How can you restore your passion for your business after lockdown?

As a business owner you will have been rising to many challenges over recent months and doubtless feeling the stress and pressure. In the difficult situation we’ve been facing you may have found that your passion for your business has also been under pressure! The good news is that you can reconnect with our passion, and also use the opportunity to create a different balance in your life. 

A story of reconnection

Around a year ago, I was working with a CEO whose company was a success. The context for the session was ‘communication’, a very challenging problem in most organisations and in life generally. I particularly wanted this client to ‘feel’ leadership rather than ‘think’ strategically.

I wanted to engage him with ‘out of the box’ thinking, so we worked together on my farm and I obtained his permission to work without the sense of sight or language. In other words, to blindfold my client and work without speech; purely by touch. 

Firstly, I was collaborative and supportive, giving him my arm and guiding him with care. Secondly, I gave him the end of a rope to hold and quickened my pace and distance, taking him out of his comfort zone. Thirdly, I went behind him and pushed him gently into the unknown. This carried on until I had exhausted all the different leadership styles that I knew. What he didn’t know was that he was moving towards a horse. Finally, I took him into the outdoor arena and placed his hands on the withers of one of my horses.

What happen next will stay with me, and him, forever.

The expression on his face was unbelievable as he felt the strong warm coat of a living thing. He spontaneously buried his head in the horse’s side, and he wept. His sense of relief was palpable. 

When we debriefed I asked him whether he was happy to share this powerful moment. There was no embarrassment or hesitation.

He said: “I was born in the high mountains of Pakistan where nature in all its glory is on your doorstep. Connection with all living things had been part of the culture. How far away all that seems now. I had forgotten that deep connection and how much I long for that in my life again”.

He had voiced the central issue that brought him to work with me in the first place. Loss of connection with nature.

“I knew something was unfulfilled in my life I now know that the way I am living has to change dramatically. I had all the trappings of success, but no idea why I felt this emptiness inside.” 

Later he told me the most liberating aspect of this experience.

“I re-evaluated the way I conducted my business and brought in a senior manager who now runs the day-to-day operation. This has freed me up to connect with nature and I have found this to be a wonderful bedrock of ideas. I am now positioned to utilise my natural creativity and have someone else handle the daily process for me. Our company has gone from strength to strength.”

Why have I shared this?

As lockdown eases we can benefit from considering different and unconventional idea and approaches.

Here are my suggestions for allowing nature to ground us both today and moving into the future:

Connect with adventure – Swim in your local ‘open water lake’. Embrace the brisk water, and the rewarding feeling of being physically connected to nature. The cold water soon feels warmer, enjoyable, invigorating. 

Connect in your local surroundings – Walk in the park and count the different types of animals you see, trot up the highest hill in your neighbourhood and take in the vastness of the sky, stroll through the woods and smell the under-forest. There’s a lot of joy to be taken from simply noticing birds and appreciating the beauty of their song. There’s an incredibly emotive experience to the feeling that you’re a small part of something bigger.

Connect with your reading – Find an engaging book that describes and visualises nature. “Rewilding Yourself” by Simon Barnes is particularly good.

Connect with natural phenomena – Watch a sunrise or sunset, either on your own, or with the other members of your household. The ‘dawn of the day’ and the ‘end of the day’ are perfect times to reflect on the beauty of nature. 

Connect with a documentary – Who doesn’t enjoy a David Attenborough documentary? In the ‘doom and gloom’ of many social media campaigns these days, and in the face of lockdown restrictions, these documentaries are a fantastic way to remind ourselves that there is a world of beauty out there.

Connect in your kitchen – Simply add some potted plants to the windowsill. There’s something very rewarding about planting seeds and seeing new life grow, taking responsibility for cultivating something organic and beautiful. Science tells us that plants ‘bring happiness’ to a room. Choose some pretty pots and get growing.

Connect digitally – Add a beautifully scenic screensaver to your computer or change your ‘Zoom’ background to something aesthetically natural. Sometimes these small changes to our regular working lives can reignite our enjoyment of the outside world.

Connect with fun – Support your sanctuary or wildlife reserve. When COVID restrictions are lifted, go spend the day with your family, surrounded by the world’s most beloved creatures. And, for an extra sense of connectivity, ‘Adopt an Animal’ to harness support of the natural world.

Connect digitally – Add a beautifully scenic screensaver to your computer or change your ‘Zoom’ background to something aesthetically natural. Sometimes these small changes to our regular working lives can reignite our enjoyment of the outside world.

Recognising nature’s incredible ability…

Nature has the incredible, the amazing ability to restore the human spirit and connect us to something that is bigger than ourselves. The natural world will always be help us by connecting us to the present moment.  Instead of always striving for the goals of tomorrow we can savour the here and now.  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Rosie Tomkins is founder of the Natural Capital Consultancy and author of ‘N-stinctive’, an inspirational book that introduces an alternative to traditional leadership training.

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