The reverb from the speaker rattled every bone in my body – each baseline syncing with my heartbeat – which was now thump, thump, thumping along. Pure joy on my face, sweat over my brow and a sense of belonging in the world…all standing in front of that huge speaker at my first ever Grateful Dead show. Every lyric was sung to me, every strum touched my soul. And it changed me.
I felt the power of every word in that room connect with my very core. It was an experience unlike any other, as if to say “I belong here.”
I had landed right where I needed to be in that moment, in the world. if you take a step back and think about a time you felt this very same thing, and think about where you were, it would seem like this is a common phenomenon. That we all experience these profound moments in life where we just know there is nowhere else for us to be in that moment. It is incredible to me that, when a “coincidence” happens, you’re in the exact spot you need to be of all the places in the world you could be. Or when a life-altering moment happens, every piece falls into place so you can pivot.
One of my dear friends and timeless marketing guru, David Meerman Scott, joined me on my podcast where we talked about what it means to really settle into a cause in life. Interestingly enough, our combined experience of the power of the Grateful Dead shows provided an excellent (and notable) backdrop.
It was during this conversation that I experienced a bit of a pivot myself, imagining all the ways life had aligned for me, so I could be in the right place at the right time – to learn to be myself. Isn’t that a funny notion? That we are born as ourselves, and we have all of these influences that direct us, and then we spend the next 4 or 5 decades getting back to who we are.
In business, when we lack authenticity, sustainability becomes an almost impossible feat. It is part of our human experience that we want to be aligned with our purpose in life. And when we are met with people who aren’t, the energy we sense acts like oil in water. There’s a clear separation between those who are aligned and those who are not. It comes across in interactions, with messaging, in products and services – every aspect of business is touched by this lack of alignment with a cause, with this missing deep commitment.
“Without love in the dream it will never come true.”
The Grateful Dead, one of the most iconic bands in the history of music, tuned into their cause, broke rules, focused on what they loved and created a ripple that became a tsunami. They built a business around their passion that netted them millions and millions of dollars, even though that was never their focus.
Coincidence or Cause?
Cause is defined as a principle, aim or movement that is driven by deep commitment and that gives rise to an action, phenomenon or condition. Also – to align with the Universe so that you land in the moments that allow you to create change that outlasts your lifetime. It is when we accept this alignment, and ourselves, that we open our lives up to becoming Change Proof, capable of accelerating into our own cause in a resilient and sustainable way.
“We have to be open to the cosmic aspect of the Universe giving us what we seek in life. When we push back, those things don’t happen. But when we accept these odd-ball things and learn to embrace each moment, our life happens.” -David Meerman Scott, World renowned marketing speaker
A Cause-Centered Life
Something amazing happens when we center ourselves in our own lives. We start seeing these signs and receiving these messages from the Universe, letting us know that we are exactly where we’re meant to be. That, my friends, is no coincidence.
I probably still have hearing loss from that very first bone-rattling show. And when I close my eyes, I can time travel back to each moment – how it felt, how it sounded, I can see and smell it. Which makes me think that when we align with ourselves, on the inside, we create experiences that break the rules of the Universe.
As The Grateful Dead puts it, “Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if you look at it right.”
And we all have that choice.