So, as I pay attention to what my young mentors are saying, I am visited by the phrase that “everything old is new again.” In this case, the context was Scott Dinsmore's A Beginner’s Guide to Fearless Giving: The Difference Between a Failed Business & a Flourishing Revolution; what strikes me about this post is that he describes my ideal of the good neighbor. It seems his whole movement is about recreating the connection that was once so basic to life.
We have spent so much time putting the focus on the individual that we have neglected the importance of the social context. And it's not only an individual, it's a particularized ideal of individual that has infected our society. Just think of the people that society worships.
On the other hand are the people of Scott's “revolution.” What sets them apart is that they want to look deeper. They want to see the individual within, and that starts with themselves. It's almost tragic that our modern world has brought us to the point that seeing and being with the person within takes such an effort. Perhaps this has always been the state of man, but I haven't been around long enough to know that.
So I share with you some of the advice I've shared this week. This first bit addresses the gnawing doubt that is just too often present in our lives, in this instance, I was responding to a young designer stopped in pursuing her art:
I am guessing here - but sometimes I am a good guesser - that this is just a symptom of your inner critic (little voice, hidden script, people have given lots of names to this) screwing with you. You are obviously a perfectionist. You obviously know a lot, but you haven't studied this and probably don't feel you have the credentials to pass yourself off as the expert. My guess is you probably don't value what you know and have the way others would. You might have been brought up thinking that you have to work for your money instead of play for it. So if this is the case with you, I invite you to give it up. If someone would actually agree to give you X thousand (currency unit of your choice) to help them re-imagine their space, then you are worth that and more. I think once you get comfortable with that, or at least learn to ignore that little voice (it'll never leave you by the way, but you can just let it babble in the background), you'll find it's a lot easier to turn what you love into money. I actually love this Amanda Palmer Commencement Speech about following your inner muse.
By the way Amanda's speech is about the Fraud Police, her version of the inner critic. In my case, it happens to be the voice that says “Who are you to think that you are ‘the one’?”
But this is clearly not the question to be asking. We should be asking “who are we not to use the gifts given to us?” This calls us into action as opposed to stopping us. The problem is so many of us have been trained to ignore our gifts and do as we are told, or live into the unwritten expectations of and for our lives.
Well, one of my gifts is the ability not to get caught in people's drama (I thought of using another word, but this one's okay) and challenge them to be bigger than they imagine themselves to be. I see the bigger person within just crazy to get out.
But this is a blog, and it's kind of hard for me to be in your face like I'd like to be. So I am going to start with the basics, and here's your first assignment.
Say THANK YOU! So much of happiness has to do with being grateful for what we have. We all know people who have a lot, but it's never enough, and people who've got next to nothing, but are happy. It's obviously not about the having.
A great first step to happiness is waking up every morning and coming up with at least three things to be grateful for (thank your deity if so inclined). If you want to take it to the next level, actually thank someone every day. I thank my kids for choosing me to be their father, my wife for her love and patience, my parents for their support, etc. etc.
Then take a look at what lights you up, and put that in your schedule. If you've got a hundred things on this list, pick one, and make it happen. It's that simple.
And if people tell you you are nuts, here's the thing, taken from today's advice to a high school student:
You are threatening to those who have squelched their own ambition to survive in this world. Don't buy into their crap. Be ambitious, be proud, be yourself; don't let anyone tell you that you must settle for less.
And yes, maybe your idea is crazy, but maybe it's the one that will change the world. Don't be afraid to experiment. Feel free to ask your teachers and elders to let you fail. I am sure if you probe a little bit, you will find that they all have some experience of failure from which they learned a heck of a lot. While they might want to protect you, it just might be keeping you from growing. There are some things best learned first hand.
That said, feel free to thank these people and listen. Maybe there are pearls in what they say.
In the end however, you must make your own way, and they know it. There might be hurt and disappointment along the way, but if there weren't you wouldn't be putting yourself out there and living.
So whatever it is, I suggest you go for it. Do your best to prepare, ask advice where you can get it, but mostly just be in action.
. . . and if I can help, call on me. As you may have noted, I added a word to the header of my coach blog, ”Seer.” That's my job, to see what's great in you, whether you see it or not, and get that to shine through.
I wish you a great end of year and a beautiful holiday season. But let's turn the spirit of the season into the spirit of our lives. Let's be neighbors and take care of each other. Maybe we'll just find it's also the best way to take care of ourselves.