Are You Authentic

This is my third commentary on the October 6 entry (A Sky Full of People). 

Today’s world speaks of the desire for authentic people, but in practice shuns that type of individual.  Why is that?  Mostly, because many organizations (profit and non-profit) value conformity more than authenticity.  Authenticity is more difficult to lead than conformity, and in a culture that has gradually become intellectually lazy (see the stats on reading vs. television watching), we want it "easy." 

So how can you be authentic when the winds seem to blow against that choice?  First, it starts with counting your days (how many days of a typical life span) and thinking what your legacy will be.  All people share one common destiny, we’re all going to die.  So what mark do you wish to leave?  That answer should drive you to authenticity.  If you don’t care about your legacy, then please stay single, don’t lead people and go live on a deserted island.

If the choice is authenticity, you will not be disappointed.  Authenticity leads to greatness and happiness.

What Are You Afraid Of

In my entry (A Sky Full of People) from October 6, I listed some items that hinder growth.  The second one was the question of what are you afraid of.  Fear is prevalent in so many areas of our life…even for those who claim to be fearless and daring.

The process of removing this obstacle is all in the "tackling."  The Christ-based approach would be to "confess."  Essentially, we must admit and note what we’re afraid of.  This creates a realistic start that can help tremendously. 

Remember this age old acronym; F (false) E (evidence) A (appearing) R (real).  What you fear (failure, rejection, death, etc.) is more than likely the thing that won’t happen under your microscope. 

The thing you fear most is the thing holding you back.  Let go of that fear and you’ll see a significant lift in your path of growth.  Just the liberation alone will give you renewed confidence.

Knowing When You’re Alive

Think of the roles you play and ask yourself the following question:

"Do I feel alive doing/living this?"

If the answer doesn’t come immediately, you’re probably not fully engaged, not fully alive, or dead.  Don’t panic!  Check your breath in the mirror, if it fogs up, there’s still a chance.  Wake up!  There will be a point in your life where you will fail the mirror test, until then wake up!

The critics (remember nobody remembers the critics) will say that what I’m advocating is not realistic.  Forget them!  What’s more realistic than living out who you were made to be?  We’ve been duped into believing that its crazy to be who we truly are. 

You might be surprised at how many famous, rich, beautiful and smart people are not living out this reality.  They have resources, but are bankrupt inside.  The corporations and well-intentioned advice givers have tried to choke out our destiny, but that voice will never be silenced.  Don’t allow your dreams to be the inheritance of the grave.

While you have time (nobody knows how much), be willing to fail at the pursuit of your dreams, rather than the successful compromise of them.

Harvey’s Message

Had a good friend and mentor give a keynote speech this morning.  He’s accomplished in many ways, but I’ve never had the privilege of seeing him speak in this arena.  He struck a chord in me.

I am learning more and more about "being still."  The art of "being still" is not easy, but necessary.  Harvey addressed this in a very heavenly way.  His words made me sad, and in a strange way blissful.

In our busy lives we are focused on doing.  But its the being that matters most.

Enabling Leaders

Are you a leader who is currently enabling (unconscious or conscious) the bad behaviors of your people?  If you are, you have a lot of company.  This type of influence is a big contributor to why people fire their leaders/managers.  Environments where this dysfunction is allowed, are lacking in every way imaginable.

Now here’s a surprise…enabling is common to human beings.  We all tend to want to avoid confrontation.  Therefore, we avoid issues and behaviors in the name of "peace."  Sadly, avoiding the issue makes things worse.  Eventually, it will mean a messy clean-up.

I’ve had to learn (and still learning) that you must make tackling issues an act of will.  Without this, you’ll convince yourself that there must be another way. 

Once you’ve determined what the right thing to do is, then act and don’t think about the consequences.  Doing the right thing will take care of the consequences, and your people will be inspired by your willingness to act.

Chasing Destiny or Chasing Success

I’ve written before about the perils of chasing success, but I want to give you another "cure" for this epidemic.  I use such strong language because people are only experiencing half (or less) of what they were meant to. 

First, it begins with knowing the Designer of the design (you). 

Every human being is given a destiny…a unique destiny to be fully manifested in a lifetime.  Success is a by-product of this destiny.  It also produces a peace in the midst of great success.  There are many in America who are successful, but not many carry a peace with that success.  I think you’d agree that many are very dissatisfied and unhappy. Have you ever noticed that those chasing success never seem to catch it? 

When your destiny catches you, then success will pursue you.  Counter-intuitive?  Absolutely, but a truth I’ve experienced personally over and over again.  When you think about God’s power and creativity, you start to see the "magic."

Who’s Challenging You?

My entry on October 6 (A Sky Full of People) listed some penetrating questions around growth.  As promised, I want to address some things I listed as blocks to a succesful path of growing.

Here’s a big one to ponder…who’s challenging you to grow?  If you’re like many, the answer would be no one.  Our culture (American society) is content to live out growth through others or even to just be lazy.  People who think they’ve got time to get to one of the most important choices in life, are lulled by prosperity and conveinence.  I pray that you will awaken and recognize that life is a limited time offer.

I liken someone challenging me to grow as a great mentor or personal trainer.  They push us to go beyond our percieved limitations (job, family background, race, religon, etc.).  Often we would never discover what we could become without them.

I highly recommend that you find someone to challenge you.  Call them what you will, but get one!