Monday, June 30, 2014 1 comments

Must There Be A Superman?

     This personal journey of mine can wear me out. I get lonely.  I'll admit it.  I've questioned if I'm having any positive impact on the world. Does the work I do make a difference?  Do I make a difference?  Do the dreams and goals I have matter?  Am I really helping anyone?  Am I needing validation or an ego stroke?  Or do I just need to find a measurement of effectiveness?  Is it negative to think these thoughts? Or do I just need to process where I am and find my direction again?

     As I've posted before, I've been reading the graphic novel, Superman Grounded.  It's very well written. And I have been moved to tears seeing the images and reading the thoughts of the "world's greatest hero."  Those thoughts are a lot like mine have been.  His journey takes him on foot across America.  At one point, Batman shows up to try to convince him that walking to connect to people is not "doing them any favors."  Batman goes on to tell Superman after explaining the middle of Main Street, U.S.A. is not the place for a fight with Brainiac, "The world of suburban streets, and neighborhood diners, and front porches...that isn't our world, