My documentary ‘Innovation: Where Creativity and Technology Meet’ starts with a quote from the great American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson. He said,
“Nature suffers nothing to remain in her kingdoms that cannot help itself. Society is barbarous until every industrious man finds his living without dishonest customs.”
In this quote, Emerson says both Mother Nature and society want us to grow. However both of them have completely different ways. Awareness of these two models is the first step to leading a happier and meaningful life.
Society puts tremendous pressure on us by telling we are not good enough as we are. This game starts at home. First, parents tell us that we are not as good as the neighborhood achiever and ask us to become like them. When we are not able to catch up with them, we become inferior and jealous. When we are jealous, we cannot experience happiness.
This comparison mindset then carries over into adulthood. We always want to do better than other people. We believe if we become like others, then we will be happy. Prof. Srikumar Rao, founder of the RAO institute, New York talk about the danger of this approach.
The IF…THEN model of happiness brings tremendous pressure. With this approach, lasting happiness is impossible. In short, society makes us egocentric with the comparison model of growth. It says the fittest among us will survive. That forces us into competition. When there is competition, there will be stress which leads to many side effects such as mental illness.
It is very important to understand the motive of society is to develop an image of ‘something special.’ The hidden agenda behind this is to enslave people. Ultimately, when we follow this model, we will never find lasting happiness. That’s because we are for searching for happiness in the wrong place.
Let us look at the alternate model of happiness from Mother Nature.
Mother Nature wants us to grow into what we could and want to be.Society also wants us to grow, but that often ends up being antagonistic to our nature.
Everything in Nature starts with a seed and its purpose is to grow into what it is indented to. For example an acorn is a seed and its purpose is to grow into a full-grown maple tree. Similarly a rose seed and a lily seed have the ultimate goal of producing rose flowers and lily flowers respectively. They don’t compare or compete for superiority. People are the same way. They are not superior or inferior but incomparable. Artists or athletes are not inferior to
businessmen. They all follow their own purpose in life.
Man also starts from a seed and if we become aware of the ‘seed to flowering’ process in Nature, we become more conscious of our own being. Once this happens, we become compassionate and a transformation happens to us.
Marshall Goldsmith, world’s number one leadership thinker award recipient said it well. The single most important quality of a great leader is compassion.
When we become aware of our being and become compassionate, we will be less egocentric. Nature never puts ego on us like society does. When we reach this stage, we establish a connection with divine intelligence. When this happens, the Divine starts to shower ideas on us. We know creativity is the expression of ideas.
There is a big difference between what society tells us and what Nature tells us about creativity. I was surprised to learn that many successful men and women believe ideas possesses creators and not the other way around.Dr. A.K. Pradeep, founder of Neurofocus says it elegantly.
Another interesting message is from Chip Conley, VP of Airbnb. He says when a creative feeling comes to him, if it is pure, he is just a vehicle to express it to the world.
When we follow Nature’s growth model, we become aware of our own being (who we are and our connection to the universe) and compassionate (love for fellow beings) and creative (expression of ideas).
Once we reach this stage, then innovation is just the execution of ideas and technology is the means of innovation. In a digital age we have plenty of tools to execute our creative ideas.
When we follow Mother Nature’s model of growth (Awareness, Compassion, Creativity, Innovation and Technology), we are no longer slaves of society’s growth model. However, we need tremendous courage to break the conditioning from the society to make us robots or mechanisms instead of individuals.
With Nature’s model we automatically experience happiness. A person who follows Nature’s growth model is the one who leads a happier and meaningful life. This is the single most important lesson I learned from the four year journey to make my dream film ‘Innovation: Where Creativity and Technology Meet.’
Thanks to many luminaries who is sharing the secret of lasting happiness through my film.
Please visit www.innovationmovie.com for plenty of free inspirational video clips from many great minds who share their secret of happiness.
You can watch Innovation Movie at www.vimeo.com/ondemand/innovationmovie for $5.99
Bio of Satheesh Gopalan
Satheesh Gopalan is the producer and director of the acclaimed documentary “Innovation: Where Creativity and Technology Meet.” His film portrays the thriving strategies of many great minds in a hyper connected and hyper competitive world.
Satheesh holds a masters’ degree in computer science and an Executive MBA from the Telfer School of business in Ottawa. He is also a certified management consultant and holds a few certifications in the field of positive psychology and leadership development.