The fifth element is actually the third component of a process I found that created more for me over a 10-year evolutionary journey. Here, I started with the beginning of my Eat Pray Love journey, where I learned to play an infinite game and two of the components of a basic process I found to create more – framed through The Matrix and Moneyball.
In 2013, I started expanded my study of ‘Business’ in particular, the untapped potential of the customer relationship.
I learned to re-frame business from a different perspective than we typically experience as customers; I learned that there were transactional connections between a business and customer, and that the real power is inside the less common ideas of truly uniting a tribe or community of customers. This ultimately shifted my paradigm about how the work-weary evolve into more through a life, 360º. It’s all about the relationship.
Our Relational Lens
In the movie Iron Man, we meet genius, playboy Tony Stark and see him create his own ‘superhero’ persona – Iron Man. The mask of his Iron Man ‘suit’ tells him everything he needs to know about his ‘world’ while he’s inside the suit.
We have a very similar lens; it’s a relational lens. I studied the work of Susan Fournier with Boston University. Fournier has spent untold hours understanding the interaction between consumers and brands since 1998 and I consider her to be an expert in the field.
What stood out to me from the body of research she’s generated is this one statement:
“Consumers don’t choose brands, they choose lives. The brands that enable those lives will thrive.”
Dive deeper into her research (and I did 🙄) and you will find that we humans have one way of looking at the world. We see everything through the context of relationship.
From the chair you are (probably) sitting in, to the person who made your morning coffee or tea. We see our connection to everything through the same lens. We see our connection to the businesses we do business with, objects or people, personal or commercial, through the same set of filters, principles and parameters. The point is,
Humans are hard-wired for relationship.
The Fifth Element made me coherent to the truth that the essential element is a human element and that it’s all about relationship.
The Fifth Element
In 1997, Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich starred in this sci-fi film set in the far of future. Leeloo, Jovovich’s character, is the ‘saviour’ from an ancient prophecy who will save Earth from destruction. You know the classic – earth is in peril, something must be done.
At the peak of the movie when the ancients are aligning the stones representing earth, air, water and fire – the four basic elements of most spiritual traditions — the stones don’t automatically activate themselves.
There is a relationship between the stone and what the stone represents that is discovered when someone accidentally exhales on the ‘air’ stone.
The group jumps to action and the earth stone is activated with a few grains of sand; the water stone is activated by a few drops of someone’s perspiration (they have no water, of course!) and the fire stone is activated with the very last match the rag-tag group have. Riveting stuff! 😂
With all of the stones activated, the apocalypse still didn’t end! (Yikes!)
There was a fifth element needed and Leeloo was the fifth element.
There is a human element required to save Earth…Leeloo is both the container and the conduit. She creates the focal point of the intersection between the four stones becomes the beam of pure light into space, eradicating Earth’s encroaching enemy.
Whew, all is well…
Ok, so here’s how this knits together.
Let’s start inside the business:
There is a relationship between you (the owner), the staff, your suppliers and, of course, the customers. The customer is the lifeblood of every business; without them, we are not in business. The customer is the lifeblood and the relationship is the heart that keeps that lifeblood circulating. When we lose the circulation of customers in our business; we see the same thing as happens in the body – decline.
The relationship with the customer maybe the heart of the business, but YOU – especially if you are a single-owner – are the soul.
Now, let’s take this beyond the business:
For the tired, the worn-out and the work-weary especially, we come full circle to the first question I found myself asking, “how did I get here?”.
I found an unbreakable connection between all five dimensions of our life, that our culture and Business has been pulling apart for more than 150 years. Creating a sense of equilibrium between the five spheres is one primary outcome of ‘becoming coherent’…
It’s the sum of the parts that creates more.
Moving from ‘here’ to ‘there’ (aka your version of more) happens as we evolve the relationship with each dimension and ultimately within the context of the whole. A life 360º.
Where are you experiencing the ‘imbalance’? Which dimension feels the most ‘out of balance’ your health, work/vocation, money, time, a sense of spiritual centeredness or is it inside a personal or commercial relationships with someone?
Take this further in an upcoming ‘Base 6’ Series.