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Make everyday your masterpiece.
It’s not what you do, but who you be that deeply touches people. I was recently at a gas station getting bottled water. I needed a lot of water for me and several others. The store clerk in this little mini mart saw me fumbling with liters of water and wheeled a huge cart over to me with a big smile on his face.
I was taken back by his exuberance to help me. “Hey, you got water, I gotta cart. Let’s do this!” You would think this guy had waited his whole life to do this job. He loaded up the cart and helped me out to my car and even packed it in my trunk for me. I thanked him and shared how much I appreciated his enthusiasm. He said, “Hey, you pay my salary, it’s the least I can do.”
This exact job may not have been this man’s life long dream. But he understood a primary principle to living a life radically alive. It wasn’t the job he performed. It was the love and joy he brought TO the job he performed. He made a huge difference in my day. And each one of us has that capacity.
So many people want to know, “How do I find my true passion in life?” Passion isn’t something you find, it’s something you give. The aliveness you seek is not outside of you. It’s inside all of us waiting to be acted upon. Waiting to be shared.
It’s not just what we are doing that touches people… It’s who we are being while we do what we do that makes a lasting impact.
Recently someone asked me what I suggest they do to get “out of their funk.” From the sound of their voice, it was clear they were not speaking of great 70’s music. I have a very clear and generally fool-proof method to releasing a funky mood. That is to Serve somebody or make a difference, no matter how small.
In fact, today on my hike over lunch, I decided I would retest this defunktifying strategy as I hiked up the rocky cliffs above our Colorado home. I wondered how I could serve someone while being alone on a trail? about a mile in, I noticed an empty can on the side of the trail. Would picking up a small beer can qualify as serving someone or making a difference? I started having an inner debate if this was big enough. (by the way, this can be a convenient distraction when setting out to do this.) I picked it up.
The times in my life when I have felt funky, there has usually been an underlying thought I was holding (consciously or unconsciously) and that was “I don’t really make a difference” A.K.A. “I’m not enough.” I think when most of us are in a funk, something has our attention and we’re distracted from our resilient, creative and valuable Selves. On some level we falsely think we are not enough. Serving reconnects us with our value and strength. We see that the world would NOT be the same if we were not here.
I carried that can with me for over 3 miles and I carried it with pride. I could have crunched it an put it in my pocket, but I wanted to stay connected to the reason I was carrying it. I was making a difference. Now, I know I didn’t cure cancer or pull a kitten from a burning building. But that is not necessary to make a difference.
I may not have been in a “funk” when I started my hike, but I did feel a huge lift in my spirit as I hiked and eventually dropped that can in the recycling bin.
If you are in a funk or even if you are not, go out and serve somebody or serve something. Serve full out. No matter how seemingly insignificant- Make a difference, contribute. It will get you out of your head and all the things you think are wrong with you and get you into the value you have to share in the world. And, in my experience, that feels good.
This week. make a difference… and save the funk for your 8-track!
To your Prosperity!
LEARNING #2: BRINGING CERTAINTY TO UNCERTAINTY
Each week this month, I’m sharing one lesson I learned while climbing Mt. Aconcagua with the Aconcagua Man Project Team…
A friend asked me recently, “How did you know that you would make it to the summit of Aconcagua?” I was surprised by the answer that jumped out of me,
I didn’t know if I would make it to the top… The only thing I knew was that I was committed to making it to the top.
When I felt the compulsion to focus on the uncertainty of my goal, I focused on the clarity of my commitment. That was the only thing I had any dominion over. There was no guarantee I would make it to the summit. I was, however, committed to making it to the summit.
A short time ago a woman came to me who was facing possible home foreclosure and sincere financial challenges. She had been a successful business woman who was experiencing a dry spell in her sales. She blurted, “I just don’t know if I will make it. Will I make it?” This question had her shaking with fear, second guessing her career and most importantly, second guessing herself. I coached her to ask a more powerful question,
“What are you committed to creating in this situation?”
She was silent. Up to this moment, she had been lost in the uncertainty of the future, while missing the certainty that she had the power to create.
For much of my past, I looked for guarantees that my objective or goal was possible. I would assess risk and try to figure the chances I had in actually reaching the finish line. If it appeared the odds were against me, I would begin to question my goal and/or myself: “Is this truly the most important thing I could be doing?…Maybe there’s a different strategy that I should be using?” Consequently, I wasn’t a strong finisher in certain areas of my life.
On this mountain expedition, I really didn’t know my chances of reaching the top. In fact, the odds were against me because I had little climbing experience and was struggling with altitude sickness in a big way. What helped me to finally reach the summit was focusing on my commitment to get to the top and back safely- rather than on the uncertainty of what may happen.
In my conversation with the woman facing forclosure, I supported her to create a clear commitment of what she was going to do in her business, by when. Then she put all her focus and attention on that. When she was afraid of what might happen, she placed her focus back on her commitment. It wasn’t easy, and it took nearly the entire year, but she did it.
She is now a top producer in her firm.
Where in your life are you uncertain? What are you committed to creating in this situation? What might occur for you if you were to focus on the certainty of that commitment more than focusing on the uncertainty of the outcome?
My experience is that being certain in my commitment is often reassuring, grounding and empowering. When you fear the uncertainty of the outcome, come back to the certainty of your commitment.
READY TO LEAVE UNCERTAINTY BEHIND?
Are you ready to leave uncertainty behind and become the powerful man you have always dreamed of being? This next year, I am partnering with Stephen McGhee to deliver the 2nd Aconcagua Man Project Team. This is a one year leadership program for men that will culminate in climbing Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina. If you are intrigued, I want you to do three things:
1. Go to www.aconcaguaman.com and read the entire site
2. Listen to the audio interview with Stephen and me at the bottom of the first page
3. If you find yourself interested or compelled to learn more, email me and I will set an interview for us to discuss it further. If not, can you think of one person who would love it? If so, would you share it with them? Thanks.
To your success!