This is the first of a five-part post explaining my thinking on personal sustainability—what it is and how I arrived at this definition.
Part 1 – My definition of personal sustainability and where it came from
I define personal sustainability as living your life in a way that enables you to get what you need without damage to the people or world around you. It’s inner-personal; i.e., it comes from your only real source of strength and value—your inner self. That inner self is what sustains you from within when everything outside of you falls away.
The above definition of personal sustainability is the convergence of three concepts, which I will explain in the subsequent posts:
1. Sustainability or Sustainable Development in the business world
3. Sacred Self or Spirit as defined by Dr. Wayne Dyer and Dr. Covey, respectively
When I attended a Covey Seven Habits of Highly Effective People workshop, the facilitator recited The Invitation, an excerpt of which is below. The words really touched me, and I used this concept in the beginning of the Seven Habits workshops I facilitated. I think it speaks about the inner part of us we all need to understand.
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
[From The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer (a Native American Elder)]
What these words mean and how they relate to your inner self will become clear in succeeding posts.
Next Up: What is sustainability in the business world?