Tap Into a Powerful Principle for Success in Life and Business

One of the nine guiding principles of The Conscious Profit is to Seek Sustainability First. To embody this principle, you can begin by widening your circle of consideration. Lift your gaze above the moment. Take in the surrounding terrain. Notice what you notice. Think about the impact of your actions on yourself, others, and the biosphere upon which we all rely. Taking the time to analyze the impact of your actions may seem at first to slow you down. In reality, it will prove a wise investment. Developing a keen sense for the impact of your actions will focus your efforts. It will save you time and energy in the long term. It will make you smarter with the process. You will have more information. You will gain the respect of others. In turn, they can become stakeholders in your success. 

Let’s look at two scenarios.

First is the case of an oil company wanting to build an above ground pipeline. The company does not consider those for whom the pipeline would threaten their water supply. The company is essentially sequestered away from the public devising schemes and strategies. Rather than embrace the input of others, they avoid it. When their plan becomes known, the community in the path of the pipeline becomes alarmed. They are enraged for not having been included. The company gets more aggressive with their plans. The community flares into protests, culminating in police action, injury, and loss of life. Both entities become hopelessly hardened in their positions. Costs and emotions have skyrocketed. There are irrecoverable losses for both sides. 

This is how it looks when you seek sustainability first.

There is another oil company wanting to build an above ground pipeline. This company seeks sustainability from the very beginning. They see those in the path of their pipeline as partners. They meet to hear their concerns. They soon realize that having a pipeline at the expense of goodwill is a bad setup for the future. They can see the futility of forcing a pipeline through someone else’s property. Why spend all that time and money just to destroy community? With so much at stake, there would likely be sabotage. At the very least, there would be lack of cooperation, endless litigation, etc. 

See Partners not Obstacles

The second company chose to view those in the path not as “obstacles” but as “partners.” Seeing someone as a problem creates more problems. Seeing someone as a partner prepares the ground for integrity and collaboration. Heart-centered communication with partners quickly revealed why the pipeline would remain untenable. The company chose to be a conscious business. They sought sustainability first. They realized sooner than later that the project was not worth pursuing. They would lose more than they would gain. They arrived at that conclusion in community – sooner than later. 

Profit-for-the-sake-of-profit creates resistance and destroys community.

When you seek profit, regardless of the impact on yourself, others, and the biosphere, you create resistance that hardens in favor of more resistance. Whereas, there are other ways to win beyond just getting your own way. You can win by gaining respect and cooperation that can lead to other opportunities. There are the benefits of goodwill generated through including the interests and voices of others. What if the second oil company went on to collaborate with their newfound partners? What if that collaboration resulted in alternative, sustainable energy sources?

Seeking sustainability can seem counterproductive as it not only seems slower, but the principle demands more than patience. It doesn’t value profit for the sake of profit. Sustainability is not interested in quarterly reports and stock value. Considering the challenges we face globally and in our communities, profit needs to be redefined. It should not be considered profit unless it amounts to real value. Real value doesn’t harm and take away. Real value is achieved when you can produce and simultaneously replenish the resources used for production. This is not a pipedream. The answer lies in looking back at ancient farming practices.

An old idea shows us the way.

The basis of this idea relates to the “three sisters” companion planting model. Companion planting was devised by Native Americans centuries ago. They learned when planting corn, beans, and squash together each gives the other what it needs to thrive. Corn stalks offer beans support to grow into the sunlight. The beans pull nitrogen from the air to the soil benefiting all three. The large leaves of squash shade the soil making it cool, moist, and weed-free. Together they are replenishing, productive, and sustainable. Prosperity without side-effects is True Prosperity. Seeking sustainability first is a shift you can make in life and business today. You will help ensure there is a future for our children in which they can thrive. Additionally, you will have more fun and enjoy the benefits of community.

Widening your circle of consideration makes you smarter.

Widening your circle of consideration makes you smarter with the process. It makes the process as well as the results more sustainable. Ask yourself what the impact of a decision is from every angle and consider it all the way through. That practice will put your energy into making the right decision the first time. After all, the energy that goes into struggle is not sustainable.