What we're really afraid of has nothing to do with executing the task at hand. We’re actually afraid of claiming we can accomplish the work with excellence. We're afraid to go public with the belief we have what it takes - because what if we don't? What a fool we'll look like if we raise our hand or put our name on the list and proceed to blow it.
Do you ever find yourself wondering if you’re working hard enough? Do you worry that, to fully reach your potential, it’s going to cost you a meltdown in the process? It’s easy to fall prey to those mindsets - they’re everywhere. But I’ve discovered the real work has nothing to do with what's on our plate or our calendar or our life goals list - it has to do with where we find our identity.
I was once told my emotions were hindering my growth as a leader. After nearly a decade of trying to be someone other than myself it’s clear being an emotional person was never the issue. I now see it’s what I believe about my emotions and what I do with them that matters. Here are my reflections on that journey and a manifesto for those who feel deeply, and who deeply want to lead.
We have the ability to choose what we think and how we feel - but often it feels impossible to change the way we've always thought or felt. This is when we must remember our behaviors drive our beliefs. One small action at a time, we can change. We become who we practice being.
I love blogs. I write blogs. But if we’re not careful all these blogs will distract us from making our real contribution. At some point we must stop believing the next personal development article will finally reveal the secret to unlocking our potential and just get to work. So if you need a kick in the pants, give this a read. Otherwise - go do the things!
When we navigate our lives and our careers focused on ourselves we’ll never discover what we're looking for. By remembering our lives aren't about us we're able to find what we really desire. When we realize life is about others we're compelled to take action - and it is selfless actions that make up a wonderful life, not inwardly focused desires for control.
The most effective leaders are the most reflective leaders - yet many struggle to begin a reflective writing practice. Here are two techniques I use daily to help me learn from experiences, discover purpose, and continue to grow.
I'm learning the path toward our highest quality work comes from the decision to realize our greatest gifts to the world often come easily. Our ability to remain focused on what matters and resist the temptation to find identity in busyness is the hard part. I See my recent TEDx talk about this idea!
Any moment we're able to gather people in a room is a gift. Unfortunately, most leaders and most organizations waste the opportunity on a daily basis and settle for the same kind of meetings, events, workshops, and conferences they've always had. What if you did it differently?
Perhaps some of the most important moments in our lives begin when we're in a situation feeling drawn to act or think how we've always acted or thought, and instead choose to whisper to ourselves, "But this time, I could do it differently..."
I can't help but wonder what might happen if each of us believed we belong a little more than we think we do. What if we all trusted that, based on our own life experience, we always have something valuable to offer?
The beauty of a magic trick lies not in the skill behind the illusion - or even the existence of magic itself. Real magic occurs when we decide to believe in something deeply, learn to do it well, then share it with others.
Those who earn the responsibility of real influence choose to prioritize not themselves - but the other - in every interaction. We forget the power we have in every situation to give the gift of being seen to someone else.
There are a half-dozen tabs open in my browser I believe will deliver answers, inspiration, or providence as I endeavor to do good work. It's endless. I've mistakenly chosen to believe that digesting the work of others directly translates to me doing better work. But we know this isn't true.
It's not about discovering who we are, it's about recovering who we've always been. This is tough stuff because it's not easy to believe we have what we need. Why do we have such an aversion to believing some of the most beautiful truths can be so simple?
Of course there’s value in hard work, but hard work isn’t synonymous with internal distress. I worry about the fragility of our identities if we don’t stop believing we’re running from some predator and start trusting that we’re doing a little better than we think we are.
Though we may encounter seemingly unending seasons of strife, we also have the ability to hone a default perspective of whimsey and wonder each morning. Growth means finding more alignment in the truth that two conflicting things can exist at once.
I wonder if there's a deeper kind of thankfulness - one that doesn't require comparison, but wells from deep inside on its own. Like a song we hear always. So this Thanksgiving, I'm certainly thankful for a roof over my head, fantastic relationships, an amazing job and Taco Bell - but I'm also thankful for the daily opportunity to dive deeper.
You’ve got to get deep about the motives you have for doing the work you do. You’ve got to get clear about why it makes you come alive. You’ve got to speak a language you’d want to hear and you’ve got to create content, products, services and stories that would hold your interest first.
When we choose to punctuate our lives with new moments time slows down. There's certainly something to be said for feeling at home, but for now I'm enjoying the generosity of my friends and quiet mornings in new places. I wonder where I'll sleep tonight.
Maybe that’s what cautious parents do when they love their kids - they introduce them to people who can tell the stories they can't themselves. It wasn’t going to be Craig who would tell his boys about the world and how to cautiously let it in, but it could be me.
It's easy to believe the whole world is against you. It's much more difficult to live in the blind confidence that the world belongs to people who trust in the magic of love and connection. Flowers open up around their ankles. Sun perpetually shines on their eyelids.