This past week end I attended the HoliOne™ Colour Festival. This is an open-air music festival that uses eco-friendly, safe coloured powders (thrown into the air every hour on the hour) to express freedom (a.k.a. Fun) and the colour (a.k.a. Beauty) of everyday life (a.k.a. The “Little Things”). It also speaks to the fact that when all the differences (colours – not a reference to race as I find that irrelevant – there is only the human race in my opinion) are acknowledged and celebrated, “WE ARE ONE” at the most fundamental (and sacred) level.
What I found interesting about the event was its ability to create a sense of interconnectedness and playfulness despite our differences – a way to meet each other in our “sameness”. The atmosphere created was fun and light-hearted. The dress code was “all white” which invoked a sense of belonging and established a group identity. The venue was outdoors in the beautiful Botanical Gardens which added to the tone of lightness and being part of our natural environment. It was a space where everyone attending could allow themselves to lean into their vulnerability and just be in the moment –safe in a collective space drinking in all the colours of the rainbow literally and figuratively.
The success of this event is indicative of the power of a shared idea. How by harnessing communal beliefs, it makes the idea a reality and creates an experience everyone (who shares the belief) wants to show up for and be part of. Those who took part in the festival believe that we are all interconnected, that life is to be celebrated and that childlike fun is an elixir for the soul. (and/or all of the above).
This reminded me of one of my all time favourite TED Talks by Simon Sinek where he speaks to how leaders inspire action. He illustrates how people “do not buy WHAT you do; they buy WHY you do it!” Why did everyone at the festival agree to wear white and show up to celebrate, get dirty and stand in the African sun for 8 hours? Because we all bought into the WHY! No one showed up to make the event organiser feel better or because they didn’t want to be there. We showed up for ourselves! To be part of something that speaks to our core beliefs and the way we experience the world. As Simon points out in his talk, the part of our brain (limbic brain) that is responsible for our feelings and decisions responds to the “why” as this speaks to aligning our feelings with our actions.
If you want to inspire action in your life personally, ask yourself, “What makes my colour come out?” What moves me into action and excites me? What ideas, ideals and movements do I want to associate with to extend who I am into something bigger? It is imperative to have an idea of your core beliefs and motivations so that you can find ways to DO MORE OF THAT. By being more of who you are, you feel more fulfilled and authentic, and these collective associations keep filling your cup with inspiration to keep you going when life throws a curve ball and be the best version of yourself you can be. It will add deep richness to your experience of life and will give you a sense of purpose and belonging to something greater – so share something you deem sacred with a collective, despite how you express it in your individual capacity.
If you are a leader (from CEO to stay-at-home mom), consider how you can inspire action in others by aligning your burning “why” with what they believe. Where is the common ground? Where do the shared desired outcomes cross over? How can you meet them where they are at to motivate them to show up for themselves by speaking to their core values? When you identify the “why”, you can go the extra distance and giving blood, sweat and tears for something that holds meaning to you does not seem like a sacrifice, but a given. It replaces resentment with a sense of purpose.
No one who dislikes being outside, getting their clothes stained with dye and childlike behaviour showed up for the colour festival. And why should they? It does not speak to what they desire to experience, to be part of and believe to be true about the world. This can be applied to you in your personal capacity. If you are showing up for a job/relationship/activity that does not connect to your “why” on some level, you will most probably feel unfulfilled and uninspired. If your team does not resonate with your why, then chances of collaboration and dedication are minimal. My advice: Find the WHY and find ways to live it. This is the first step to creating the life you want to live and one you want to show up for.
If you would like to start living a life you want to get out of bed for and feel you need some personal one-on-one guidance (with yours truly) to help you identify what will make you show up fully for who you are and your why, contact me.