How Are You Practicing Being The You That You Want To Be?

The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” Carl Jung

I’m practicing this week.

Because it’s my birthday week (we do birthday weeks in our home—so we have a bigger window to get it right!). I have scheduled few to no meetings every day this week.

I am still choosing to do some work because next week we have a major offsite for one of our wonderful clients. But other than preparing for that, I have a lot of breathing room in my calendar.

So, when I say I’m practicing, what do I mean?

Well, there are two days when there is nothing on my calendar. So, what do I do, what do you do, when there is such completely unscheduled time?

Indeed, some of you will say, “I do nothing. I hang out. I am very good at resting, thank you very much,” and for that, I applaud you; I genuflect to you. But for me, and possibly for one or two more of you reading this, hanging out, doing nothing, resting—those things take some practice. It’s not like there’s nothing I have committed to do, and deliver on, in the next few weeks; there’s plenty. So, the usual draw is toward digging into the work before me. But there’s also plenty of time to do everything that needs to be done. 

So, in my unscheduled time, what do I do? Do I allow myself to practice doing one thing for a while, and then think, “What do I want to do next, and next?” Maybe I’ll read a book, take a walk, exercise, watch a K Drama, water the flowers, text, cook, think about my next keynote, or how I want to grow our business, or about people in my life, or see the Barbie movie, or hit tennis balls, or take naps, or just lounge in the outdoors with, and like, our cats?

Also, how do you avoid being overwhelmed by all of the possibilities?

That empty time, those gaps, allows us to make choices. They demand that we make choices. Failing to choose is a choice itself; a choice to squander an opportunity to occupy that time with things that are most meaningful to us. Our choices in such circumstances can provide a lot of insight into anything and everything we value—outside of work.

When we are young, we tend to calculate how we feel about ourselves by what we did or accomplished. As adults, our contributions are increasingly measured by how people feel around us.

When I have quiet time, do I like who I am? Do I like being me?

Do you like to be you?

Being the me I want to be is a pretty good thing to practice as I celebrate another trip around the sun.

Our podcast guest this week is Jayshree Seth, Chief Science Advocate, 3M. Her role is an excellent example of playing where no one else is playing. This role doesn’t really exist anywhere, but she created it by advocating for science and herself. There is much to learn from her. Enjoy!

As always, thank you for being here!

My best,

P.S. Because it’s my birthday week, I’m giving away five signed copies of Smart Growth. Hit reply and say, I’m getting smart about my own growth, and you’ll be eligible. No worries, it’s not first come, first serve; we’ll pick five people from all who reply by August 30.

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