Thursday, January 2, 2020

What is your deepest fear?

It's a new year, a new decade, and I'm sure many people are making those annual resolutions to better themselves in one way or another. Why people wait until a new year to make these changes has always been a bit of a mystery to me. We all have shortcomings. We all fail from time to time. We all experience seasons in our lives where things aren't going the way we would like them to go. Why wait to change these things? One of the things I adopted years ago was a continuous improvement strategy. I'm always looking for ways to better myself. Improvement comes in may forms. It may be in the form of education, health, wealth, career advancement, or helping others (which is HIGHLY beneficial both people).

So what drives my desire to be a better person? What makes me want to be successful in all that I do? That's easy....fear.'s not the sort of fear you're thinking of. It's not like a fear of heights, or a fear of the dark, or a fear of being hurt. No, the fear I'm talking about is different.

I am a huge basketball fan and I love teaching. If I were to win the lottery, I'd find a position teaching business and technology in high school and coach the basketball team. Why? Because I absolutely love help people succeed. Helping people solve problems, set goals, and achieve their objectives. There was a movie that came out several years ago called Coach Carter starring Samuel L. Jackson. The movie is about a successful business man who becomes the basketball coach of an inner city school. The kids are failing their classes, lack respect for each other or authority, and are on a path to becoming career criminals. Coach Carter sees the potential in these young men and sets high expectations for them. He teaches them to respect each other and authority. He sets goals for them and establishes consequences for not achieving the goals. He cares about them and gives them a sense of self worth and self pride. There is a point in the movie where he asks one of the players what his greatest fear is. The boy laughs it off, but later in the movie the student understands the question and quotes a passage from a book called A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles written by Marianne Williamson. The quote he cited was:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

This is the fear I feel. The fear that I am not being the best I can be. The fear that the next great idea, the next great invention, the next great accomplish is in me...but I can't produce it. The statement in bold above is more commonly where I find myself. I play small as to not appear like a "know it all". I temper myself as to not alienate those around me. If you are regular reader of this blog, or my vlog It's All About People, then you know my thoughts, beliefs, and passions. Every day I get one day closer to the end of my life. One more day gone that I cannot get back. So what is my plan for harnessing my power?

  1. Build A People Network
    Being a hermit in a cubicle makes it very difficult to accomplish greatness. Everyone needs help from time to time. Successful people who say they are "self made" are fooling themselves. Someone at some point gave them a shot, a helping hand, advice, etc. It's very, very difficult to achieve success without some help. My Dad told me, The four most powerful words in the English language are "I need your help". He was absolutely spot on. Find opportunities to be around people who are at the level you want to be at. Listen and learn.
  2. Be a Lifelong Learner
    I remember when I was a kid thinking about how happy I would be when I didn't have to go to school anymore. Little did I know that I'd be taking classes almost continually my entire life. Working in the technology field, things change rapidly. I am always keeping abreast of what's on the horizon, but also sharpening my business skills and emotional intelligence. In addition to work related things, I've also learned to play an instrument and even held a provisional motorcycle racing license at one point. Keeping your mind sharp while setting and achieving goals will help develop success habits. 
  3. Never "Done"
    I once heard a speaker say, the key to happiness is not getting what you want, but wanting what you get. I wholeheartedly disagree. If I find myself down and out, homeless, jobless, and living under a mean I'm supposed to "want" that and be happy? I don't think so. I have a career goal. That goal is to become the CIO of a large IT organization. It's been my goal since I was a teenager, when many companies didn't even have a CIO. I will always be setting new goals and working to achieve them...personal and business. I will never sit back and say, "I'm done", because that will only happen on the day I draw my final breath. 
  4. Help Others
    One of the greatest things in life is helping others succeed. That's why my "win the lottery" dream is to coach and teach. Seeing kids begin to think differently, to realize their potential, set goals, and ultimately either achieve success or learn through failure. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, we all go through seasons of life. There have been times in my life where people I have helped, given a chance, mentored, coached, or lended a hand to ended up in a position to help me. That's not to say I only help people in the event they can help me sometime. That's not the case at all, but it's a wonderful side benefit. Through serving others, you end up with a #1 on this list...a big network of people you can call on and who can call on you.
It's a new year and if you're the type to declare a new year means a new you, give the four things above a try. It requires commitment, time, and a sincere attitude but if you do the things above you will eventually be in a better situation. It won't happen immediately, but one day you will eventually find yourself in a situation that shows you are powerful beyond measure.

"And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

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