What is your genius? What do people come to you for?
Ok. Sure. Obviously, people can come to you for money. If you’re great with computers, they might come to you for tech support. I’m not necessarily talking about your expertise or resources.
I’m talking about HOW you do things. It’s that extra spice or gusto or delight that you bring with you when you help someone.
Maybe you’re great at tech support. But it’s the way you explain things, the ease you bring to a frustrating experience, or the way you go above and beyond to prevent future problems that set you apart from everyone else.
These things people ask you about might also be something that brings you joy. You would actually do it for free. It feels so natural and effortless – it’s almost too easy.
Hone in on that. Explore it. Do more of it.
It could be the greatest gift you can give other people. It’s just that you might not realize that you have it.
I’ve looked outward in search for the quality that makes me valuable to other people and to society. I wanted to find out what they demanded of me and what they required me to achieve in order to be deemed “worthy.”
Validation from others motivated me to push harder to gain more skills and expertise. To be the best. To get noticed.
But what I’ve been learning lately is to lean more into myself. To turn inward instead of outward. To search inside of myself for what makes me the best.
In a world where copying is rampant, where you become tomorrow’s commodity, you have to define YOUR story of “best”. When you look outward for answers, you will get the same one as everyone else. One-size-fits-all mediocre answers.
Pay attention to what people ask you for and why they come to you for it. What can you give to others that brings you joy and is effortless?
When you lose track of time helping others, it’s a signal for what matters to you. Something you are bringing to the situation lit you up. It touches your essence of being. There’s truth hidden beneath the way you see and operate in the world.
Lean into that. Do more of that.
The way you are being is more important than what you can do. Because it’s how you do things that ultimately sets you apart and make a unique footprint long after you leave.
Stand up for your version of best.
Stand up for your version of genius.
[Image: Brain Pickings]
“We have these brief lives, and our only real choice is how we will fill them. Your attention is precious. Don’t squander it. Don’t throw it away. Don’t let companies and products steal it from you. Don’t let advertisers trick you into lusting after things you don’t need. Don’t let the media convince you to covet the lives of celebrities. Own your attention — it’s all you really have. In the tradeoff between timeliness and timelessness, choose the latter. The zeitgeist rewards timeliness, but your soul rewards timelessness. Work on things that will last. Inside each of us is a little ten-year-old child, curious and pure, acting on impulse, not yet caring what other people think. Remember what you were doing at ten, and try to get back to doing that thing, incorporating everything you’ve learned along the way.”
Jonathan Harris’ essay on Navigating Stuckness is a beautiful summary of what it means to be a maker.
What a great reminder. I think there’s a groundswell of people who are looking for timeless things to balance out the swirling speed of the world.
Things that last often signal the things that truly matter.
Give up the conception of what your life is supposed to look like.
Instead give where you can. Follow opportunities. Say yes.
Follow your gut, your intuition.
Listen, and get to know yourself. Be gentle. Come to love what you are, the good and the ugly.
Give up the idea of what you’re supposed to do. Take the road less traveled. The things that you were supposed to accomplish by age 30? Are they really yours?
Take action from your center. Let actions come through you. Take time to listen to clues that dot your journey.
Stop buttressing fear with every action. Your life is not a study in risk management. It’s important to take care of yourself and avoid harming others and become overly dependent on them. It’s not pleasant to be homeless and broke.
But beyond that, live free. Free of what you should be doing. What “success” is supposed to look like. What accomplishments needs to line under your name.
The mountain is yourself. Not on paper.
Trust that you were put on this Earth for something, a purpose greater than yourself.
"I want to change the world."
Everywhere I turn these days, I hear that phrase.
There are over 2.9 billion google search results for “How to Change the World.”
Startups dedicated to conscious living and meaningful work are popping up left and right.
The ambition around this…
"In this I’ve realized that “changing the world” was never the right aim. My innate desire has always been to embody my message."
Over the past year, this has been one of my realizations, too. As I look towards 2014 and ponder what it means to embody my message and my truth, here are three thoughts that quickly popped into my head:
- I want to learn how to cultivate deeper connections between people.
- I want to lessen a sense of loneliness in a world filled with superficial promises of belonging (e.g. technology).
- Build a better food system and redefine our relationship with food.
I’m not sure what to do with these things yet, but they have occupied my mind for quite some time now, surfacing to the forefront of my consciousness from time to time.
But do read Michael’s post at Get Storied. It’s great.
He said “I gave up making choices. I’ve merely changed my responsibility from making choices to asking questions.” With the throw of dice, or coins, and the I-Ching, Cage learned to accept what was given to him, by chance, or nature.
This blog is so good. I love when things make me pause and think twice.
The world is an amazing place, but how often do we truly take advantage of it?
Think about it. Most of us sit in our chairs for 8-10 hours a day, inside, in front of our laptops. How are we supposed to experience the wonders of the world by doing that?
How many connections wither in our life because we focus so much on pushing forward, climbing the company ladder, or even just rushing to thing after thing even though it’s not really resonating with you?
How many of us ignore our gut instincts in favor of our brain telling us what we “should” be doing.
Doing without reflection and introspection is what make us miss this amazing world.
When was the last time something took your breath away?
Today on a walk, an insight came to me. It said, “You’re never complete. And that’s OK. You have to take one day at a time.”
It’s so true.
You are already complete. You have everything you need. There’s only growth and learning because we’re all meant to change. You take one step at a time, one day at a time.
But listen to what the rest of the world is telling you.
"You’re not good enough."
"You’ll only be happy when you get this job."
"You’ll feel complete when you found THE One."
"If you be like this / buy this / master this skill / make X amount of money, then you’ve reached the apex of your life."
Where does this chase end? It will only leave you depressed, sad, frustrated, unsatisfied, and unhappy.
I can speak from experience because I’ve went through this. I’ve told myself repeatedly,
"You’re not good enough to do this."
"You don’t have enough experience."
"You need to save enough money or build up your network first."
The end result was that I was never happy because I was never happy with my self or the progress I was making. There was always more to do. More to achieve. More to learn.
I was always trying to escape the present moment because I wasn’t “there” yet.
How many of you have thought this? For me, I’ve come to realize that the source of this mindset came from feeling like I wasn’t good enough - to do the things I want, to pursue a certain lifestyle, to talk to certain people…on and on and on.
Let’s reverse it.
What if you thought that you are fully complete in this moment? That you welcome new lessons into your life each day? That you’re open to being more aware of why you feel what you feel?
If you stopped thinking that you need to “arrive” at some destination and you need that to feel happy, what would you do differently? How will you see the world differently now that you’ve released yourself from your own obligation?
Let me say this to you: You are complete in this present moment. You are worthy of self-love and I love you.
True motivation can come only when you’re content in the present. Accept and embrace change and grow one day at a time.
I’m no where near perfect. Don’t put me on a pedestal. I still go experience these feelings of inadequacy a lot. I still beat myself up for little things, and I still feel the yearning to fix myself/make myself better because I don’t measure up to other people or I haven’t “arrived” yet.
But I’ve learned that if you take a deep breath everyday and be at peace with where you are in life, you will feel happiness. Daily.
From an interview with designer/artist/soul searcher Elle Luna:
So I was using Uber all the time in San Francisco, even though I hated the design. And then I went to the Crunchies awards ceremony and at a post-ceremony event, where I was in a ball gown, I saw the CEO of Uber, Travis…
Good reminder. I need to focus on following through on some things on the personal side. I absolutely loved Elle Luna’s interview on The Great Discontent (one of my favsies design blog!).
She’s an inspiration.
To read about how other professionals became experts in their craft sign up for Startup Edition #23.
If I Can Do It, You Can Do It
I started my career out as a “product guy.” But about 4 years ago I realized that product was a small piece of the startup puzzle. I became fascinated with…
This is awesome, awesome resource for growth/digital marketers. That’s why Startup Edition is one of my favorite email newsletters I still subscribe to (after I purged most of them).
If you want to learn to become a better digital marketer, this is your go to source. Thanks, Brian!
“You have to build meaning into your life, and you build it through your commitments, whether to your religion, to an ethical order as you conceive it, to your life’s work, to loved ones, to your fellow humans.”
John W. Gardner (via heif)
It’s your values and incorporating them into every area of your life. It’s about being congruent and aligned with them.