I am always working on something. I'm one of those annoying 'seeker'-types who is always trying to figure out how to better live my life.
Yes, I love the self help section of the book store. I admit it. I mean, I certainly don't know what the hell I'm doing, so if you have some mind-blowing theory, lay it on me. I'm willing to hear you out. And yes, I'll pay a nominal amount of money to do it.
Does this sometimes lead me down a dead-end path? Maybe. But at least I'm on a damn path, right? Do I waste my money sometimes? No, not really. I can't say I've ever read a book or went to a lecture where I didn't learn something of value, and really, isn't that worth more than the over-priced appetizer I had out tonight? I truly believe that if I learn one thing of value, one thing I can take with me and utilize in my day-to-day life, then said activity it was worth it.
Does it make me annoying? Probably. Sorry for this close family and friends, but, I don't see any end in sight. I enjoy gathering all these tid-bits. And I'm going to force some of these on you now, in this very post.
Right now the three things I'm working on are: detachment, authenticity, and vulnerability. Yes, just like at your child's elementary school, where they highlight a positive character trait each month: responsibility, character, honesty, etc..... (you get the picture). Except this is self-driven, very much not limited to a month, and I'm working on a crazy triad, instead of one at a time.
I shared my current three with a friend lately and he commented that, hmm, detachment and vulnerability, aren't these in complete opposition? And you know, he has a point, they could be. But they don't have to be.
To me detachment means letting go, not grasping at what I can't control.
I recently saw this quote:
Cuz I'm letting it go. Or trying to.
Authenticity; well, like detachment, that's probably going to be a life-long goal. Because really, if we aren't who we genuinely are, nothing good or real is ever going to come out of any of this crazy life. This seems so basic, right? But how often do we do what we think we should do, what society tells us we should do, instead of what we really think we should be doing?
It ain't always easy keeping it real. I think it takes real effort to be authentic, so I'm working on checking in on this. Often.
And thirdly, and perhaps most difficult, is the vulnerability aspect.
I mean to be vulnerable is not comfortable. It's hard. It's risky. It's uncomfortable.
I don't know about you, but I don't like to be uncomfortable. I don't like to be left hanging out there. I don't welcome the opportunity for rejection. But is this 'opportunity' necessary?
Well, interestingly, the universe in all its glorious wisdom sent me an answer to this question exactly when I was pondering it a week or two ago. In the short-term I needed break from the monotony of work so I clicked over to the Ted talk website. But for the long-term, what do you think was waiting for me? Right there, just one mouse click away? This, this scientific "proof" that vulnerability is necessary, at least if you want to be a connected, whole person:
Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability
I know that you all might not have the 20 minutes to check out this video right now. But I really think it's worth your 20 minutes at some point.
In fact, I bet you the price of the self-help book that it is ;)