The Power of Inner Light
One day, while strolling in the park, I stumbled upon a small library in a monastery and had a chance to speak with the librarian, a humble and soft-spoken woman in her seventies. I was struck by the peaceful aura that radiated from her and I felt immediately at ease. Although the books on the shelves were all related to Christianity, our conversation did not touch on religious matters at all. I cannot recall exactly what we talked about, but I remember feeling uncommonly relaxed in her presence. I took a book out of the library as an excuse to return and see her again in a week.
Bright people like this librarian are not often encountered in our daily lives, but they exist outside of monasteries as well. Think back and you might remember meeting similar people in various places and situations — perhaps the owner of a rural French hotel, a newfound friend from a retreat, or even a fellow traveler on a journey. Regardless of where you met them, you cannot deny the special significance of these encounters. In their presence, you feel like you’re warming up after being in the cold. Their magnetism goes beyond mere communication and even their attention feels therapeutic. It’s a kind of magnetism to have light inside.
What makes these individuals so magnetic? I’m not sure, but I’ve noticed that they are authentic, meaning they are at peace with themselves. They do not expect anything from you and they truly listen and see you during the conversation. In other words, they put aside their own thoughts and focus solely on you. While the first characteristic may be difficult for many people to achieve, the second and third are attainable for almost everyone, even if only for an hour.
This idea has direct relevance to the topic of this newsletter — business and entrepreneurship. When people truly listen to each other, deals are struck, conflicts are resolved, and innovative ideas flourish. The best sales pitches don’t feel like sales pitches at all. You just need, as the philosopher and psychotherapist Eugene Gendlin said, to take a short vacation from yourself in order to place the other person at the centre of your world. Then they will feel relieved to openly share their pain with you, and the solution will naturally come to light if you are the expert.
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