Musubi — Connection

My daughter is two years old now and weighs about 25 pounds.  Picking her up after her nap when she is still a little drowsy and relaxed is very easy — she lifts her arms up, gives me a sleepy smile, and into my arms she comes.  Trying to pick her up when she is a screaming, squirming two-year-old-tyrant throwing a temper tantrum is next to impossible.  So why is it so difficult, if not impossible, to pick up my daughter when she is throwing a temper tantrum?  She still only weighs 25 pounds.  I can easily pick up 25 pounds with one arm.

The answer is simple.  When my daughter is throwing a temper tantrum, she is constantly moving, resisting, and shifting her little body weight here, there, and everywhere.  It is very difficult to try to lift up her gyrating 25 pounds.  The only way I will be able to pick her up is to feel where she is moving, adjust my motions to match hers, and align my movements to hers.  To truly connect with her physically, mentally, and emotionally.  Once I have this connection, perhaps the best way to pick her up is to let her calm down first.  Or smile and play with her before trying to pick her up.  Or if she is doing something potentially dangerous like running towards a busy street, having a deep connection with her allows me to scoop her up quickly and set her down safely away from the busy street.

This concept of connection is called musubi in Japanese.  And musubi is vital for you to succeed in life whether you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, trying to master a martial arts move, or just trying to pick up a rabid two-year old.

Think of your professional life.  It is very easy to lead a successful sales team if you have very little competition, have a wonderful product or service, and a seasoned team that works well together.  That is just like picking up my daughter after her nap — easy.  But what if you have strong competition and are launching a new product or service that doesn’t have all the bugs worked out?  And then you need to hire more sales professionals and get them trained right away.  If you lack a connection to yourself, your team, and the situation, it will be like trying to pick up a resisting, screaming, gyrating two-year old.  A very tough, painful process that may or may not work out.

Connecting with your team — creating a strong sense of musubi — allows you to adjust when you need to adjust, feel out the situation and see it for what it truly is, and get into relevant action that puts you on a sure path to victory and success.

One way to start practicing musubi is to find out more about yourself and others around you.  Here are two fantastic resources to start your musubi learning The Mushin Way:

  1. Five minute read of a really great blog post about introverts and extroverts.
  2. One of the best books I’ve read in years that has helped me develop a greater sense of connection in my life — Quiet:  The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain.

Leave me a note below or Tweet me @mpveltri to let me know how your practice of building connection — musubi — is going.  And to let me know any good strategies you have for picking up a screaming two-year old.