Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Excavating Essence: Mining for Personal Wealth

I’ll begin by letting everyone in on a little secret. Twice last month I was told that these blogs of mine are costing me business. “People that hear about you and your expertise and then come to your Blogs don’t want to read this stuff Scott.” I consider this feedback and then smile to myself.

Then, on a professional front I’m told I need to research key words and tags in my Blogs to move me up the Google list and search engine optimization etc. I consider this feedback, and then smile to myself.

I have no doubt both scenarios are true. And I should pay heed and care. But, then, I smile to myself as I have faced this same advice my whole career. And ‘my whole career’ will, as of Jan 2010, be entering its 4th decade. Maybe I actually know a little more about sustainability then people give me credit for.

What about authenticity in the modern age for crying out loud. Doesn’t anyone care about integrity anymore? Is everything always first and foremost about the bottom line? Well, I have learned that my bottom line is best served, at least in my heart by following my path. For decades I have had people approach me and lay in front of me the current popular “template” for success that I should subscribe to. It’s an agenda. I’ve always been bothered by “templates.”

Merely fill in the blank, and treat people, even yourself like a number to be counted. I’ve never related to one-dimensional templates. Where most people see limited design, I see endless possibilities. Where most people want to put the recipe in a box; I have no box. Instead I’ve come to know, understand and embrace something deeper. And this is what I trust in. And this is what I will share with you today. And for what it is worth; this secret has allowed for me to live my life, on my terms, as my own boss, for what will begin its 4th decade in January. For me, this is the recipe, maybe not to success; but to true meaning.

You see I’ve come to learn that I see and examine my life much differently than most people. I’ve never really fit any specific label people put on me. While so many people fervently pursue an “image” I never coveted one. And as far as advice as to how to better manipulate people and modern technology to enhance my bottom line, well its all well and good. But it comes second in my life, not first. You see, I’m driven by my essence, not my circumstances. And I’ve come to learn and acknowledge the closer I live this truth, the more freedom and abundance seem to flow into my life.

Excavating Essence

I may have learned it late, but I learned to study my skills, not so much my process. To do so is to begin to understand personal assignments not borne of agenda’s; and not borne of needs for validation, attention or stimulation. To deeply address your skills, the answers come without even asking any questions. You begin to know and feel within you a personal assignment. You gain the wisdom that no inner-assignment comes without the skills to accomplish it.

Your own life has a design; your years have a theme. To uncover these is to unleash your authentic self. So if you can just begin by studying your skills, your true assignments reveal themselves to you. Following your authentic self, is following your life’s blueprint if you will. It’s what tells me that writing these Blogs, which apparently no one wants to read; is still the right thing for me to do.

Studying your essence can reveal to you uncommon strengths while performing very common tasks. You learn that it is actually your essence which is “seed to your deed.” Think about that for a minute. Most people spend their energies watering their deeds, not their seeds. Then they wonder why they never get anywhere and never grow themselves. Frustration or fatigue is usually the result of living this mistake. And yet it is so commonplace.

To examine deeply, your own gifts, talents and strengths, is to light up the world, your world. Yet instead, people take far too much time and energy enamoured by, and embellishing their own image. When people put image before essence it’s no wonder so many lose their way. But how you relate to your essence colors everything. To ignore or embrace your true essence is to choose a specific way of living. Dread your own essence and you become forever seeking. Yet, trust in your essence and you will be forever growing and expanding within it. From a connection with your essence you extract your strengths with great joy. You experience them; you test them; you nurture them; you grow them. They become “seed to your deed.” Embracing your essence means not having to try and find your strengths or your present purpose for life. You learn also that a person not only “does” in the process of doing, but “becomes” in the doing of the process. To not try to connect to your essence is to miss the gifts which are your birth right. And we all have them.

To exploit your own gifts and your own skills is to empower yourself in knowing that you can do something no one else can do in a style no one else can duplicate. (There are no templates for that!) And you get there only from mining the personal gold inside you. When you anchor yourself to your essence, there is no undertow from externals; people, things, or circumstances. This gives you the wisdom for knowing that sometimes you need to say 'no' to instant pay offs or props to your reputation; so that you can say 'yes,' to your essence, and your being. The gold of purpose is mined and excavated here. You mine this gold by looking inside you, not just looking around you. To do so is to learn to honour your essence within your work; any work.

