Funk: – a state of mind that is unpleasant, maybe even negative, down, miserable, unhappy and certainly not conducive to greatness in any walk of life.
Cause: – Multiple causes related to physical, emotional, mental and spiritual discontent.
Cure: – Contentment, satisfaction.
Discussion: – I’ve been asked to work with teams, whole communities, individuals, corporations, rock bands, orchestras and families to eliminate funk. Funk is a virus. It starts with one or two people in the group and spreads like a wild fire. But it is not healthy to blame the root source individuals. There must be a fertile ground for funk to grow, like a virus or fungus, the ground for the development of a funk was sitting just waiting for the first seed to grow.
Fast, Conscious, Sustainable Change
- Fast Decontamination – memory exists in all four areas of human development. That memory, whether it’s a corporate culture, a community belief or a family lineage, silently controls all attempts to break free from the fertile soil for funk. Until this is clear, we are highly likely to waste years, and potentially $millions leveraging change but with unsustainable results. Three steps forward, two back. Slow change happens like this and while the progress seems worth the effort, my experience of organisations and families who support the human cost of slow change at a physical and emotional level, is huge stress and high personal cost. Funk, when it exists must be seen as the core of the change process. Decontamination is the first priority. This means a physical, mental and emotional detox. It all starts with an audit of current circumstances.
- Conscious Outcome – Funk can impact the courage and mindset of anyone. They can become embroiled in the deep miserable work of trying to move forward against an enormous resistance. Individual reactions, friendships, previous frustrating dialogues and more can create an environment of uncertainty and generosity that sabotages the opportunity and need for courageous leadership, in both self and other. New visions, a new bar must be set, way higher than the past, a new bar that prevents the growth of funk. I call this G.I.V.E – Wake Inspired – Gratitude, Inspiration, Vision, Enthusiasm. Applied and engaged each morning it can really change the way things are.
- Sustainable – Funk can be triggered outside the workplace, or family home. Most of it is fed by repressed anger, which, in its raw form can be quite radio active and toxic, while if channelled into productive outcomes, can be incredibly invigorating. The sustainability of funk free living is a lifestyle that, rather than ban anger, owns it, then finds a way to express it in non violent (very important word in cultures on non funk living), and value driven action. Examples can be: endurance sports with a target competition, art, writing, and speaking. Extremely advanced expressions of anger can be visionary leadership, pure inspiration and prioritisation on purpose.
The Funk Free Life
In a funk free environment there is no room for the one who refuses to change. Three key ingredients of a healthy funk free conscious life are:
- Morning Practice: When an individual asks their work to motivate and inspire them it is a huge probability that they will turn up at work in a funk and hope the work will fix it. This breeds fertile ground for funk in company cultures. The model here is to coach that individual up or out. Up would mean to reduce their dependency on what they do as a stimulant for life, and rather to focus on how they think about what they do. This means, the demand for good self leadership is in a healthy way forced back into the home life and micro management of the personal life of the individual, this is where the root of personal funk originates and far too many organisations and families try to fix or take responsibility for the funk that has a source in the individual. Funk is eliminated with disciplined morning routine and ritual, however, all too often the individual will only apply themselves when the funk has taken back territory in a mind that has become complacent. Strong commitment is required on a sustained basis to some very simple morning routine that I designed to cause contentment, inspiraiton, fulfillment, enthusiasm.
- Lunch Practice: many people become great teachers because it feels natural and good (emotionally) to teach, train, educate and coach others. However, there is no great teacher who is also not a great student. Being a great student means to read, learn and be challenged daily. An example might be to read the Koran for a Christian or the State of the Universe for a person with financial struggles. The daily lunchbox is a state of reminder that we are, after all, learning beings.
- Closure: Funk is fed by food, alcohol, tv, social media, youtube, conversations, self interest at night and self help books. This triggers the mind and causes disruption at a time when the mind should be encouraged to relax and sleep, to prepare to allow the spirit to awaken at night. Closure is a three hour journey of winding down. This can be consciously applied with digital detox, lights down, food selection and moderation in the hours before sleep.
Funk other sources:
I have covered some of the mental elements of funk above but there are environmental elements as well. These will be spoken about in the next article about mindset.