Life and business lessons can be gleaned from all directions when managing and owning a business. This idea was captured for me when a long-time employee of the National Holistic Institute said, “NHI is everybody’s dojo — or a space where we learn our lessons.” As we manage our organizations, I think it is helpful to keep a focus on learning lessons as it helps us roll with the good and the bad and keep our focus on long-term improvement.
I read this excerpt last night and it reminded me of the power of a business as a dojo space. This is from Joe Hyams in Zen in the Martial Arts
A dojo is a miniature cosmos where we make contact with ourselves — our fears, anxieties, reactions, and habits. It is an arena of confined conflict where we confront an opponent who is not an opponent but rather a partner engaged in helping understand ourselves more fully. It is a place where we can learn a great deal in a short time about who we are and how we react in the world. The conflicts that take place inside the dojo help us handle conflicts that take place outside. The total concentration and discipline required to study martial arts carries over to daily life. The activity in the dojo calls on us to constantly attempt new things, so it is also a source of learning — in Zen terminology, a source of self-enlightenment.
I hope your business is also your dojo space, or a place of constant learning.