This was one of the simple yet profound questions asked at the recent Sustainable Brands conference in San Diego. We collectively took a moment to ponder our individual response to the question.
The next morning, one of the speakers got up on stage with his own answer. I thought about this, he said, and I realized that the reason I am really here is LOVE. To love and be loved.
There was something striking to me about hearing a man dressed in a white shirt and dark pants stand on stage and give this response. This was, after all, on one level a business conference. The annual Sustainable Brands conference brings together some 2,000 global professionals to explore such topics as the circular economy, integrated reporting, and employee engagement, and how brands can do well by doing good. On another level, as the conference organizers emphasize, it is a community gathering: a gathering of people from different walks of life who are passionate about creating a flourishing future for people and planet.
It seems to me that the whole conversation around sustainability has shifted to a new level. It's become personal and purpose-driven. We are recognizing that the topic of love even has a place in a business environment. We are realizing that our desire to bring about a better future is born of our capacity to love. To love our families and children and enable a future where they can thrive. To love and cherish the beauty, diversity and magic that the natural world offers us each day. To love and appreciate the different cultures of the world, the people, languages, civilizations, history, art, music. To love and be passionate about our work in the world. To love and care about our employees, our boss, our team, our boss, our vendors, and to treat them as human beings with the highest degree of respect and integrity. Because the most profound form of love knows no boundaries, it flows to everyone and everything.
So how do we tap into our capacity for love more fully? So that love is not only what we experience when we are with our loved ones, but the true nature of reality that flows through every moment of every day. Not just when we feel good, but also also during times of challenge. How do we dismantle the story of what is happening - the project team that missed the deadline, the teenager who is behaving erratically, the job that is wearing us down - and bring our awareness to the energy of what is really happening? When we are "in the moment", we set aside our pre-conceived ideas and tap into the vibration of love. Many people today are turning to the practice of mindfulness for this very reason. Businesses are offering mindfulness trainings to their employees to help increase emotional intelligence, productivity, team spirit, and yes, kindness and love!
So why are we really, really here? Maybe it is as simple as to tap into the nature of love in order to find our way to contribute to creating a better tomorrow. Why are you really, really here? Are you ready to find out?