By example, the story of David and Goliath is more than a classic underdog story. Everyone approached David with the fear of the giant. They only saw circumstances. They all warned David, Goliath was “too big to hit.” But David was not swayed by his circumstances because unlike the crowd he trusted in his essence. Instead of seeing the giant as “too big to hit” David saw Goliath as “too big to miss.” Popular opinion had little influence on him. Fear could not cloud his vision nor weaken his connection with his essence.

Kierkegaard said, “At each man’s birth there comes into being an eternal vocation for him; and expressly for him. To be true to himself in relation to this external vocation is the highest thing a man can practice.” Yes, to know and excavate your essence. Let’s get real here. You cannot be anyone you want to be. A corn seed will never grow to become a daffodil or a rose. A rodent will never learn to fly like a bird. But within each beginning is the path for all of them to become what it is meant to be. All that is required is to water the ‘seeds’ not the deeds.

But this doesn’t mean that you are just a mixture of your parents DNA. You, we, are all something even more profound. You are a unique idea in all the universe. You are a unique idea within a world of experience. To excavate your essence is to understand every person counts and every day matters. Stop trying to be someone else. That person is already taken. You should want to be YOU. Exploring this will take you right where you are meant to go. And all that is required for mining this gold of you and your purpose is In-sight!

In-sight and I-sight

In-sight is a mining expedition to uncovering your essence. In-sight is not a ‘look in’ but an ‘action in.’ It requires work, the results of which are the truth of your passion and purpose and life. The greatest gift anyone can receive is not material wealth, but the wealth of experience already inside them. All it takes is a concerted effort at mining and excavating the wealth there. In-sight is a God-given ability for each of us to look inside ourselves for clarity.

Only you can hear your inner music. Only you can dance and sing to it. But first you must be in “tune” with it. Unfortunately, and instead, people continue to choose to live inside the lies they tell themselves. They are not only out of tune but distorted and fractured from their own harmony.

Somewhere within all of us is a divine spark; a place which lies in concert with our affections and our uniqueness. There’s an essence within us which equips each one of us for the assignment at hand; whatever it may be. This assignment always knows that your life is a verb, not a noun. It’s not “what am I going to do with my life.” It’s instead the reality of living it with awareness right here, right now, tomorrow and the next day. To look inside yourself with in-sight, is to excavate your own strengths, which in turn inform your own uniqueness to bring out into the world. Right fully stated, mining for, and excavating your inner essence reveals to you the truth of your own YOU-niqueness

Disregard your own skills at your own risk and consequences.

Without knowing and connecting to your essence you suffer from poor “I-sight.” Only your own perceptual lens can correct it. Without connecting to your essence, your view of yourself is either near-sighted (narcissistic or egocentric) or far-sighted. (insecure and inadequate) Neither are true, and neither are right-sighted. The near-sighted and far-sighted lack of proper I-sight, represent the continuum of either self-glorifying, or self-loathing. Neither extreme reflects essence.

Indeed one of my previous faults from lack of I-sight, was that I pumped a lot of air into my own arrogance. Only life lessons deflated it, or more specifically, a small pin prick burst the bubble and brought me to my knees.

But the burst opened a flood gate of knowledge and wisdom for me to connect to. The one reality I know for sure is none of us are for the long term, either a mistake; or an MVP. Only lack of I-sight makes it seem so. Both perceptions of self-loathing or self-glorifying lack humility. And both deny a person’s divinely-driven essence. And this essence is always there for any of us to connect to. All it takes is getting “right-sighted.” And this comes from in-sight.

I-sight, on the other hand means believing is seeing; it is just a capacity to see things most other people cannot. I-sight means knowing the scenery of your life may change; as well as the people in it. But common themes remain and can be seen. You can examine in fact what is destiny’s pattern for you. Desire and ability should have a certain flow to them; both working in harmony on your behalf. I-sight means knowing that always striving or fighting to achieve is to be out of your element, not within it. Your desires can be gifts for you to heed, rather than some source of frustration and anxiety.

Mastery is different than martyrdom.

