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VIEWPOINT: Your ‘life-giving vault’


In Spitsbergen, somewhere between Norway and the North Pole, millions of life-giving seeds are stored in the Global Seed Vault.

The vault (referred to by some as the ‘doomsday” vault) houses more than 900 000 varieties of seeds that we plant to eat daily on Earth. The safeguard of these seeds is vital to human existence if anything (from nature to human intervention) would challenge our way of life.

Armageddon and Deep Impact come to mind. In these movies the ‘vault’ wasn’t for seeds but actually for humans and animals after the anticipated asteroid collision with Earth that would change the way humans lived after. These vaults represent survival. The Global Seed Vault came about (reactively) because of humans and their disregard for each other, Earth and the Solar System.

Look at the following definitions closely:

  • Survive: continue to live or exist, especially in spite of danger or hardship.
  • Thrive: prosper; flourish.

What might your life, goals and actions look like if you were focused on thriving as above?

What if the vault’s extreme but important restoration (not advancement) purpose were turned around into proactive advancement for humankind? How different might the content be from today’s list? Think broader – the dodo, quagga and black rhino …

In a time where you have so much that is demanding (or so it seems) your time, focus and energy, where are you storing your life-giving needs? And if you proactively were to fill a vault to assist you to thrive – what’s on the stock list? The list should honour your unique needs and wants.

Which old survival resources need to be removed in your new thriving vault?

So many plans and ideas today have their origin in external reactive modes, even building others vaults …

What are you reactively managing versus proactively mastering? A life with all the human facets of purpose and spirituality, physical being, unique traits, relational desires and financial requirements to do it all should be about prospering and flourishing. A prospering you doesn’t need survival techniques or reactive restoration; a prospering you is in charge of your own destiny above everybody else’s; a confident you will flourish when you honour yourself.

Here is to many unique ‘living-giving’ vaults! Building anything takes a certain amount of time, resources and focus. The less noise and clutter involved the more attention to purpose, which brings sustainability in turn.


To build and maintain your own vault consider:

  • Content: Your detailed criteria for ‘thriving life giving’ will determine the checklist for any new item added to the stock list.
  • Rules and regulations: The biggest lesson I have learned is that if you do not respect your own rules and guidelines, nobody will. Complete guidelines create full-proof specs.
  • Accessibility: The future of your vault and its content will depend on who has access to your vault. Be selective.
  • Strength: Appropriate building ‘materials’ are needed to create a structure to thrive in the circumstances that are your life and career.

Now build.

Author: Stanford Payne CA(SA) is an ICF-accredited executive and business coach