Here is a story of how the Lean by Nature framework can be applied.
Once upon a time there was a young woman sleeping in her little house in the forest. She had everything, and felt content, but noticed, that whenever a visitor came by, they were unhappy. Unhappy in love, unhappy with their work, unhappy with their living situation. Over time, she observed, that the one thing they had in common, was that they only knew, what they didn’t want, but weren’t very clear on what they actually wanted. They didn’t know, how happiness could actually look like.
So whenever they came to talk to her, she would ask them to paint a picture. To bring to a canvas whatever came into their minds when they remembered being happy. Or what they thought how their lives would look like when they would be happy. The more vivid the vision, the better.
This seemed to build up their energy and excitement and they went home happy. But it didn’t last. They had a hard time to get into action to actually change what they needed to in order to be happy. So after a while they would come back to her.
Even though she enjoyed to get some company, she knew, that she needed to help them in a way so that they wouldn’t need her and ideally wouldn’t need to come back to her – other than to just enjoy each other’s company. So she asked them, what they would need in order to get started. What steps were needed? What were they missing? Who would they need to be part of it? Because as soon as they could connect their vision to their current situation and create a path, she knew that they would be able to take action.
And she was right. For quite some time, no visitor would find their way to her house. Every day, she would get up, gather herbs, berries, or wood. She would lovingly tend her garden, take a stroll through the forest, splash around in the nearby river or lay in the sun reading a book.
But then, after a while, they would return again. They would tell her about their successes and failures. They would share, what they figured out worked for them in the end. But they were still not really happy. Somehow, they couldn’t sustain their new life. The old habits, people and responsibilities seemed to draw them back into unhappiness.
That was a tough one, she noticed. How could she help them find the strengh to go on? So she invited all of the people who had been coming to her to a big celebration, hoping to get some inspiration what to do next. And while they were preparing the big potluck dinner, finding ways to combine all the different dishes, they were starting to talk among each other. Sharing their stories and how they came to be there. And after that evening, they had created bonds of solidarity, helping each other out with new ideas on how to sustain their happiness. They exchanged contacts and felt the support of each other.
Some time later, the young woman received an invitation to a big event, where some of the people who had been coming to her had decided to celebrate their transformation. They were very open to share their path to a happy love life, happy work environment, or even general happiness in life.
After that event however, the story wasn’t over. They had learned, what they wanted, how to do it, and how to sustain it. But it takes time to truly believe it in every fibre of your being. To trust, that it will not go away.
So after a while she would again get a visit. But this time it was different. They wouldn’t come to her for advice any more. They would simply come to be with her. To share about the curve balls they were thrown just like about the gifts they were handed. And while they were sharing, she started to smile, because she knew, that they had fully integrated what they had learned. She knew, that next time, she could just as well visit them in their wonderful home, and hear about the stories of all the people that were coming to them for help because they had embodied this way of living.