People continue to want for more than they could ever handle. And yet they fail to master themselves within all they currently have. People are surrounded by favour and still can’t see it: Poor I-sight indeed. To be a seeker who never finds anything is to lose at life. People seek meaning through validation, attention, and stimulation. And it leaves them empty almost every time. This is the epidemic of commonness that has people flocking to bars, therapists, social networking sites; and the addiction for immediate gratification and sense of attention. To my mind it all represents the life of mediocrity.

Is it really “choice” or are people herded to commonness like so many cattle; craving for the next ‘template’ to fall into? No. Poor I-sight represents dull shades of grey rather than the rainbow of possibilities, which the action of in-sight provide. Digital stagnation and stimulation are just a new means of getting by. It’s a far cry from being truly plugged-in.

Yet in their quest to quench the thirst of commonness people look outside rather than inside. What was You-nique is sacrificed for the template du jour. And within the new commonness, some people work a lot, some play a lot, others get high, some buy value; others buy sex, and some seek therapy. And yet for all, the true answer is to seek inside and mine for their essence.

The Anatomy of Spirit

A disconnection with your own essence is a fractured faith in oneself. It leads to broken hearts, broken dreams, broken homes, and broken lives. What is broken is the faith which is the backbone of being connected with your own essence. Heal this fracture and all else not only heals, but thrives as well. The truth is, broken spirits lead fractured lives. But it need not be this way. The anatomy of essence is that it’s your spirit which is the bones and teeth that support the soft tissue of material existence. To be spiritually connected to your essence is akin to being vaccinated against need, want, and fear. And when you place complete faith and trust in the essence of your being, your essence ignites the spirit in you. And it lights the path in front of you.

Your essence exists for you to capitalize on and expand your life. Be who you are meant to be. Find out who that person is by excavating and mining your essence. Become that person. Poor I-sight from failed in-sight means a deflection instead. Too many people are not just misconnected but disconnected as well. Their heroes are, by way of metaphor, tall basketball players. Their mentors are tall basketball players. They feel guilty for being short and inadequate for not measuring up. Yet inside of them are a set of unique skills being ignored, and subsequently atrophied. For crying out loud if you can’t dunk a basketball, maybe you weren’t meant to!

The realization of in-sight is that there is no ordinary life and there are no ordinary talents. How great is this?


Conclusion and Personal Comment!

How many varied metaphors can I employ to illustrate the value for you to begin to excavate and mine for your essence? You are the architect of the house of you! You are author of your own biography. YOU, is not a book to be read, but one to be written! YOU are the purpose of your own life. That is the true message. How dare any of us shrink ourselves to be so much less. So awake to the promise that you are more than your genes; more than your heredity; more than your environment; and for sure more than the current template of pop-culture or material sway. You can own your genes, heredity and environment to empower yourself. Stop being a working slave to their influence.

Be the CEO of your own essence, merely by owning it. In-sight, for those of you still reading, is the stock option to owning your world and receiving these dividends always. Working your essence, is just like money in the material world. While some people work to earn money, financially adept people employ money to work for them instead. The same is true when you employ your own YOU-niqueness.

You never need friends in high places, if you connect to the one in a deeper place.

I say excavate the path to your own essence: Your soul. Mine for that gold which surely exists there inside you. Then, once you secure its value don’t use it to buy stuff, and use people. Be a philanthropist and pay it forward.

So as this applies to me and my Blogs, let me be clear. I am tired of one-dimensional people trying to tie me to their own perceptual limitations. God forbid I may be about something greater than percent body fat, or 18 inch arms! God forbid I may take time, energy, and effort to meticulously prepare these Blogs, merely because my connection to my essence tells me its right, regardless of pay off. Maybe I am meant to employ my own uniqueness for something more than a single dimension. What if there is no bottom line in that? I would rather see my business fall into the abyss and take a job at Starbucks than to compromise who I am, and why I am, just to manipulate the market for a greater pay off. “Keep up or get left behind.” Well, sometimes, getting left behind is merely a matter of perspective.

What if I have intent for something else, as well as my coaching? Someone can’t do both? Maybe it’s time in this industry for some focus on sculpting lives, not just physiques. And it's ironic to me how easy the latter comes, with an intuitive focus on the former.

SOME OF YOU WILL GET IT. SOME OF YOU WILL NOT.

To the ADHD types who criticize these Blogs for being too long, too deep, and meaningless, well..........I leave it to the actual readers who value my Blogs to fill in that blank.