I recently heard the term, evolutionary adventure, describing a documentary program about the evolution of carnivorous plants. While I didn’t jump to add that title to my Netflix favorites, the term rattled around in my brain for a few days and I grew to love the idea of applying it to our own adventures in life and business… because they certainly are an evolutionary process.
Webster defines evolution as a process of formation, growth, or gradual development in which something changes from a simple to a more complex or better form; an unfolding. Seems a perfect definition of what has transpired over time for me as a businesswoman, speaker, wife, mother, friend, and citizen.
Leading and living well is like residing in the same home for years. The rooms become more and more familiar the longer you live there but when nighttime and darkness descends, you still have to put your hands out and feel your way through… and even then, sometimes you stumble. Eventually the light always returns and you see more clearly and understand more deeply where the obstacles are and how to master the path between them. It’s an evolution of knowledge and experience; a true unfolding.
There is an Egyptian proverb which says that the archery marksman hits his target partly by pulling and creating tension and partly by releasing and letting go. That’s what personal and professional growth is… a continual process of pulling at goals and ideas, creating the tension of plans and action, steadying your aim and then releasing and letting go. Sometimes we hit the bullseye and sometimes we overshoot the target and miss completely. Either way we are learning and evolving.
The piece I’m working on remembering is that this is an eternal process with no end point. We’ve been evolving since we entered the world and will be long after we’re gone. So, if there’s no perfect place for which we’re striving but only the constant state of evolution then perhaps we could relax into the process more. How much more enjoyable might life and work be if we could remember going in to an effort or new situation that “we never lose… we only win or learn.” We only hit the bullseye or evolve. How much more fun would that game be to play
This week, play the rich game of learning and evolving versus simply winning or losing. Lean into the process with me of unfolding into a more complex and better form in this great big beautiful evolutionary adventure we’re all on together.
“Life is like a very short visit to a toyshop between birth and death.. “
~~Desmond Morris, 1991