This morning, I attended Summit 3.0, a business conference designed to inspire people and organizations to become the best version of themselves that they can be.
The day started with music. Michael Franti took the stage.
It was just Michael and his guitar. His bare feet resting gently on the stage. “I have a new song,” he said. “It’s not on any album….” And he began to sing…
“Everybody ought to hug somebody….at least once a day. Everybody needs to kiss somebody…..to love somebody at least once a day.”
It was 9am. No one cared. He had everyone singing.
Didn’t our days start with singing when we were little? It opened people up.
Love is a rocket fuel. It comes in all shapes and sizes, and the crowd loved it. I thought about all of the people that I love, and how love has seen so many of us through this work. His words rang so true.
When he finished, John Mackey, the co-CEO of Whole Foods, was introduced. It felt full circle. I remember two speakers from business school back in the 1990s: John Mackey and one of the founders of Compaq Computers.
Mackey’s talk was about the evolution of humanity, enlightenment, nothing to do with food. He shared personal anecdotes and a story about how his mother told him back in 1987 when she was dying that she wish he’d go back to school and get his college degree. He never did. She died never knowing the contribution he made to the world, to clean food, to the conversations we now have today. “She died thinking I was a failure,” he said.
And he spoke about the types of mindsets, people, “memes” was the word that he used.
I thought about how our lives unfold in chapters. We are such creative designs ourselves, each a very unique work of art in progress.
Mackey’s talk began with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: food, water, shelter, intimacy, and he took it up the pyramid from there. Each stage or “wave” of this evolution had a color to it…blue, purple, orange, green. What he got to was that in the end, there is no judgement of where anyone is in the process. There is just love-inspired work driving us to solutions that will serve humanity. Conscious integration.
It was big stuff, and I then I thought: How many people think about this? We get so busy, so caught up. The burden can be heavy. Maybe it’s self-imposed in some cases, the treadmill we put ourselves on because we think we don’t have the right house, car, clothes, that we are not “enough.” But in some cases, the burden is heavy just because it’s the hand we’ve been dealt. And if these anchors are tied around our feet, anchors like disease, joblessness, heartache, can we reach for the stars?
And I thought about the work we do every day to help people believe in their own unique abilities to create change. We are here because we are a unique design. No one else on the planet has the combination or heart, mind and skills that each one of us possess. No one else has our story. “What if we are not enough?” we think.
But what if, together, we are?
I wish Franti would have taken the stage again.
Fear and love. It keeps coming back in my life, like a rhythm.
They don’t mix. Like oil and water. They don’t co-exist. And I thought about the struggles that we’ve seen, the fears, the “what-ifs”. I thought about the fear I felt, the intimidation, the hurdles.
In the end, I couldn’t wait for the fear to leave. There wasn’t time. So I chose to love. I was afraid that it would hurt, but love is more powerful than fear.
And when you love without hesitation, you will find that that is where your strength lies, and together, we will change the world.
Love is a rocket fuel, and it is time to rise up.