I've blogged a couple of times about one of my favorite companies, Frederique Constant, a remarkable maker of fine watches in Geneva, Switzerland. Their distinctiveness is what they call "Accessible Luxury" and their slogan is "Live Your Passion." In discovering more about their history and brand, I came to realize that their distinctive approach to watches parallels my own approach to wisdom. Since I left a great university position nearly twenty years ago to spread ancient wisdom across the culture and globe, I've actually been focused on what you could call "Accessible Wisdom" - not wisdom that you need a PhD to understand, or years of study in distinguished libraries to acquire, but deep and practical insight of the highest order that applies to the challenges of everyday life, and answers the questions that we all inevitably ask.
Peter and Aletta Stas, the founders of Frederique Constant, were lovers of fine watches in their early years together, and wanted to find a way to put such a luxury within the reach of more people. They understood that luxury is not at its core about inaccessibility, or elitist cost, but rather that it essentially embodies such qualities as great beauty, excellence, high functionality, comfort, and ease. With the right focus and tremendous ingenuity, they've been able to live their passion and realize their dream of including more people within the realm of high end luxury, making it more widely accessible. And they're having resounding success around the world, as a result.
Wisdom, also, is not about inaccessibility. The truth is that you don't have to be a legendary guru, or a top scholar, in order to attain and benefit from the greatest insights available for living in this world. But too often, the deepest wisdom has been treated as exactly that - as if you have to be first inaugurated into an esoteric cult, or initiated into a gnostic order of insiders who study rare documents in arcane languages, or you have to learn to speak a technical jargon far beyond the comprehension of those who have not been trained in its use, or else, unfortunately, the best of human insight can't be yours. And that, I've been determined to show for the past twenty years, is just not true.
It has indeed taken me years of formal training and decades of dedicated work, like a top Swiss watchmaker, to be able to separate truth from falsehood, and insight from illusion, in matters of human life and aspiration, where the differences can sometimes be subtle but crucial. What are our greatest insights? How can they best be applied? How do we separate mere appearance from reality? Part of the reason I'm so impressed with Frederique Constant is that they're doing for watches what I've long sought to do for wisdom. And their passion has helped me to clarify mine. On the basis of all my own hard work and study, refining my sensibilities and logical acumen to the highest degree, I'm now able to offer people accessible wisdom that they can use and enjoy, and that can enhance their lives, as it does mine, every day.
The more we can make accessible to others what we've perhaps worked so hard to achieve ourselves, the more we make our distinctive mark on the world, and we can seek to serve from the riches and blessings of our own lives, bringing these riches and blessings to others.
What are you really good at? What can you make more accessible to others? How can you do and share with passion? These are questions always worth asking.
Ask them today.