The mention of such a private realm in such a blog might seem a little strange, some might even say risky, but I figure that if I am writing about leadership, learning and life, the bed is a topic which deserves a mention, given that we spend about 1/3 of our lives in it.
We all have a bed, regardless of our status, culture, religion etc. What form it takes and how we feel about it varies from moment to moment, year to year, from our birth to our death. It plays a multiple of roles and its implications are significant. For example, from a leadership perspective:
- In busy lives, the bed sometimes offers the only stillness, escape, retreat, rest, privacy in one’s day. As Napoleon is quoted as declaring “the bed has become a place of luxury to me! I would not exchange it for all the thrones in the world”1.
- In our beds, in our sleep, it is when our dreams are most likely to come to us. In Wild Courage2, Elle Harrison explicitly encourages us to start noticing our dreams as a fundamental way to develop our intuition, which is so integral to our creativity, innovation and decision making capabilities as a leader.
- Leaders like Arianna Huffington, founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, talk openly about the role that a good night’s sleep plays in discovering our inner leader3.
- Similarly, Jon Kabat-Zinn4 writes about the sacredness of sleep, for being able to sleep is a sign of harmony in one’s life. As any stressed out executive will tell you, the most common and earlier symptom of stress is trouble with sleep.
- And our bed is often our daily milestone, a point of reference for our day. Steve Jobs is quoted as saying “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn't matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we've done something wonderful, that's what matters to me”5.
In recognition of the importance of our bed to our lives, the Share Your Bed project has been recently launched on Facebook. The idea is to co-create an eclectic and interesting collection of stories, pictures, quotes and prose of all things bed related (within the realms of FB decency of course) as a type of social documentary via social media. It is open to all to contribute so do join in.
After all, it can be lovely to share your bed ;)
2. Harrison, E. (2011) Wild Courage: A Journey of Transformation for You and Your Business, Watkins Publishing, UK
4. Kabat-Zinn, J. (1990) Full catastrophe living: Using wisdom of your body and mind to face stress, pain, and illness. London: Piatkus
Image: photo from Claudia