Vigilance, trust and humility—three simple words that pack so much meaning for moving the needle on culture shift, for transcendence from disengagement to collaboration, from myopic thinking to visionary action, and from entropy to expansiveness.

Once we’ve done a good deal of soul searching, personal work, read a bunch of books by amazing thought leaders, gone to retreats to unplug and rejuvenate, joined a yoga class, taken up meditation, and most importantly, reassessed our value systems related to how we make our living in the world—what then?

For most who have undergone such transference of values we arrive at a place in which we realize that what we’ve been doing in the world is no longer fulfilling. Then we have to come to terms with the fact that the career we’ve built no longer seems as relevant—the college degrees, the credentials, the accomplishment don’t seem to hold the same importance.

And then … this is where vigilance, trust and humility come into play.


If we are vigilant, then we can be willing to remain in the questions and not try and figure it all out. The questions being: Who am I? What is important to me? What is my purpose? And, what do I want my life to be about? Remaining in the questions allows us to move toward the answers that are true to who we are, and to shun the urge to intellectually determine the answers based on societal norms, comparisons to others, and an analytical weighing of pros and cons. It requires vigilance to remain in the place of not knowing and to not panic and return to the intellectual processing of data—what some would call ‘worry.’


Trust then becomes of great importance. Once we’ve remained in the questions and gotten still with how it feels to be in a state of not knowing, we can trust that discovering truths comes from being in the not knowing, as we can never discover a new truth, inspiration or vision when we come from a place of knowing. Intellectually obsessing on a problem has the greatest tendency for leading us to more of the same. Trusting in the process of being in the not knowing enables us to break from societal norms and conventional thinking.


Last, but not least, humility is all too important for moving the needle on culture shift and authentic transformation, because without it we will be tempted to assume the answers we arrive at are related to our own brilliance and creative genius. All the greatest creative visionaries of past and present have told us that their creativity flows from some unknown place, like tapping into an invisible river that runs through the sky, and that all we have to do is to reach up and touch it to draw from the waters of vision. If we lose this perspective on creativity and vision we will easily drown in the earthly waters of conventional thinking and myopia.

Entropy and stagnation result from us thinking we have all the answers and that we can find a solution to every quagmire and quandary by merely putting our brainpower to it. Authentic culture shift comes about when we are vigilant about being in the not knowing, trusting in the process, and humble enough to know that we are merely tapping into the great mystery for our inspirations.

By the way, Vigilance, Trust and Humility are also the last three chapters of my book, Shift: Indigenous Principles for Corporate Change, which is now available on all online book selling websites. Click here to purchase a copy. Or if you would like a signed copy, email me with your address and quantity.