When living from Resonance—operating from a deep identity core that keeps us individually and collectively focused on transformation—we are:

  • Living on Purpose
  • Living in Connection
  • Living for Development
  • Living with Gratitude (Valuing life)
  • Living in Action
Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

The road to transformation, a fundamental shift from one form to another, requires action. At the individual level, we know from transformative learning theory that we realize the fruits of a transformed life when we act and interact in ways that signal a new orientation (worldview shift) in our thinking and being. We know from human systems dynamics and complex adaptive systems that systems are formed by patterns and transformed by a shift in those patterns as a result of different actions and inter-actions within and between the parts of the system. In short, to transform ourselves and the systems around us, we must act and interact in ways that are consistent with the changes and shifts we seek.

A hallmark of every transformational leader I have met and certainly those I interviewed for my work on Transformation After Trauma: The Power of Resonance is that they were living in action. They are focused on intentional action for the transformation of the world, relative to the issues that mattered to them. Living-in-action, being an actor and agent of change and transformation and not a bystander was the ultimate outcome of living from Resonance and meant the following to them:

Determination: A Will to Act. Determination is the outcome that unfolds not just from Resonance, but also from the realization of the four previous themes of purpose, social consciousness and human connectedness, spiritual and moral development and valuing life. This determination defines the will to act on learnings and insights. It is the drive to take individual actions needed to accomplish goals and become agents of change regardless of roadblocks and challenges. It includes the undeterred focus and motivation to take on agency as actors and subjects in the systems those who work from Resonance live and effect change in. The leaders I interviewed described their growth in a sense of determination to set and reach goals that they did not have before….

In more recent work in the Palgrave Handbook of Learning for Transformation, a co-author and I found that in an analysis of 50 chapters written by scholars and practitioners working toward individual, relational and systemic transformations, transformation-in-action was one of four perspectives through which transformation is realized. In particular, we found that the outcome of using a variety of art forms to reflect on experiences that actors wished to transform, such as socially marginalized experiences, was action. This is consistent with how insights realized from resonance stories, which can entail verbal, written, symbolic, metaphoric or expressive forms, leads to living-in-action.

The invitation of Living from Resonance is to realize what I have called Resonant Transformation—to take actions towards transformation that is grounded in your Resonance—an intentional commitment to the deeply personal stories in your life that keep you grounded to the need for transformation.

The invitation of Living from Resonance, therefore, is to be an actor in the world you care about.

  1. What transformations do you seek in the world that you are deeply connected to as a result of your personal Resonance story (stories)—those personal stories from your life that deeply connects you to identity and purpose?
  2. How might you influence the transformations you wish to see in the world from coming to life as an actor/change agent?
  3. What actions must you take/continue to take to bring those transformations to life?

Watch my Tedx Talk on “How to get past disconnection to social change,” through the power of Resonance stories.