After reading Etsko Schuitema’s Intent – Exploring the Core of Being Human, I felt both excitement and trepidation.
Excitement that I had found a roadmap on how to live an excellent life. And, trepidation because as I turned the last page, I knew that I could never again hide behind my feeble excuses.
The statement, “The world we experience is a reflection of the register of our internal dialogue,” put paid to any idea I had of shifting blame for my lot onto someone else. Ever again!
The book contends that the unfolding of the highest aspects of ourselves are principally concerned with the ‘maturation of our intent’.
It makes it clear that there are only two ways for us to live in this world. Our intention is either to get or to give. When we’re immature we believe that others are here to serve us (we’re greedy and fearful). As we mature we get that we are here to serve others (we’re generous and courageous).
This raised serious questions for me as to where I was in the maturity journey.
You’re Weak When You’re Here To Get
An illuminating moment for me is that when you want something from others (get) it makes you weak. This aphorism slapped me between the eyes, “When you want something from the other their ability to withhold what you want gives them power over you”. This holds significance in my life as a sales consultant, entrepreneur and writer. It highlighted to me why sales people people are mostly weak in any transaction – because they are there to get (a sale) and not to give (solution/value). This puts the power firmly in the buyer’s hands.
“The itch called insecurity scratches from the inside,” once again highlighted to me that living this life is an inside job.
The World Is A Friendly Place
I also found some perspective as how I could live in this world. There’s two ways I can perceive this world: in fear or in awe. The book poses the following question (amongst many), “How can the universe be hostile to me when everything I am made of comes from it?” I love the idea that the world is a friendly place and not as hostile as I often perceive it.
Attitude of Gratitude
The book also explores the theme of gratitude. I get the idea that gratitude is the mainstay of every endeavour. Without it we can’t be generous and courageous or find harmony and contentment.
The book is not a simple read. It’s not for you if you’re looking for a silver bullet to solve all your problems. It’s going to take many readings for you get to grips with the lessons it imparts. But, if you commit to the book and make it part of your daily regime, I’ve no doubt you’ll be a lot closer to living a life of harmony, fulfilment and contentment.
I’ll go so far as to say that this book will not only change your life for the better, but it has the potential to change the planet.
Is it any wonder then that Dr Michael Jordaan, CEO of one of the four dominant banks in South Africa, has referred to Etsko as “the philosopher for the 21st Century”?