The origins of Feed Your Tigers, and how the tiger analogy took on a life of its own.
Well, here we are. A new departure with Feed Your Tigers. A beginning full of promise--with the possibility that this endeavor will make a huge impact on the world, and simultaneously, the distinct likelihood that it will lead a short-lived life that didn't live up to its expectations. That said, I take the plunge and hope that no matter what the outcome that it proves to be an exciting ride where I gained something valuable, and where anyone else who came along for the ride did too.
Feed Your Tigers was an idea born in August 2015 in a workshop I led in Val de Consolation, a monastery turned retreat center nestled deep inside a verdant valley in Eastern France. Forty people from around the country came to spend a week with me to get unstuck--to learn more about their unique talents so they could lead lives of greater fulfillment.
During one of the sessions, I was discussing the idea of Multiple Natures, a concept I developed during my 21-year stay in India, that explains how each person has 9 unique tendencies--ways that they tend to express their energy. To make the idea more fun and concrete, I referred to them as tigers that need to eat (activities) in order to feel satisfied.
At the end of the workshop, I went around the room and asked each person share what they felt was the best part of the week. To my surprise, one by one, each person said "the tigers". It caught me by surprise because when the analogy popped into my head, I thought nothing of it.
After that experience, the tiger analogy took on a new life, and I found myself using it repeatedly to help others gain better insight into their natural abilities more easily. I expanded the metaphor further, referring to people's prodigious talents as "big tigers", and their lesser endowed talents as "small tigers".
Then came "hungry tigers" (those that did not get fed enough) and "overfed" tigers (those that got fed too much). The more I built on the analogy, the more appealing it became, and the more people started conversing in the language of tigers. Upon hearing the analogy once, they would start using it themselves to refer to their abilities. But more importantly, they found new ways of expressing their personal and professional challenges with greater precision: "My administrative tiger is totally overfed. I'm burnt out and have to do something about it," or "My creative and musical tigers are starving, and if I don't get a chance to write some music, I'm going go ballistic."
From 2017-2020, I formally added a Feed Your Tigers component to our professional workshop, MNLIFE. It was so much appreciated, that we realized FYT needed its own space. So I set out on a path to write a blog and book entitled "Feed your tigers before they eat you!" Things were beginning to take shape.
I was all set to start in on the blog, but fate had its own plans. In 2021, my partner, Rytis Jurkenas, asked if I could do a workshop for a Lithuanian company just on Feed Your Tigers. Within 3 days. With my adventurous and creative tigers being as formidable as they are, I couldn't refuse. And the workshop was a hit.
Rytis and I went back to the drawing board and realized that an opportunity stood before us to bring our tools to a wider audience more quickly. We decided to have our Multiple Natures brand be focused on business-to-business professionals, such as life coaches, career counselors, HR, and other guidance professionals. And that Feed Your Tigers would become a consumer-facing brand that focuses on life-balance, following a 7-step process of aligning one's potentials.
The first steps I've taken to make this new direction a reality are:
- To create this website.
- To create an FYT Podcast (that will launch January 11, 2022).
- To run a 7-week FYT Boot Camp with 7 people based on the 7 FYT Principles (As of this post, we are nearly complete with the program and it's been very successful).
Feed Your Tigers has transformed my work with Multiple Natures because it's made it focuses specifically on the alignment process. The MNTEST, which has been our key offering until now has been a powerful diagnostic tool to help people identifying their unique abilities. But we largely left it up to guidance professionals and their clients about what they wanted to do with that knowledge.
With FYT, there are now clear steps about how you can go about the process of aligning your abilities--and this enables us to fulfill our mission of being a company that creates human alignment tools that bring about wellbeing. In short, we now have a method of both identifying tigers and supporting people to align them.
I also have to admit that this evolution has brought me a sense of completion, that the Multiple Natures concept I developed in 2008 in India is finally ready to be brought to the world. All the pieces are in place, and things are starting to flow--naturally.