When I am afraid of what I might lose
When I am trying to get something from you
I am not free to wield the power of integrity
The power of character
Or the power of courage
After speaking today, several people complimented “my energy” and “my unique power.”
I was keenly aware that their impression came solely from the battle I had waged against myself (for days) to be in that surrendered place of power and not in the place of fear and need.
The ultimate position of power is bringing all of who we are to the moment minus attachment to an outcome.
(By the way, that power position is reflected in the following quote (and was a turning point in Cranston’s career.)
My friend told me she owned at least one-hundred, maybe even two-hundred pair of underwear, and that she was still buying more.
Before I could make her feel guilty about not giving the “underwear money” to the needy, she explained her fetish. She had grown up very poor in Thailand without the basics…including underwear.
Her vulnerability reminded me that everything we do has a story behind it, a very human story.
Best reason to give the benefit of the doubt.
That is Tim Ferriss’s go-to question that led to Tribe of Mentors.
Do you know what your go-to question is?
You might be surprised.
Common questions that lead us nowhere fast…
- Why do things have to be so difficult?
- Why me?
- Are you kidding me?
- Why am I such a loser?
- Why is the world so screwed up?
But, tweaking those discouraging/cynical questions can give us the leverage we crave:
- How can I use this difficult situation to train for a better future?
- Why not me? How can I use my unique gifts and experiences to make a difference?
- Are you challenging me to be better and stronger?
- How can I transform my disappointments into maturity?
- What can I do to make a screwed-up world better for someone?
Actor Bryan Cranston (a.k.a Walter White) tells the story about a week-long rainstorm that inevitably led to the discovery of acting as his vocational calling. If he had not been stranded at a roadside picnic area in a pup tent during a motorcycle trip, he would not have been forced deep into his soul for answers.
The next morning: sunshine.
Suffering is inevitable. Leaning into it, learning from it, and really experiencing it sounds miserable, but ironically, is the least painful way to address it.
Who will stop the rain?
I guess it will have to be me.
“In the world you will have trouble, but, be cheerful because I have overcome the world.”
It is going to rain anyway, we may as well do more than get wet.
Anticipating interruptions has become my primary manner for warding off frustration.
In a work environment, my sanity rules (adopted from Bernie Beck) are:
- Tasks generally take 50% longer to accomplish than you think they will
- 25% of my time should be unscheduled to account for the overflow and the unexpected
- Be gracious to interrupters
- Manage up, across, and down by setting boundaries
- Expect the best, be prepared for the worst
- Be gracious to interrupters
- Remember that relationships are more important than efficiency
“Extraordinary things happen to extraordinary people to prepare them for extraordinary destinies.” -C.S. Lewis
Last night I had a dream that I was about to react emotionally and inappropriately to a relative. But, in the dream, I asked myself, “If I screw this conversation up, what would I have to do to reset to zero?” Then, instead of saying what I was going to say, I waited a moment, took a breath, then said something a lot less volatile. And, wow, things went so smoothly.
Just the awareness of the price I would have to pay for my “verbal indulgence” made a huge difference. Maybe if I had been pausing long enough to ask this question in the past, I would have avoided lots of unnecessary pain.
Tennis great, Maria Sharapova says this Hal Boyle quote is her go-to when she is feeling overwhelmed or unfocused.
This constant peace of a river begins for each of us when we connect to integrity…the state of being whole and undivided…the true center of ourselves; who we really are without the fear, without the hustle, without trying to get something from anyone, without doubting our worth, trusting the support of the Universe.
When we get to this place, the path will unravel artistically before us.
Feeling anxious, confused, unloved, or insignificant is my first sign that I am operating outside of my riverbed.
“Integrity is the only path where you will never get lost.” -Mike Maples
The competitive nature of business and success often leads us to believe we must be ruthlessly selfish in order to succeed. Joel Scrivner, in WINology, puts things into perspective with this insightful quote, “Good guys don’t finish last. Bad guys finish alone.”
Adam Robinson, successful investment guru and global macro advisor, says his life opened up when he became about “the other” instead of himself and his own world. One of his three rules for living is “always strive to create fun and delight for others.” Quite a statement for a introverted, “numbers” guy. (hear more here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSyMmleisQM&t=3318s )
The right “why” leads us to a success that sustains us until the end…not just through the duration of our career.
Life changes for the better when we realize that we don’t have to know everything and we don’t have to pretend we do.
– Simon Sinek
Pretending, posturing, and posing extracts serious psychological and physiological energy from us.
What sweet release it is to be ourselves.
What sweet relief it brings to those around us who are also feeling like imposters.
Sometimes we do have to fake it until we make it to push ourselves out of a comfort zone. That is called courage and courage is essential.
But, refusing to be honest with ourselves and others about who we really are is called by other names, including arrogance, deceit, narcissism, manipulation, and immaturity. All of which are ticking time bombs.
Especially since laughter is, and always will be, the best medicine.
Derek Sivers, author of Anything You Want, asks himself, “Should I worry about this?” If the answer is, “I don’t know.” Then, he asks, “Will it make any difference if I worry?” If the answer is “Probably not,” he doesn’t worry.