Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What Is Your Territory?

     If it was OK before for individuals to define themselves by their rank within a hierarchy, they are lost now, as the hierarchy is too big. According to Steven Pressfield, the author of The Legend of Bagger Vance, in his book The War of Art, stated that we have entered a period of Mass Society. The only option nowadays is to define ourselves through our connections to a territory. Only then we will know where we stand and thus we will find security. And the world will start to make sense to us.
In the hierarchical arrangements, very popular in Companies, large or small regardless, we compete against all others seeking to elevate self by advancing against those above, while defending own place against those beneath. We evaluate own happiness or success or achievement by our own rank within the hierarchy. Feeling most satisfied when being high and most miserable when being low. The personal crisis may start for somebody when he changes or looses his job, retires, gets ill. Some may think they have lost themselves. Feeling they are nobody. Instead of a state of depression they are being offered a wonderful gift – the chance to start to understand the principles of the Universe. They are being offered the chance to define their own connection to a territory.
If you are in doubt about your approach, imagine that you are all alone on the planet where a hierarchical orientation makes no sense. There is no one to impress. Are you still ready to pursue that activity? Stevie Wonder’s territory is the piano. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s the gym. What is yours?
It takes more effort to define THE territory, than to play the hierarchical game. A territory can only be claimed by work. A territory does not give, it only gives back. It returns exactly what you put in. A territory sustains us without any external input. Our role is to put in effort and love. The territory absorbs this and gives it back to us in the form of well-being.
The artists felt the need for territory thinking well before us, the business people. How long it will take this idea to penetrate the business world? Will it affect soon the approach of Companies and Brands to Positioning Statements? The Approach To Human Resources and Leadership Art?
Our job in this lifetime, as Pressfield well stated, is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it. We must operate territorially. Do our work for our own sake. And give ourselves courage and positive kick-off, e.g. by the words of Goethe: “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it. Begin it now.”

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