Cover Story
 LIFE LESSONS FROM IKEA


"Decide what you want most. Take Action and go get it!" - Gerry Visca



 GERRY VISCA

 

I live with a vision to inspire 1 Million Why’s in the world. Imagine a world where everyone knows why they truly exist.


As part of this vision I’ve been on a wondrous journey of simplifying all aspects of my one precious life. This ’radical’ simplification started off as a ’deconstruction’ of my current life. Also known as the removal of the things that no longer serve my higher purpose. Here is what I have come to appreciate over my 48 years of existence on mother earth. Life has a tendency to take a hold of you and spin you around in all sorts of directions.


It’s easy to lose your way when you are influenced by the ’noise’ of the external world. I’ve always loved the definition of ’noise’ as being ’unwanted sound.’ So, when you finally decide what you want most in life. How you want to live and what you want to experience before you choke on a mint, the non-essential starts to fall away. The ’deconstruction’ process has kick-started a whole new philosophy not to mention kicking me in the ass. I refer to this new mantra as: ’Life. Simplified.’

As an active contributor to the human race I often find myself observing human behaviour. This process of radical simplification included downsizing from our 4-storey Victorian villa to a quaint beach condo loft on the water front.

In creating this new ’simplified mindset’ Angela (my life partner) and I decided to streamline our furniture. Think about the spaces that you spend most of your time in. I’ve come to the realization that there are a few basic spaces that every human being requires: Live, Cook, Create, Rest and Reflect.


IKEA seemed like the appropriate choice to satisfy the styling of these essential spaces. If you truly want to observe the human condition then immerse yourself in an IKEA environment on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

I’ve often shared with audiences that IKEA is a superb model of retail innovation. Think about it. They get you to assemble the furniture. It’s simply brilliant. Not to mention they keep you captivated with the use of 50 cent hotdogs and $1 dollar ice cream cones.

If you’ve ever found yourself navigating the IKEA showroom maze you may feel a bit like Alice in Wonderland desperately trying to make your way out.

There are 4 life lessons I’ve deduced from my recent IKEA travels that I would love to share with you. This experience has revealed some really great treasures. I’ve discovered that every opportunity can be seen as a powerful teaching if we choose to look at it that way. So, let’s begin.

 

 

Life Lesson No.1: Stay on the path.

Traversing an IKEA store one will quickly observe that there is no ’linear path’ to the end prize. There consists a series of openings and doorways to disenchanted lands inviting you to take an easier path to the end of the rainbow.

Within IKEA, these ’divergent gateways’ are referred to as ’short cuts’ to the promise land. When in actual fact this ’way finding’ seems to loop you around in circles. You may even find yourself back to the starting point. Along the way you will be titillated with shiny plastic containers of all shapes and sizes that you have no clue what purpose they serve.

The key in life is to stay on the path with an inner-knowing that eventually you will arrive at your intended destination. Marvel at the wondrous journey that is your life. See every crossroad as an opportunity for you to choose what you wish to experience and how you want to live your one shiny life.

 

 

 

LIFE LESSON NO.2: FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS

I refer to this life lesson as ’modelling success.’ Everything that you have a desire to create has been created by someone else. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. The key to avoiding years of falling down is to model others that have already paved the way.

Through a painful process I quickly discovered that tossing out the instructions carefully conceived by IKEA designers leads to a series of unfortunate events. Not to mention a cornucopia of ’unused parts’. I found myself rationalizing (rational lies) that these ’unused parts’ were simply extra pieces unconsciously added to my package. This may have temporarily satisfied my ’ego’ until I witnessed the shiny new bunk bed collapsing as a result of the missing fasteners.

No matter how daunting and overwhelming your journey may seem just breathe and take one step at a time. Follow the directions and soon you will behold your masterpiece.

 

LIFE LESSON NO.3: ONE TOOL IS ALL YOU NEED!

What is the ’one thing’ that brings you tremendous joy? It’s effortless for you and you could do it all day long. It’s your joy, your bliss and it gets you leaping out of bed. I refer to it as your ’passion.’

I appreciate how IKEA has simplified the process for it’s fellow human furniture assemblers with the use of one tool. They typically insert an ’Allen Key’ within every package. I love how this little metal device provides the right leverage to firmly secure all of your connections.

As human beings we seem to define ourselves as human doings. One damn thing after another! We weren’t built as multi-tasking super computers. Your true power stems in your ability to master the moment. I’ve come to appreciate our ability to define time. When we channel all of our love, passion and creative energy into the power of the moment we can achieve great things. It’s about harnessing the one thing you are meant to ignite, the deeper reason of your existence.

You’ll discover that this approach to simplifying the one essential thing will bring you a greater sense of peace and fulfillment. So what is your one thing? Here is a clue. You knew what brought you joy as a child. It’s time for you to remember.


LIFE LESSON NO.4: STEER YOUR OWN SUCCESS

IKEA shopping carts seem to have a mind of their own. No matter how hard you try to steer the damn cart it wants to move in the opposite direction. Every time I attempted to steer it I felt a bit like Harry Potter in a train station searching for the illusive platform 9 3/4.

It’s funny how IKEA shopping carts seem to navigate their way towards additional purchases. Before you know it, the ’one thing’ you originally were searching for has magically expanded into 101 things that don’t fit into your car.

Similar in life, when we don’t know what we want most and more importantly why, we find ourselves losing control and follow other people’s paths. The key is to steer our own success by leading ourselves and pursing our bigger dream.

Each human being was imprinted with a clearly defined purpose at the time of our birth. It’s not random that you have been blessed with a set of unique skills that lights you up. Our role in this DIS-connection age is to Reach Out and Inspire others to help them discover the light that truly illuminates the way.

This is a new ROI that is worthy of creating.

 

Gerry Visca is the #Why Guy, a contributor to The Business Link, one of Canada’s top inspirational speakers, the author of 16 books, including the hit seller: I Don’t Know What the Hell I’m Doing®, BIG DREAMERS, INFLUENCE and the new inspired novel: ’Remembering Why’ Visit www.gerryvisca.com When you order 2 copies of Gerry’s books you get one-on-one WHY Time with Gerry.

email gerry@redchairbranding.com

 

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