The intact soul is what most everyone says they want. For definition purposes, the soul I am referring to is best described as your essence/core person. When my dad passed away 9 years ago, it was his essence/core person I missed. It was him. I think you can feel me now.
The intact soul is under assault. The assault comes from multiple angles:
To have an intact soul, you must be vigilant and protective. The vigilant part is made up of long-term thinking. Having a long-term view is the equivalent of understanding that we grow up over time-a lifetime. Like all development, it doesn’t happen immediately, it isn’t like a search on Google. It is a mosaic full of pain, joy, frustration, and satisfaction. The idea of protection is rooted around not letting those examples above to have sway in your life. I’ve had multiple times in my life where I had to tell an employer, loved one, or social media channel that enough was enough. It requires courage, maybe more than you think you have. In the end, your soul demands you stand up and fight.
Here are some strategies I’ve exercised to have an intact soul:
Practice contentment-my life has been a story of times of plenty and times of want. Like anyone else, I prefer plenty over want. The lessons of ebb and flow are powerful. I now appreciate all things because all things contribute to my intact soul. It wasn’t always this way. I can remember my corporate America days as a time of grasping for control and being motivated by fear. I naively thought I could control the stock option grants and the business cycle. I naively thought I would lose everything if I lost my grand role. Both control and fear appear to deceive.
Be fearless-this one is big, considering what I’ve written and the reality of fear in our time. Take any traumatic event and you’ll see what fear can do. I’ve advised clients and those close to me to identify their greatest fears and begin working on becoming fearless. Becoming fearless is the process of looking “that thing” in the eye, over and over. Just keep at it, and eventually you’ll see “that thing” for what it really is. By the way, no one is perfect here. Practice and attention strengthen our ability to stand up and fight. The funny thing about fighting is not the winning or losing, it’s about letting your fear know you won’t fold.
Pursue success in life-I don’t need to list all the ways we’re messaged to be successful. There’s the messaging around career success, the messaging around relationship success, the messaging around material (the stuff) success, and the list goes on. Ironically, there is some messaging around success in life, but it is often much softer in decibel than the others. The great tragedy is; we will need success in life when we realize we’re not invincible. If we don’t get this one right, regret and disappointment await.
If you’ve stayed with me long enough, you might think what I’m proposing is daunting. It’s not daunting, but it is hard work. When I look back over my life, I can feel the minor and major notes. The beauty is both led me to an intact soul.
Reach out to me to learn more about how I can help further.
As I progress through life, I am more aware of the trade-offs each day brings. When I look at my calendar, when I reflect on my thoughts or when I consider a business opportunity. Regardless of the situation, a trade is made in everything. Like you, I want to be pleased by what I trade. I apply this to today and tomorrow.
In my younger days I thought I was made of steel. I still feel really strong. I now pause and consider my choices more carefully. My margin for error has changed. I’ve found an interesting correlation between feeling like a man of steel and ignoring life’s trade offs; comfort.
Comfort is worshipped in many parts of the world. America is a leader in this type of worship. I’m not against comfort, I just see it as something to be careful with. Change never comes through comfort, no matter how much we delude ourselves.I even introduce discomfort for the purpose of keeping myself on a healthy razor’s edge. For example, I practice muscle confusion in my exercise plans. This is not revolutionary, but it helps my mind stay focused on growth and not on what feels “familiar.”
It’s a daily battle and it doesn’t happen naturally.
I highly recommend you give careful consideration to the trade-offs in the following areas of life:
Each of the above will require something from you, make sure you can live with the transaction.
There are so many cool things about technology. To be living in this time you might feel lucky. If you’re someone like me, who lives with a chronic disease, your literal life may be impacted by the advancements technology brings. I am thankful.
However, there is a problem with technology.
As the advancement has moved at warped speed, so has the decline in the state of human beings. The state of:
The above 5 are just my mine. Would you add something to the list? Do you agree? Do you see the trend? Do you see the danger?
I met with a development officer from a local university a few weeks ago. The research group she helps is doing some really intriguing things in the world of diabetes care, more specifically finding a cure. Their work runs the gamut, from islet cell therapy to using 3d printing as a tool to further expand breakthroughs.
By the time she had completed her story, my head was spinning. It gave me hope and it made me pause.
What good is the work if beneficiaries are determined to kill themselves despite the prospects of a better day?
