We have previously defined a Zentropist as someone who, “Harnesses the potential for work and creativity available within a system and through enlightened application of knowledge and skills, and the alignment of carefully considered goals and objectives, achieves a desirable and harmonious outcome.” In order for this to actually be meaningful and actionable, those that embrace this philosophy need to possess the capability to bring measurable value to their interactions, whether in the professional or personal arena.
There are Seven Primary Attributes that must be cultivated in order to become a Zentropist. These are Willingness, Discipline, Adaptability, Knowledge, Character, Courage and Understanding. Over upcoming weeks, we’ll explore each of these in more depth.
It should be understood that the Primary Attributes are all inter-related and connected, although the order of presentation is no accident. There is a natural flow to the order, which as with many things in nature takes the shape of a circular structure. From the expression of the Will, as defined below, the Zentropist learns Discipline. Through the disciplined approach, rather than fall into regimented, inflexible modes of thought or behavior, the Zentropist learns the value of Adaptability. With the understanding that force can have but one direction at a time in a given moment, the Zentropist gains insight into Knowledge in its myriad forms. With Knowledge, the Zentropist builds Character, with the end goal to share the wisdom, as it has been shared with him or her, and to bring light to the darkest recesses. As the Zentropist solidifies and forges Character, Courage manifests itself, expressed in the choices that are made, the actions and paths taken (or not), the measure of the things which the Zentropist holds dear. From Courage springs Understanding, the ability to see things for what they are; the realization that despite the chaos and confusion which roil the surface, we operate in a world that seeks to find stasis or balance, and as an agent of change, the Zentropist is responsible for restoring equilibrium. This brings the Zentropist full circle to the power of the Will.
Although resistance, both internal and external, may be encountered on the journey of expanding one’s mastery of each of these Attributes, it is a part of the process whose value cannot be understated. Resistance ultimately makes the mind, body and spirit stronger, and all of these must continuously evolve, for the alternative is stagnation.
As a Zentropist, Willingness signals a commitment to growth in all its forms. The Zentropist must display, “The Willingness to engage in life-long learning and exploration to hone one’s knowledge to a razor edge.” There are simply no shortcuts to this path. It involves the application of one’s curiosity, thirst for information, and quest for continuous improvement over time. It is a lifelong journey whose destination always lies over the next mountain, or across the next swift-moving river or vast body of water, or across the seeming barrenness of the desert.
Learning over the course of the Zentropist’s lifetime may take many forms, from formal instruction and schooling to impromptu observations of others; from apprenticing or shadowing those in possession of a desirable skill set to transmitting one’s knowledge as a teacher or instructor; for the wise teacher acknowledges that the student, inadvertently or not, may impart lessons every bit as important as those that he or she desires to communicate.