Why the Name ‘Jonah’s’ Club?

Our Club derives its name from the concept of Jonah’s Complex – what psychologist Abraham Maslow identified to be our biggest and most self-deceptive of all personal limitations:

That is, our fear to be all that we can be;
our fear to live out a life of meaning, happiness and power;
our fear to seek out, the total good.

This fear, as Maslow identified, is at the heart of nearly 98% of people, and it is what prevents most of us, from living the life that we are meant to live.

Maslow named this fear, from the biblical story of Jonah the prophet, who is the archetypal example of this.

If you’re familiar with the story, Jonah was an ordinary man, who God personally called up, in order to take on a heroic journey.

He was divinely called – to go to the biggest city in the world at the time, Nineveh, (pictured above) and to take on the mission of saving this city from its self-destructive ways.

Sounds exciting, right?

That is, to have a divine mission to heroically change the destiny of millions of people for the better, with God by your side?

What could be more meaningful and epic to do with one’s life than this?

But if you’d recall, what Jonah did as a response, was to think to himself, ‘who am I to take on such a big mission’ and to let his fear overcome him.

So he decided, ‘Thanks, but no thanks’, and took the nearest boat, to go in the exact opposite direction of Nineveh – onto the safe and secure plains of Spain. There he imagined he could just live out a simple and comfortable life.

It was on this journey that he then got ‘swallowed up’ by that famous whale (or big fish)!

Within the darkness of that great beast, Jonah came to reconsider… So he returned to his mission, and ultimately succeeded – as to save the lives of millions in the process.

But the story of Jonah, is in fact, our own story.

Like the prophet Mohammad was to also note, let no one deceive themselves to think that they would have acted differently, or that they would do better than Jonah, when the call of Greatness comes to them…

The fear to live a life heroic is our default condition. It’s why most people lead lives of quiet desperation.

By default we all would prefer to live the life of a mere “honest coward”.

So we have named our club ‘Jonah’, because if we would live a life that matters, we all need to come to terms with this fear, head on – as to become the person we are meant to be.

This is why we go far beyond what personal development, positive psychology and the like, seeks to accomplish… For no meaningful leadership, no lasting happiness is possible without overcoming our internal ‘Jonah’s Complex’.

This is why we have it as our motto to:

Return to Your Calling, Stronger.

Jonah’s Club is here for those who believe that we do indeed live in a meaningful universe – where each one of us has a uniquely given mission that we are born to achieve.

And that in reality, the world is a much poorer, a much less loving place, if we fail to achieve it.

It is for this very purpose that we learn the wisdom of the greats in our history and exercise their insights. We aim to strengthen ourselves as to meet our calling, more fully.

To be part of our club, we need a beginning framework of thought, and we start with the Meaningfully Lead! manifesto.

If you have not read this, start here!

© 2023 Jonah's Club by Center for Meaningful Leadership Inc - A Non-Profit Organization


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