philosophy / stuff that makes me think

brene’s final thoughts, part 4

Last week, I listened to Brene Brown share the origin of her newest book, Rising Strong. She said it originated from her life! Of course. If you want to hear this interview, head over to the iTunes app store, tap on Podcasts and look for the Jesse Lively show.

Food for thought from Brene…

13. “It’s not about ‘what can I accomplish?’ but ‘what do I want to accomplish?’ A paradigm shift.”

There are days that I must set my mind in the direction of what do I want to accomplish, not just what can I naturally accomplish without the least bit of resistance. I tell myself, “It’s not about can’t, it’s just about do.”

I have to tell myself this when I write my novel. I don’t know what I’m doing, I tell myself. Hey wait, I write ALL THE TIME. And I read ALL THE TIME. And I ask actual authors to guide me. I read about writing. So I’m willing to learn. Then because I want to do it, I’ll just get to it, and do it. It’s not about can’t, it’s just about do.

14. “Connection is why we’re here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.”

Our trips to Africa have convinced me that we North Americans have a thing to learn from this continent. Can’t say I enjoyed the uncomfortable humidity, or the giant bugs crawling up my leg in the shower, or malaria, the lack of public sanitation practices or the lack of water availability, or lack of food availability, or…see my blog for our African stories…www.followthewiedricks.wordpress.com…but what I wanted to bring home was the camaraderie. On my trips here I watched people talk to each other. They have numerous greetings for times of day, for different locations, for different formalities. They actually stop to listen to the answer “How are you?” Perhaps they simply need each other more. Whatever the reason, we have much to learn from them. Because it is connection that gives our lives purpose and meaning.

15. “To me, a leader is someone who holds herself or himself accountable for finding potential in people and processes.”

As a parent leader, my initial instinct is to quash the unlovely aspects of my children followers. Sometimes uplifting their potential is an afterthought. And yet, what is more likely to work in encouraging the potential in me? Every time I don’t feel good, I get a thwack? a discouraging word? It’ll just discourage me further. But when someone shares a warm thought, a kind word, that thought can propel me forward for a long time.

At the end of the day, I am responsible for finding potential in my little people, and encouraging them on to greater growth in themselves.

16. “Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day.”

Every day. Somewhere along the way, I flipped to the other side. The side that was willing to risk being the real me. The authentic side that really wasn’t trying to win favour. Terribly frightening. Cause if people saw who I really was, they’d reject me, I thought. And frankly, I think there is some truth to my fear. The cheerleader would say this wouldn’t be true. But it is true sometimes. People might not be overtly critical, but they sometimes don’t want to engage what they see.

There’s an even greater truth, an even more important truth, that I didn’t see. If I wasn’t my real self, the real me wouldn’t be seen either. And the people that would engage the real me actually wouldn’t see me. I’d remain locked behind my mask.

17. “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.”

As I study the Impressionist artists and consider their life’s work, and the beautiful pieces they left behind, I marvel that they didn’t cave to the pressure of the art establishment at the time. The establishment suggested their work was unfinished, as it didn’t resemble the work of the present era of painters. It certainly wasn’t presentable work, so it wasn’t really art, in their opinion. The establishment was much like Microsoft or Apple suggesting that someone’s cute little app wasn’t worth squat because it wasn’t what was always done.

And yet the art was simply a new version of art, and it was clearly enduring. When the Impressionists chose to walk in their passion, in their path, they contributed to history and to our aesthetic enjoyment.

When we come alive in our passions, and do the thing we love, someone will always benefit. So we don’t ask the world to validate us, we just go do it.

And ironically, we’ll more greatly serve the world.

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