as I continue to share something of a personal journey with you, let’s reference one of my more recent posts as a baring-point:
we started with, desire.
so, we move-on to, awareness.
These adjectives mean mindful or heedful: Aware implies knowledge gained through one’s own perceptions or by means of information: Are you aware of your opponent’s hostility? I am aware that the legislation passed.
“The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance”. – Nathaniel Branden
I think this means we must be aware of the need for something, possibly change, and then accept that it’s our path, and embrace the effort through it’s application. then, once you’ve accepted this mission, others will follow, and that is also a form of acceptance.
for me, it’s about having a Servants Heart. my roll is making things better for other people. when things are good for people around me, I’m great. when things are not so good for people around me, I am dark. I suppose that makes me something akin to a Rhodesian Ridgeback (dog). I’m a reciprocator, and a kind of mirror. so, I go out of my way to make everything right around me. that way, I can breathe, literally.
it helps to have questions:
- what are you good at? dig deeper. what are you really, genuinely, good at?
- what do you want to do?
- who needs you?
if you can divine that last question, you probably know what you are good at, and where you can be affirmed by being surrounded by people that need and want you.
ignorance is possibly the opposite of awareness or knowledge. just like death is the opposite of life or salvation. knowing what you are good at takes self-awareness (as I discussed in desire). you probably need to know some answers to these questions before you can make purposeful and meaningful steps towards that self-awareness that helps or allows you to be useful to other people. you know the old adage…
“you can’t help others until you can help yourself”. – Unknown (but, likely a philosophic sophomore)
this leads us to how, when and where we can help others. where does your special talent reside? what and where is it’s foundation? I believe there are three ways to pin this down:
listening. this ability to be mentored or taught is crucial. because that, in turn, allows us to positively influence others.
experience. this can be realized through epiphany, or gradual awareness. the idea that past experiences influence future experiences was termed continuity by John Dewey. all experiences, argued Dewey, impact on one’s future, for better or worse. basically, cumulative experience either shuts one down or opens up one’s access to possible future experiences. experience refers to the nature of the events someone or something has undergone. Experience is what is happening to us all the time – as we long we exist. our experience becomes a platform of influence that can benefit others.
influence. one of my soccer players once said, “Coach Brian is teaching us how to use our super powers for good”. I learned a lot about myself in that moment. I leveraged a lot of my own experience, knowledge and servants heart to teach her teammates how to win despite many obstacles, including themselves. the core to my coaching has always been life lessons for citizen athletes. it works for people in business, as well.
this can’t always be easy. perhaps it should not be easy. but, it can be simple. leadership is an example. the ability to make good decisions, and guide others through that process may not be easy, but successful often looks or appears simple.
when I coach kids in sports, or adults in business, I often say…
“it may seem simple, but it won’t be easy”.
since we don’t know what we don’t know, we should to look for opportunities to change, evolve, grow, just be different. consider the following points to help you process the establishment of awareness:
- look around yourself , in the moment. at what might be or could be or should be, different.
- you may have misplaced or missed an opportunity.
- what you see may not be what you expected or expecting.
- consider the possibility that you have lost perspective and seek guidance. meditate. pray.
- is it possible you are moving down the wrong path? what do your instincts tell you? are things working? or, are you always having to “muscle through”? do other people accept your guidance and influence?
- are you willing to pay the price?
You gotta have a PLAN
vision + plan + desire + / different = change.
readers of this blog (and, the others), and the people that I coach professionally, relative to any span of time, know that a driving theme for me is having a plan.
having a plan helps you maintain awareness. try and keep it simple.
look… even with the kids I coach in Lacrosse and Soccer, I teach them to know where they want to “end-up” with the ball. people that follow me are also familiar with the concept of “finishing well”. so, thinking two and possibly three moves ahead (oaky… think Chess, as well) offer s distinct advantage and helps focus us in the moment. this helps with a sense of direction driven by vision. the vision, driven by desire, has to be inspired and is the catalyst for doing things, stuff, anything, everything, something vitally important, differently. that difference, is the key. you can make a difference, be different, do it differently… it’s all separated from the thing you want to be different and changed.
through The Parable of the Talents (Matthew
while it’s not a foundation for a strategy, hope, fueled by faith and prayer helps refine our vision (hint: you don’t need peyote).
I’m an entrepreneur. not a “serial” entrepreneur (that term has always struck me as creepy sounding). a successful entrepreneur. I’m drawn to other people that like to start things and drive them forward, with will and purpose, through a vision with a platform for change ever on the horizon. I use all of this thinking as a Dad, husband, friend, philanthropist, etc as well. very few people can summon the courage to follow their dreams, ideas, and vision. many things chip away at our resolve. but, staying true to a plan that is founded in solving specific needs enables us to change (evolve) ourselves, and those around us.
building off of desire, keep asking yourself the key questions:
- what am I good at?
- what do I want to do?
- who needs me?
- what am I going to do different?
do you feel joy?
I ask my Lacrosse and Soccer players, my daughters, and my business coaching clients if they perform with “joy in their hearts?”. if you can’t say yes, hopefully absolutely yes, then you must be aware for a need to change. as I tap that last sentence into existence I feel it’s so obvious. but, it’s not for most people. joy is a positive reinforcement and driver for repetition.
perhaps it’s important to have an over-arching goal that is a companion or underlying objective for life. what if that is nobility? become familiar with the term, noblesse oblige.
if we have a desire, it can be change, and we are aware of the potential for that change, and it means good things or greatness can come of it, why not move purposefully towards it. that gives life meaning. and, we’ll talk about that next.
peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.
brian patrick cork