To be or not to be

Hamlet, deciding whether to be or not to beAt the core of Inner Leadership is an idea, a pattern, a meme that runs invisibly through almost every aspect of our culture. It drives our advertising and shapes the products and services we buy. It determines the work we do, the careers we select, and the people we choose as our friends, lovers, and life-partners.

This is the pattern that gave Shakespeare his most famous line, “To be, or not to be.”

This is the idea that summarises the defining mantra of the most powerful nation on Earth, the American Dream that “You can achieve anything you want to.”

This is the universal structure of the Hero’s Journey that runs through Star Wars, Casablanca, Breaking Bad, and almost every spellbinding, bestselling story ever told.

This is the idea that one day we might grow to fulfil our destiny, our identity.

Who we think we are determines the clothes we wear, the cars we drive (or don’t), the foods we eat, the friends we choose, and the way we vote. It shapes the actions we choose to take: whether we take the road less travelled or the well-worn path.

And in a time of churning, when so many things are changing all at once, the reason we sometimes find life difficult is not only because we have so many changes to deal with but (more importantly) because some of those changes seem to threaten our very identity.

Hamlet struggled with handling only one question. So it’s no wonder if we feel stressed when faced with Brexit, Trump, the economy, driverless vehicles, climate change, artificial intelligence, and so on…

What Inner Leadership provides is a process for working through our situations and deciding whether to accept what has happened or work to change it. Whether to “suffer the slings and arrows” of our outrageous fortune or “take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them.”

It provides a way to turn this time of change into an opportunity: an opportunity to get clearer on what matters most to you and become stronger and more focused at achieving it. A framework and tools for deciding and becoming (and avoiding) whatever you want “to be (or not to be)”.

Do you feel unexpectedly affected by an issue you face? Would you like to be able to use that issue to understand more deeply who you are and then become more able to achieve that?

Adapted from Inner Leadership: tools for building inspiration in times of change.

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