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(Happy 12th Birthday, Dear Friend)
Today I am proud that I have walked through that door–the one back in Dragons. The one leading to the land of the yellow sun and formless terrain. It’s been an intuitive journey thus far; I stay on it not because I know what I’m doing, but because I can’t afford not to. If I die only hitting second grade proficiency in living a life of my own design, at least I didn’t live a life of the walking dead. I’m stopping to honor the hard work I have done and to consider some of the lessons I’m picking up along the way.
I give mine away, and it’s pissing me off. In a scene, it is a gift to show up on stage with a strong character. Provide details, lead by offering material for others to wrap around. Know when to modify. Strong characters are in touch with their motivations and needs; they aren’t afraid of feelings. They are adept at playing the fool and the hero. They don’t think so much about what they want or who they are; they just are. Definitively.
I want to own my power–at least start with figuring out what the hell that means…
Went to an employment seminar for a local job club. Told the facilitator about my job history, my liability of being a business owner unaccustomed to taking directives from others, my recognition that I mightn’t make as much as I’m used to (as long as I’m working for someone else). She agreed. Seems everyone is used to the idea that our worth is determined by the market. In this example, the market means forces outside our direct control. Does that bother anyone other than me?
A FB friend posts an article from Bloomberg, talking about some >$350,000 / year guy in New York whining about making hard economic choices (such as having to moderate his $17,000 annual pet maintenance expense) as his bonus was cut. Not met with tears. The class warfare default that showed up on the thread kind of troubles me. Not because there is class inequality and it is growing more pervasive by the Chinese import, but because we resent people who have a lot of money. We buy into the paradigm of working for someone else who will in turn provide our security. We resent that they have the power to decide how much of Resource’s flow is directed toward us, but we are grateful for the bit we get; after all, figuring out how to found an automobile industry with these paper buggy whip stocks does daunt.
We exit the hooka lounge, exhaling that delusion that security comes from working for someone else (yes, it works well for a class of highly specialized and adaptable people) to find a world where the game’s rules have changed. To thrive in this new economy, our thinking and our behavior require very disruptive adaptation. With the residual hangover, thinking about redefining things leaves us feeling foggy. Is this fundamental change in employment the new norm (yes) and are we trapped forever in this new reality of seemingly barely sustainable living? That depends on us, and our belief in the buggy whip. [This is the part where I present a compelling MLM that offers you a way to get in on the auto industry from the ground floor… (Working on it…)]
Further, this scarcity thinking keeps us separated from each other and judgmental.
We balk when someone else’s pipe dwarfs ours. Size matters! But the issue isn’t the size of the other guy’s pipe: the issue is that we don’t know how to go about controlling our own flow. I don’t care how big your pipe is if mine gives me everything I want and need. When I figure out how to create immense value for a ton of people doing something that jacks me up, I will rejoice that you have a huge awesome house and time to take vacations. I will have someone to play with with whom I can mastermind. More choices, more control, more fun. That sounds infinitely more exciting than trying to figure out which comes first: gas, rent, or dinner. If I don’t have enough, I want yours too. If I have enough, I feel generous, open-hearted, and infinitely more creative. In our new economy, if we want more, we are going to have to go outside the current paradigm to get it.
“To hell with the shoulds. Life is short. Do what you want.”–Ashley Ambirge
Intention / Clarity:
“If you aim at nothing you’ll hit it consistently.”–Gary Stanton, perhaps recycled.
Know what you want, figure out how to get it, start taking action. There is tremendous pressure in asking yourself the question, “What do you really want?” Dare you be so bold as to dream? Who are you anyway?! You’ve tried things before and they haven’t worked. Just get a real job! Listen to those scarcity voices and then tell them to shut the hell up! Get clear, get focused, get a plan, get accountable, and soldier on. Maybe you know what you want but don’t have a clue how to get there from where you are. Welcome. Let’s figure this out together!
Ten year overnight success. How many licks did John Mayer play before becoming John Mayer? I have general direction. Writing, freelancing, systems-consulting, alignment-coaching, investigating, creating content, working on my own time, project-basis, creating intellectual capital. These things I get. Expertise for the consulting, coaching, and content, not so much. I get business broadly, writing practically, and people absolutely. I am stealthy at extracting relevant information and political shadings. I’m working on getting to depth with characters (fiction) as I work through emotional stuff. I can get these missing pieces by doing contract work for disaster continuity planning on a state contract, being a Starbucks barrista, doing an internship with an advertising agency, being involved in a growing floral firm poised for dynamic growth, blogging and creating a social presence for a tool manufacturer.
[I’m pretty sure the above paragraph is my narrator’s concession to the prospective clients who would view this blog as part of my portfolio. (You don’t want me stuck in an office doing books all day…)]
The endgame isn’t the next job; the next step is merely the only thing in my power to do. Instead of feeling hopeless like I will never get there, I am confident. I’ve watched myself this past year dealing with repetitive hits and setbacks, and I trust my ability to extract marrow’s meaning out of life to the tips of the bones. Whatever I do will contribute to the whole of my eventual arrival. AND, even when I have arrived (how I define that in my gizzard), it will simply be a launching pad for the next iteration. I’m more comfortable trusting that process. There are no useless bits in the discard bin of experience.
I am not alone. On stage, in life. It isn’t just me making up the scenes. Entirely new thinking that is at the mere conceptual stage now. What would life be like to NOT be alone, operating from a place of guarded solitude even when with people? Not a clue. My default will always be solo, but I am not opposed to giving trust little tiny baby steps. Own my power here; don’t give it away and don’t entirely hoard it.
“Close the door. Write (Live) with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.” –Barbara Kingsolver