I told the development officer that some of the dollars raised should be used to fund solving the problem of poor choices. Its the 800 pound gorilla. Would solving that problem fix everything? I’m not smart enough to say, but it’s clear much of what plagues us inside our head would be improved dramatically.
This irony didn’t begin yesterday.
A re-post and reminder.
September 11 is only a couple of days away. For those living in America (and beyond), it is a sacred day. As well it should be.
I remember much about that day 10 years ago. It still shapes much of my thinking as a context for the life I lead now. The events left me exposed. In the sense that I was trying to find my way with the wrong compass.
I heard the stories of mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters who would never come home again. I felt sad. But there I was, taking for granted so much in my life. I was a little lost and wandering what my role (the real one) was to play. It took some years after 9/11 to get to the following place:
I am no longer in the business of taking things for granted.
At some point events converged and I began to see my life as a whole and not just parts. And again, it took me time to understand it and live it. Twists in the road made for much sickness. It was a process that I worked (still do) and committed to. I didn’t want to be that person who woke one day to find he’d never really lived.
An odd thing occurred last week at a talk I attended. I was asked what my greatest fear was. The answer:
Not doing meaningful work, paid or otherwise.
For me it was a gut check on what I believe, what I value and whether I was willing to see my mission through until the end. I know this post won’t bring anyone back or heal a broken heart, but it’s worth noting I am no longer in the business of taking things for granted. Maybe that’s the best tribute I can give.
It didn’t take me long, as a kid, to know I was born an entrepreneur. A risk-taker who understood that to live, is to risk.
a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.
The above definition is from dictionary.com and notice the word any.
I wasn’t the kid selling lemonade on the street corner for twenty-five cents. Though I had similar ventures way back when. I liken my path as a life entrepreneur, who had varied enterprises, with varying levels of risk. Each of them shaping who I have become today.
I haven’t always gotten it right or been celebrated for my achievements. Quite frankly, some of my biggest successes are ignored to this day.
So I think…
What are you risking today? Are you involved in any tremors or ripples? Have you stood up when most remain seated?
Embrace risk because it is a key to epic living.
Regardless of your endeavor, you probably have at one time or another thought about hitting it big. Natural as the air you breathe it seems. In many respects big is a good thing-if it is a part of your destiny. For example, Nelson Mandela was meant to have worldwide notoriety and focus. He was the right man for the journey South Africa was in. It’s also quite a statement how he released power, while some of his contemporaries held (and are still holding) on. See Robert Mugabe and Zimbabwe on this. In an ironic way leadership plays out like this everyday in organizations across the globe.
So as we hear the music playing our tune, it’s easy to embrace the big.
I’ve been asked about Oprah, about fame, about money, about feeling the love. But rarely am I asked about the input, the mission, or the pain. Maybe there’s no surprise here, since we are enamored with the output. If I were not careful, I could easily miss the small while going for the big. Thankfully, humility is now in my blood work. Wasn’t always this way.
Here’s why the small is most important:
We live in the age of the prescription. The list is long and varied. Drugs (legal) are prescribed to mask or fix health issues. Fitness gurus will prescribe workout plans to help you lose that extra 15 pounds. All in all, we’re in an age of being told what to do. Aren’t you a little tired of that? In some areas of life, prescribing is appropriate. However, it can be a slippery slope.
What if wellbeing should be on your terms? What if your uniqueness should drive how you approach wellbeing?
In my work, I help people find wellbeing that fits who they are and who they aspire to be. Wellbeing that sticks is found here. Far too often people exchange their identity for someone else’s. That someone usually lives in a world way beyond the reach. Ceding identity is a recipe for long term failure.
The best approach is to embrace who you are, and the gifts you’ve been given. Sound simple? It is and it isn’t. The simple part is you’ve got a choice in the matter. The complex part is dealing with all the insecurities and fears. This two-headed beast is ferocious. Many people try to lock up the beast and hope not to have to deal with it, or worse, surrender.
I have areas in my life that have taken, for what seems like a lifetime, much effort and time to be at peace with. I don’t always like to look in the eyes of what hurts me, but making peace allows me to move forward whole and inspired. The trick is having the faith that what lies past your insecurities is the place you’ve always wanted to be. Wellbeing on your terms is the only way to get there.