People’s passion and caring — purposes, visions, values, needs, willingness, interests, concerns, compassion — and the energetic patterns of all Life — are resources for self-organized effectiveness. But these things can also generate dissonance. So seek to nurture, call forth, liberate, and support intrinsic life energy in ways that help realize broad longterm benefits.
Some related patterns: 15 Connecting Nodes of Life Energy 18 Consulting and Abiding by Willingness 20 Cooperative Ownership as Stewardship 41 Groundedness 43 Healthy Competition/Cooperation Dynamics 81 Synergy Between Part and Whole 88 Using Diversity and Disturbance Creatively
Well-Utilized Life Energy – going deeper …
This is an edited version of the video on this page.
The first step of this is recognizing all the things that go into what I call life energy. In the human world we see things like purpose, vision, values, needs, interests, concerns, and compassion. One of the things that all these phenomena have in common is they are sources of energy, of motivation, of action. What causes somebody to behave in a particular way? Well, what’s their purpose, what are they trying to do, what’s their vision, what are they striving for? What are the values underlying their behavior? What do they think is good as opposed to bad? Values motivate people as they try to move towards the good and away from the bad. Needs, too, intrinsically drive them, as do interests which are like needs, but on more surface level.
In an interesting way “concerns” embrace all of these. When people have a concern they look at what’s going on or being proposed and say, “Whoa! Wait a minute!“ Now that “wait a minute!” comes from a sense that what’s going on is not congruent with their purpose, their vision, their values, their needs or interests. There is a very important way in which concerns is an entryway into all those things. (Note that “concerns” is the focus of one of the other patterns in this pattern language – All Concerns Addressed.
Compassion involves your feelings for others, your willingness to step into somebody else’s world and what they’re doing, striving for, wanting, and whatever kind of suffering they are going through which you want to help them out off.
Passion and caring involve a drive. They can refer to any kind of strong interest that has energy in it.
These phenomena are also more broadly characteristic of all life in different ways. You can find them in an organism – an animal or plant – perhaps a more basic, less explicit level than you find in humans. But there’s definitely a sense in which plants and animals have purpose: they are clearly striving for certain things, at the very least survival. They have a sense of what’s good and bad and what they need and all that. Anybody who has a pet or a garden can sense there are earlier developmental or evolutionary harmonics of these drives that exist in every living system, every living entity. Even a forest or an ocean has some early versions of some of these things in it.
Caring is closely related to compassion but it can also be caring what happens to our community and wanting to be engaged in making that better.
These are all energy, all sources of energy. The more alive you are, the more of those things are moving through your daily awareness and motivations. That’s why I call it life energy. It’s not a woo-woo concept. It is very, very close to our lived everyday experience. These things can be seen acting in people, and you can actually address them in very specific ways that release them or squelch them.