#6 Aiming for beauty.

A potential for beauty draws the bonsai caretaker to a particular plant, stirring something inside them. Then through the patient application of their disciplined craft, the caretaker – in cooperation with the plant, the sun, and the soil – transforms the plant into a striking creation of asymmetrical beauty.

Would you believe the same dynamic is operative with you and your business? That ideally your business – your work – draws you to it, and through the application of your care, attention, and skill, you, too, transform the world and leave it more beautiful? Let’s see how.

First, to beauty. Beauty is an experience that draws us in, mysteriously lifts us, and then returns us to a different place in ourselves. Beauty “moves” us, leaving us to see and experience the world differently. In this vulnerable movement, we are somehow transformed.

Now to work. Ideally your business draws you to it; you are not driven by it. The feel is different: it’s the pull, not the push. In this way, your work is your vocation. By vocation I mean “where your gift meets the world’s hunger,” to quote American writer and educator Parker Palmer.

Vocation derives from the Latin root for “to call” (vocare). So your vocation is felt inside you as the world calling to you for the flowering of your distinct gift. A certain beauty mysteriously emerges from the artful pairing of that gift and the world’s hunger. The closer the alignment of your gift to the world’s hunger, the fuller beauty your work enjoys. You are transformed, and the world is more beautiful through your business.