Is it Sustain "able"?
This is kind of a buzz word, but have you ever stopped to think about what it actually means and how that might relate to your life, business, or community?
The most basic definition of sustainability is:
"able to maintain at a certain level" (Oxford)
I also like this simple one:
"Meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (MCGill University)
The concept of sustainability can take on different meanings depending on the context. For me, when I think about sustainability, I think about the interconnected nature of our natural, cultural and economic systems at a confluence with our own personal lifestyle, values and beliefs.
To drill down even more specifically:
- In environmental sustainability, I look towards how we can balance human use of natural resources with the intrinsic value they hold regardless of human benefit as well as how we can ensure resources for future generations.
- In community sustainability, I examine strategies for how we build resilience and connections among social, economic and environmental systems.
- In organizational and business sustainability, I am passionate about how we can create a profit and return on investment that has a positive impact on social and environmental systems.
- In personal sustainability, I focus on harnessing time, energy and dollars toward creating a positive impact in our lives our families and our communities, without depleting our own or community resources.
When you think about sustainability, what comes to mind for you?
Are there aspects of your life, work or community that you hope to sustain as long as possible?
Are there relationships, circumstances, or obligations that you know you don't want to or you are not able to sustain?
Taking inventory of the answers to these two questions can bring insight into where you might want to invest or divest of your valuable resources (time, money, energy, passion).
I would like to sustain my marriage, relationships, a healthy body, our farm & its infrastructure, community resources, healthy growth in my business (to name a few).
I don't want to sustain incessant worry, unhealthy lifestyle choices, toxic relationships, a schedule that keeps me "too busy", over-consumption of resources , ignorance or societal pressure.
There are plenty more items on these lists but this can give you a few ideas to get started:)
Now its your turn....
What comes to mind?
We know that everything in nature has its life cycle...humans and human built systems are no different.
Nothing is meant to endure forever- but when something is important we can put intention toward its ability to be sustained and take action that supports that intention.
Knowing the desired state and intention for what you want to sustain is the first step.
Life Design & Business Coach
"Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect." – Chief Seattle, 1854