Last week, I had the great privilege of befriending Jean Oelwang – the CEO of Virgin Unite – Sir Richard Branson’s not-for-profit organization.
Jean has met some pretty influential leaders in her time working for Sir Richard, and she told me a story that inspired me and confirmed something I’ve suspected for a long time.
The Secret Of The Elders…
Jean shared with me that she spent a few days on Nekker Island with The Elders.
The Elders is a group of the greatest peace makers and social revolutionaries of our time. It was founded by Nelson Mandela, is chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and includes people like Kofi Annan and Jimmy Carter.
Recently, Sir Richard charged Jean with the task of observing and studying The Elders (during their time on his Caribbean Island) to find out what they all had in common.
Want to know what Jean discovered?
It’s not what you might think…
What do our great world leaders all have in common?
Jean discovered that each member of The Elders had an extraordinary relationship with their husband or wife.
That was the ONLY thing she could find that they all had in common.
I’ve long suspected that the secret key to achieving great things in life is to build a loving, intimate relationship. Napoleon Hill even talks about it in his classic book, Think And Grow Rich.
So, what is it about relationships that fuel such greatness in men and women?
I suspect it is that feeling of being supported by someone who has your back. The confidence that comes from feeling loved and accepted warts and all by someone who knows you inside and out.
As a man, there is no more intoxicating feeling for me than having my lover look into my eyes and seeing her devotion. In these moments I feel I can conquer the world with her by my side.
Ever noticed how after a deeply intimate moment with your partner that you feel inspired?
For me, I feel inspired to give my greatest gifts to the world – to write or create something. It’s as if connectedness is the gateway to accessing my sense if purpose and creativity.
Have you experienced this too? If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below…
Love’s Dirty Little Secret
In my experience, romantic relationships are the fastest way to transform and grow. When we face the fears that romantic relationships inevitably bring up, we begin the process of healing our core childhood wounds… Wounds that manifest in beliefs like,
- I’m not good enough
- I don’t belong
- I’m unlovable
- I’m different
- etc, etc,etc
Most psychologists agree that we all inherited some core limiting belief about ourselves from wounding experiences as children. You don’t have to have been abused to have been wounded emotionally. These beliefs show up most painfully as adults in our romantic relationships.
Can they be healed? Yes. When we do ‘the work’ in our intimate relationship and use it as a crucible for our mutual transformation, we can heal the wounds from our past.
And when we do that, I believe we are far more likely to go on to do great things in the world. Why? Because our attention shifts from a kind of narcissistic ‘me me me’ quality to a more inclusive ‘we we we’ quality once we have healed our childhood wounds.
It’s similar to the emergency procedure on an airplane – get your own oxygen mask on first and then you can help others with theirs.
Once we have taken care of ourselves and healed our core wounds, we naturally want to turn our attention to our loved ones, our community, our society and our planet.
I believe that this natural progression in my own life is why I’ve felt moved to help couples experience deep intimacy, connection, love and healing in their relationships.
Because the world certainly needs more conscious couples.
The world needs more whole people.
The world needs more social revolutionaries like The Elders.
The world needs more love.
And in my opinion, relationships are where it’s at…
P.S. I’d be curious hear if you’ve had similar experiences in relationships. Please let me know in the comments below… and then share this post on your Facebook wall if you enjoyed it.
P.P.S. If you want to develop the kind of relationship that acts as a crucible for your transformation, check out my Love At First Fight relationship repair program.