakathi' is the Zulu word a friend used to describe what it is I would like to create. He says it is 'a very evocative word, gives the image of innerness, of people sitting around a communal fire and being part of "each other".'

The engines I want to be a part of building are those fires. Not much fun sitting at a campfire by yourself.

First, you need to look after yourself to be of use to anyone else. Second, you need to be an active part of your local community to exist beyond yourself. Third, you are deeply connected to the world as a global citizen. Freedom and Fulfilment need three engines.

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