Be You

When you slow down and really listen to the words “Be You” – what comes to mind?

Do you know who you are?

Do you understand your identity?

In my conversations, I find that very few people can answer this question honestly from their heart.

How do we get there? To a place where we know who we are and we can live that out with conviction, passion, and confidence?

I think we have to begin by listening to what is deep inside of us (which can feel foreign or just plain weird).

And asking: Who am I? What do I want? What do I want people to experience when they are with me? Etc.

Deep questions.

It’s helpful to have a guide. A coach.

I have done this with a number of clients over the past 6 years. The results are astounding.

People connecting with their heart and soul and begin living from that place.

It’s beautiful.

Be you.

A Great Interview Question

If you are in an interview, the following question will provide clarity about your future with a company.

“What does it take to be successful here?”

This question will really help both the employer and employee think about the best way for each person to work together to create a great future with the company.

Arranging our days

We all arrange our days.

Even those of us who tend to be less structured.

Being less structured is a way of arranging our days.

And we arrange our days around the things that we value the most.

We spend our time on the things we are committed to. And we arrange our lives in such a way to accomplish the things we are committed to.

For example, if you have tickets to your favorite concert 3 days from now, I can guarantee that you have arranged the next 72 hours of your life in such a way that you make it to that concert.

So what point am I trying to make?

There are times when we commit to things and then we don’t follow through.

For example, I say I will get you a proposal by 5pm next Monday and I don’t deliver on my promise. And typically if asked about why I didn’t get the proposal done on time, I would begin to come up with excuses as to why I didn’t get it done.

Rather than accept responsibility for missing it and recommitting to get it done by a renegotiated due date.

Because the reality is that “other” things didn’t “get in the way” of me getting the proposal done on time.

I just didn’t arrange my life in such a way as to deliver on my word.

Owning up to that is called taking responsibility. Making excuses is called unreliable.

Because if it was external factors that caused me to not get the proposal done on time, then how can you depend on me. Those same “other things” that “got in the way” might get in the way again. And again. And again.

And I would then become a person who is not dependable.

Unless I make the choice to consistently arrange my life in such a way as to deliver on my commitments.

I keep wondering why so many of us keep on making excuses, unaware of the countless prices that are being paid when we are looked at as unreliable.

Staying focused

How do we stay focused on making a difference and living out our passions and calling.

Even when our tendency may be to shy away, pretend we are invincible, let ourselves off the hook, lack curiosity, desire comfort over hard work, blame others instead of accepting responsibility, etc.

How do we fight living in a fantasy world in which the choices we are making today don’t actually add up to the difference we long to see in the world?

We actually decide to actively give a dang about others.

Remember that to “decide” literally means “cut away from the familiar.”

Stop being familiar and surprise us.

Clarity invites Risk

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I was talking with a client the other day. He is in a place where he feels “stuck” – unsure of what steps to take next in life.

And beyond that, he is seeings some potential risks to take but is fearful to step into them.

Have you ever been there?

You know what things you “don’t” want to be doing but aren’t sure what you “do” want to be doing?

And so risk seems a bit arbitrary.

And it occurs to you that in the midst of it all, putting in the energy to get a clear vision will take some serious mental labor.

Yet, you see that without a clarity of vision, there is no context for taking risks.

And so if you don’t put in the mental labor to get clear on your vision, you necessarily won’t know what step to take next. You will feel “stuck.”

How willing are you?

It has a lot to do with how you see yourself

There is such a spell-bounding correlation between the way we see the world externally and the way we see ourselves internally.

I realized this when I discovered the reality that I can tend to be a judgmental person.

Meaning I judge other people. Sometimes those judgments are negative thoughts.

And it occurred to me that when I am judgmental towards others, it often reveals that I am judgmental of myself.

Why does this correlation exist – between our external and internal worlds?

I don’t know that I have the exact answer, but one thought is this:

If I am not judgmental internally, what need do I have to be judgmental externally?

I think one of the main reasons I judge people is to make myself feel better. And if I didn’t have a need to make myself feel better, I wouldn’t judge others. And thus, if I had a healthy view of myself, I would have a healthy view of others.

And if I was curious about myself, I would then be curious about others.

And if I took risks, I could inspire others to take risks.

This correlation between the internal and the external has become one of my most sobering discoveries.

Let Him Be

Near the end of the movie Inception, there is a powerful dialogue between Cobb and Mal. Cobb is trying to explain to his wife Mal (which is not really his wife, but rather his projection of her that keeps coming back in his dreams) … anyways he is trying to explain to her that she is not real and that she is merely a projection of his.

He goes on to say that there is no way he could possibly imagine her “in all of her perfection, in all of her imperfection…” he could not imagine her “fully.”

She would never again in this life be simply, wholly, purely…Mal.

He realized that he could not stay in his dreams with the projection of her because a she was not truly there. Part of her was missing. The part that made her … well, her.

At that moment in the film, I nearly lost it.

Because sometimes I do this with others. In real life. I want others to be who I want them to be, rather than just letting them be who they are and and helping them become who it is that they long to become.

When I try to force people to live under my projection of them, I paralyze them (to a degree) in my mind and in reality …mainly I paralyze my ability to truly invest in them…at the purest level. When I do this, I put myself above them, I am their superior.

When I let people be who they are and enable their development, I instill value and dignity in them. I express to them that who they are is incredible. I help them understand that God has created them beautifully. When I do this, I put myself below them. I express that I am here to serve them. I am saying “We are all in this together.”

Also, I sometimes do this with God. At times, I want God to be a projection of mine. I want Him to do what I want…to come through in the way I’d like…to be who I want Him to be…

But the moment God starts doing this, he ceases to be God.

Because God is better at being God than I could ever project or imagine.

I need to let him be who He is in all of His perfection…purely. To come through in the way He sees best.

Finally, I do this with myself. I use a projection I have of myself (not good enough, never going to make it, not as amazing as others, etc.) against myself as proof that I can’t do something even if I try — so why try? Why go through the process of unnecessary humiliation risking at something I know I can’t do anyway?

What if my projection about myself is wrong? What is I am good enough, am going to make it, am as equally amazing as others, etc.? Then what? Then I’d have to give up my complaint. Then I would be responsible for risking and going for it. And perhaps, in the hard work, the success, the failure, the despair, all of it – in all of that I would find myself, and help others do the same?

What if?

The two options are clear.

The world of projections or the world of humanity.

The world of limitation or the world of possibility.

The world of being judgmental or the world of being curious.

What if?

Then, I could let others be them. God could be God.

And I could be me. Purely, truly, wholly, me.

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