My first U

My first major step on the road back to my own natural purpose was when I found myself in a dead end career street. This was in Singapore in 1996. After years of slowly moving forward based on force, denial and perseverance I could no longer pretend that everything was allright. I did not get fired, there was no burn out or other big crisis but I felt very much alone and unhappy. People did’t see me or when they did, preferred to avoid me. Nobody respected my insights or work. In hindsight this proved to be a blessing in disguise. It made me rent a small boat for a trip along the coast of Borneo. That is when I started listening closely to myself instead of others… 

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I’ll share this story separately some other time but this gave me the courage to leave my job, move back to NL and create an organization where I could work according to my own beliefs and principles. Successfully and with far more energy and less effort then before.

My first transitions where around my professional activities. Gradually moving closer towards the more scary personal topics after that. The good news here is that the answers are already inside yourself. You don’t need to acquire more knowledge or wisdom. The most important thing is to consistently observe without judgment. Gladly accepting whatever comes to you. After having gone through a number of transitions its was helpful to discover a comprehensive theoretical description of this proces in the book of Otto Scharmer, the U theorie.

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It helps me to get a clearer idea of where I’m in the ‘U’ and to patiently move through the various stages. The theorie itself is really quite simple. For me the main difficulty always lies in creating enough space for this process to unfold especially when there is no crisis that forces me to do so. Another recurring challenge is not to jump to the other side before truly reaching the bottom of the U.


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