The teachings of a hedgehog

Whenever I start something new, the first thing I do is read. These last weeks, working on a concept for a business, I read a lot of management bestsellers, including Good to Great by Jim Collins. In this book I found a proven model for creating a business, called the Hedgehog Concept. It is inspired by the tale of the hedgehog and the fox, in which the fox attempts daily to catch the hedgehog, and the hedgehog continuously out smartens him doing what he does best in the world, rolling up to an invincible ball of spikes. The Hedgehog Concept consists of three circles that interlink in the middle. Each circle represents an essential ingredient to your success. What you are passionate about. What you could potentially do best in the world. And your economic denominator. Where these key ingredients meet lies your unique greatness.

So there I was trying to fit my ideas into this model, and it simply did not work. It was clear this malfunction had nothing to do with the model and everything with my preconceived ideas about what I wanted to do for a living. Yet, I was not willing to let them go. So, I asked my husband, ‘What would you say I’m passionate about?’ It was a difficult question, as I love so many things. A day later, he reported back, ‘Creation, design’. That same day, I had been chewing on a similar question, ‘What makes me really happy?’ Colors, flowers, creating, were my answers. Ok, you might say, great! One down, two to go. Well, actually it was two down, one to go, as I automatically knew what I could potentially be best in the world at. But I was feeling everything but great. I felt downright horrible. There was so much resistance inside of me. How could painting flowers make the world a better place, how would it help people in need?  How does it give meaning? And on a more mundane level, how would I ever make a living? I would be playing around, not working. I could not wrap my mind around these apparent dualities. Yet, this yearning to create is not new, it has been there forever, always pushed aside by more egodriven desires, like having a ‘real’ career, the need to fit in and to have a meaningful life.  

Late this afternoon, quietude returned to my life as I saw the Light. I believe there is a purpose to every life, finding it gives meaning not only to the evolution of a single soul but to the evolution of our species. You can find clues throughout your life, in your talents and preferences, in the people you meet and the situations you encounter. I can all to easily imagine that it’s easy to be blind sided by all that seems important. What if I’ve been actually blind sided by my upbringing, my education and this society’s idea of success. What if I’m supposed to be a creator in this lifetime, would that alone not give my life the meaning I’m looking for? A few months ago, I was captured by a line I heard James Ray say which has been something of mantra since, ‘Anytime you damn any part of creation, you dam the flow of good in God to you.’ I am blessed with an abundance of creative talents which I have ignored for most of my life. Now may just be the perfect time to learn from a hedgehog how to live my heart’s desire and find personal greatness.