Why Human Beings Need Foundations Just Like Skyscrapers – To Achieve Success!
By Jatinder Singh, Associate Partner at Lighthouse International
Recently I discussed why I’ve been involved in an organisation that has undertaken 18 years of research, despite much criticism, to understand why human beings struggle to build value in all areas of their lives.
This criticism has come from trolls, which include ex-partners of Lighthouse International and the family members of current partners unhappy at the extensive time our research required, leaving our business projects delayed for many years. As well as criticising the delays, those who have criticised the length of time taken to conduct such pioneering research, at the same time, haven’t understood what it’s involved and why it was so essential before launching the business side.
The intention behind this article is to help our readers understand that we have learnt most people don’t have a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual foundation within themselves to solve problems and build value. A foundation across these 4 dimensions would give someone a genuine sense of confidence and strength of character which would enable them to build high levels of competency and in particular be able to deal with our problems and challenges too.
In fact, one of the biggest discoveries from our research is that without a foundation, we will run away from our problems which will only get worse and cause even more pain when we do. However, when we do build a foundation we are far better equipped to deal with problems. Our foundations can be developed if we are willing to invest in ourselves. In fact, developing such a foundation within ourselves is critical if we are to live the best lives possible!
What is The Most Important Part of a Building?
Have you ever seen a towering multi-story building before? Perhaps it was the Empire State Building in New York? Perhaps it was the Shard in London? Maybe even the 163 storey, 830 meters tall ‘Burj Khalifa’ in Dubai? These structures are without doubt impressive from an architectural and engineering point of view – with their magnificent dominance of a city skyline and glistening reflections from the sun.
But which part of these buildings are the most crucial, without which they would most certainly collapse?! That’s the foundation! The hole in the ground which seems to take an eternity to create and which is often an eyesore and hindrance when being laid. Yet without it, the first storey of the building can’t be created which prevents it from being scaled another 150+ storey’s high. Without a foundation, it becomes impossible to build something beyond a certain height.
What Has Building a Foundation Got to Do With a Business?
Just as it is with developing a building, during our 18 years of research at Lighthouse International, we have found that humans have the same problems when building value in their lives; Whether that is in their career, business or personal lives – they lack a foundation. What makes this worse in humans though is that they rarely realise that they lack a foundation. With a physical building, a lack of foundation is quite apparent – there will be cracks in the structure which will get bigger and bigger and if not dealt with, will eventually fall down. The irony being that the consequence of the problem will cost a lot more than having the building fixed in the first place.
What Happens in a Human Being When We Develop Cracks?
However unless something very drastic happens emotionally within a human being, usually preceded by a major life situation that acts as a catalyst – such as a relationship break up or losing our jobs, we don’t realise we lack a foundation! And that is what we have found at Lighthouse International. Human beings underestimate what they are capable of achieving because they underestimate how much it is possible to develop their potential. I can relate to this in myself. I qualified as a Chartered Accountant and compared to my parents who used to run a post office, I thought I was doing exceptionally well.
I had more at 30 years, in terms of wealth, than they had accumulated their entire lives. However, what I didn’t realise was how little I was achieving compared to my potential. I looked at much more successful people, the multi-millionaires and billionaires like Bill Gates and Elon Musk and put it down to the fact that they were just “super intelligent.” While this is no doubt true, I have come to realise that I lacked a foundation that I never received from childhood.
What is a Foundation in Human Terms And What Have We Learnt About The Tack of This During Our Research?
While there are many elements to building a human foundation that will be discussed in future articles, in summary, a foundation can be seen as our ability to solve problems. As an acclaimed psychotherapist, Dr M. Scott Peck shared in his seminal work The Road Less Traveled, which has sold over 20 million copies, virtually all human beings struggle to solve problems because we want to avoid the pain involved in this process. So when we see good problem solvers such as Bill Gates we put them on a pedestal. Dr Peck says of our willingness to solve problems:
“This inclination to ignore problems is once again a simple manifestation of an unwillingness to delay gratification. Confronting problems is, as I have said, painful. To willingly confront a problem early, before we are forced to confront it by circumstances, means to put aside something pleasant or less painful for something more painful. It is choosing to suffer now in the hope of future gratification rather than choosing to continue present gratification in the hope that future suffering will not be necessary.”
And we have certainly found the above to be true during our 18 years of research at Lighthouse International. Many people have degrees, have decent level salaries in relation to the masses, but take them out of an institutionalised environment where systems are already in place like those in their company and they struggle to solve problems because they don’t have the foundation!! A very prevalent example of this is the army – many ex-servicemen share how they fall into addiction because they lack the institutionalised structure that replaced their lack of foundation.
How Does The Lack of Foundation Relate to Solving Global Problems Such as Clean Water?
Because most human beings lack the foundation they cannot solve complex problems. As a result, a problem such as helping 800m children to get clean water, which is one of the aims of Lighthouse International, has been proved to be virtually impossible so far. That’s why it is crucial that there are enough people in the world who develop their foundations so that this problem can be solved.
At the moment there are not enough people who have the prerequisite foundation which is why despite all the charities, government and institutions like the United Nations – a problem like clean water is not closer to being solved than it was 50 years ago. This is because the average person has such a limited foundation that they struggle to solve their own personal issues let alone being able to create solutions to global problems, like clean water, that is multidimensional and multi-faceted. This is why they leave problems to charities and governments because they are simply overwhelmed by their own basic challenges. I can relate to this – I’ve been overwhelmed by doing monthly consolidated accounts for a subsidiary of a multinational – how on earth could I help solve a global problem?! This is why I have spent many years working on my own foundation.
Why Can You Expect to Be Criticised if You Want to Develop Your Potential
However, problem-solving, like any skill, like learning a sport, can be improved if someone is willing to develop a foundation within themselves through a mentor, coach and counsellor. However, it takes time, money and lots of effort. And we have simply found that most people are not willing to invest this time, money and effort within themselves.
In fact, recently we have had some of our part-time partners leave criticising us for how long it was taking us to get to a situation where we could scale our business globally and help millions of people develop their potential through building their foundations. This criticism has also come from our families, mine included – who don’t understand the years it takes for a business to prepare when it is pioneering in nature. It took Thomas Edison over two decades before the lightbulb was commercially viable with GE. It was a similar story with Soichiro Honda, who built the Honda Corporation.
It is very easy to snipe from the sidelines while others are sacrificing in the arena! What we learnt through this is that they were not willing to dig a foundation in themselves. They wanted the fruits without doing the hard work of preparing the soil for years and planting the seeds within themselves, then helping them grow.
How Can Lighthouse International Help You Build a Foundation?
For the last 18 years, Lighthouse International has been learning what it takes to build a foundation in human beings. We’ve learnt this through many empirical projects. We’ve learnt it through many failures through these projects, each one teaching us something new about what we have lacked in our foundation from our upbringing and what needs to be done instead. We have been learning how to build foundations so that we can scale our business to solve complex problems when we have our foundation right.
Indeed one of the major benefits of building our foundation is the speed at which we can scale our ability to solve problems, meaning we can also solve a greater number of more complex problems. It’s like compound interest. The rate of growth is slow initially but the more that is invested at the start, the greater the eventual return. The same principle applies to our personal success too. It is scalable!
If you would like to learn more about what building a foundation within yourself entails and why it is so critical – I can be reached on my Linkedin account or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Perhaps you have been trolled too and just need some support and belief in you from an objective third party! 🙂