For us, vibrancy is the means by which people come alive to their full potential. It is both the input and the output which enables the outcome of getting to who, how and where we want to be. And people seem to instinctively know that vibrancy is a good thing – something to be sought out and cultivated. In the words of Thomas Frank:

Vibrancy is so universally desirable, so totemic in its powers, that even though we aren’t sure what the word means, we know the quality it designates must be cultivated.”

But we do know what it means and this beautiful alternative description provides a little more insight:

When we come across someone who is vibrant, we can’t help but feel drawn to them. There are a couple of ways that some view a vibrant personality:

1. A person who is energetic, enthusiastic, full of life, and you can’t help but feel positive around them.

2. A person who is calm and collected but presents him/herself with confidence, strength, and peace.  

They send off a certain energy that you are drawn to and respect

The Minimalist Kanaka

What we also love about this particular explanation is how vibrancy is as relevant and natural to both introverts and extroverts, which is important because the dictionary definition of vibrant: full of energy, enthusiasm and life could be construed merely as extroversion and that’s not the case.

Vibrancy can apply to people, to teams and even entire organisations. We know when we feel vibrant, we know when we’re with vibrant people and we know when we encounter or work within vibrant organisations. Vibrancy is palpable and more than just being an intangible feelgood factor, it is positive energy – one that helps us be who, how and where we want to be.

So how do you help someone, or some people (teams) or lots of people (organisations) to become the most vibrant version of themselves? When we ask them what they think will help, they’ll suggest things like:

  • Showcasing inspiring examples
  • Ensuring sense of purpose
  • Increasing skills and capabilities
  • Adopting positive and future orientation
  • Showing gratitude and appreciation
  • Building trust and rapport
  • Increasing autonomy and flexibility
  • Accelerating decision-making
  • Organising high-energy activities and events.

They’re not wrong – these will help to ‘energise’ but there’s something that comes before and above all of them. It might surprise you to learn that increasing vibrancy is less about ‘addition’ and more about ‘subtraction’. It’s about addressing the ‘feel bad’ in order to increase the feelgood.

At this point most people’s brains automatically jump to problem-solving mode. It would seem to make sense as conventional thinking tells us that in order to be okay, we need to fix everything that is not okay. Obvious, right? And this isn’t just related to structural, functional and practical challenges – it’s also related to behavioural and emotional ones.

We are not saying that problems don’t need to be addressed and after all, as a team, we have spent huge chunks of our respective careers helping clients to do exactly that. But think about it this way: when was the last time you felt really light and untroubled? When you were able to be in your ‘natural resting state’? You may have noticed how present and undistracted you were – the people around you certainly would have. Creativity, generating new ideas and seeing ‘issues’ from new perspectives are highly likely to have been almost, if not entirely, effortless. Now imagine you could be that version of you most, if not all of the time. What would it be like if that version of you turned up every day to do your job? What would it be like if all the best, most vibrant versions of your team turned up every day to do their jobs?

The biggest difference between this version of you and the more burdened/ concerned/ stressed (add your own adjectives as appropriate) version of you is simply what is on your mind. Now this is a pretty controversial thing to say but it turns out to be true: it looks for all the world as if it’s the external problems, threats and challenges present in your life that are weighing you down but it’s not actually them: it’s your thinking about them. And just to be clear, there is no blame here – until you see it, there is no other choice.

Increasing your vibrancy requires getting stuff off your mind which, contrary to popular beliefs and contemporary practices does not entail adopting complex strategies that just serve to put more stuff on your mind. Another way to look at it is: you’re using up loads of intellectual bandwidth trying to figure out how do deal with what’s concerning you. Using up yet more bandwidth to learn and remember techniques for tackling the concern leaves no space for creative ideas and solutions to come through.

So how do you do that? How do you free-up bandwidth? Well, it’s actually a lot easier than you might imagine when you approach it from the level of cause rather than at the level of symptoms. You might be worrying at this point that there’s some kind of brainwashing, hypnosis or quackery involved, but no. Rather than laboriously attempting to tackle all the contents of what you’re keeping on your mind, this approach helps you to go around and beyond it. Seen from a totally new perspective, you’ll know where your thinking is helping and where it is not. Our experience is that the thinking you then decide you no longer need just falls away and clarity of mind is what’s left.

You already have what you need to be your most vibrant self: you just might not know it yet. Vibrant is what you are when you’re not weighed down and we guarantee that the route to getting there is not what you think. We’d be delighted to show you the way…

We love to have vibrant conversations so if this exploration of vibrancy has made you curious, we’d love to hear from you.

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