Too many people I have met in my professional and personal life just want a manual to move from one way of acting to another.
The Butterfly Model is a self-organising system that has order but not predictability. That is its enduring strength. To be too prescriptive about how to apply the model to your life or your world, would be to kill your own thinking, insight and creativity.
However, there are five principles of value creation. These act as a touchstone for those who use the Butterfly Model process. The challenge is to apply all five (and not just the ones that you feel most comfortable with) all the time, in every situation. This takes time and effort and not just short term enthusiasm. The five, non-negotiable, value-creating principles are:
- Be Open - Do you have a ‘fixed’ or ‘growth’ mindset?
- Be kind - We all have a unique view of the world.
- Be Consistent - Keep things simple and repeat often.
- Believe - Where’s the evidence? Theory. Research. Action.
- Be the change - There is no greater proof the personal experience.
There are an infinite number of exercises and activities that could be done to explore and develop each of these five value creating principles depending on who you are, where you are and what you’re up to. I’m going to suggest one for each, for you to use this week.
A life lived without purpose or value, the kind in which one doesn't know the reason why one was born, is joyless and lacklustre. To just live, eat and die without any real sense of purpose surely represents a life pervaded by the world of Animality. On the other hand, to do, create or contribute something that benefits others, society and ourselves and to dedicate ourselves as long as we live to that challenge - that is a life of true satisfaction, a life of value. It is a humanistic and lofty way to live.
-- Daisaku Ikeda
Be kind - listen more. Instead of wanting others to hear you ask more questions of others. Listen to their stories. What are their needs? Keep the questions coming and make sure they’re open questions (why, how, when etc) not closed questions (did, do etc) that can be answered with a simple yes or know. Think dialogue, not debate.
Be consistent - Do each of the above exercises every day for seven days. If you miss a day start afresh. Do this as many times as you need until you have completed a seven day run.
Believe - Ask at least one person that you know and trust to give you critical feedback about the impact you are having on yourself, others and your world (family, places of work, social group etc). Specifically ask them to share what they think is a positive quality or competence about you: What you should keep doing as it works? Next ask them to share something that they think you are ok at but could develop further. Finally, ask them what you should stop doing as it’s no longer of benefit to you, others or the world.
Be the change - based on the your observations and feedback from your critical friend write down what, over the coming week, you need to keep that’s working well; what you need to develop further and what you need to let go of. At the end of the week reflect on what worked well and what could work better. Set yourself new ‘keep’, ‘develop’ and ‘let go’ goals every week until such a time as you this value creating approach has become a habit. It might take a while.
To create a life of personal mastery, autonomy and purpose requires consistently returning to and applying each value to our lives. This conscious commitment to personal development and insight is not possible for those who want the world and the people in it to change whilst remaining unmoved or transformed themselves. As the Buddha once said: ‘If we know, but we do not do, we do not know.’
Have a good week.