We all just want to be loved. I think of it often — when I feel I am acting out, when I see a colleague lose it, a friend struggle, or loved one unhappy. At the heart of everything love is the core of why we do so many things. We want it. We want it all the time. This idea from Mark Nepo in “The Book of Awakening” says it all for me:
“We waste so much energy trying to cover up who we are when beneath every attitude is the want to be loved, and beneath every anger is a wound to be healed and beneath every sadness is the fear that there will not be enough time.
When we hesitate in being direct, we unknowingly slip something on, some added layer of protection that keeps us from feeling the world, and often that thin covering is the beginning of a loneliness which, if not put down, diminishes our chances of joy.
It’s like wearing gloves every time we touch something, and then, forgetting we chose to put them on, we complain that nothing feels quite real. Our challenge each day is not to get dressed to face the world but to unglove ourselves so that the doorknob feels cold and the car handle feels wet and the kiss goodbye feels like the lips of another being, soft and unrepeatable.”
I was thinking about it in relation to Thanksgiving Day. Think about how loved you are and share that with others this week. Even if you might not feel loved – you are. Someone said in a meeting recently “You get what you give.” I love that. It is so true. As we go into a day of gratitude and thanks, remember to take off your gloves and get rid of your layer of protection. Be the raw and real you.
Make sure the doorknob feels cold, and the car handle feels wet, and maybe you will get more kisses goodbye, or maybe you should give them more often.
Do you have that extra something special? Do we all have it? I am sure we all do somewhere, but some of us use it in our day-to-day life with flair while it lies dormant in others. What is that something special? GRIT. No, not those grits served in southern kitchens at breakfast. I am talking about good old-fashioned grit. The kind that means you are not afraid of getting dirty, are driven, ambitious, resilient, and unstoppable. It is how some people make so much happen in their life.
How do we see grit in others? How does grit make some stand out more than others? It is the way someone goes the extra mile, adds the special touch, or takes it to the next level. It means doing way more than the minimum, and demands excellence that leads to the wow factor. It often means being willing to do things that might be unfavorable or not fun in order to get to your finish line.
Someone with grit is in it for the long haul. They see how hard it is to get to their goal and they are going to do whatever they can to make it happen. They are not afraid of hard work, rarely procrastinate, and are probably competitive. The underdog can have grit and so can the MVP and top performer. Not all that are successful have grit. It is an attitude. I read an article yesterday about a 570 pound man attempting to run a 5k every month in 2015 who has lost a lot of weight as a result. That takes grit.
Do you ever think about how you walk into a room? What does your body language say about your attitude, mood, and demeanor for that meeting? Do you walk in and stay within your little bubble? Or, do you walk in with a smile, your head held high, and engage with others in the room? Do you hide and quietly hope that others do not notice you so you do not have to engage in conversation?
“There is almost nothing better in the world than the feeling of showing up for our own lives. When we can do this, we become people who are more alive and who have the ability to make things happen in our lives and the lives of the people around us. We walk through the world with the knowledge that we have a lot to offer and the desire to share it.”
Showing up. This is a mantra in my life. You might not have a clue about everything that is on your plate, how to make it all happen or juggle it all, but you show up. Being present means we bring it (or it should). We bring the best of ourselves to each encounter and interaction. Our best selves mean we are raw and real and truly alive.
Yesterday I met with a recent college graduate and was asked for advice of what she could do to be most successful in her budding career. My advice to her: “Be willing to do anything and everything. Say yes to everything. Learn from those around you. Innovate in everything you do in order to make all projects you touch better and better.” The result: you learn more about yourself, you gain new skills, you find out what you love, those around you trust you, and you grow each and every day.
We all have a lot to offer. Show up. Bring it. Make shit happen.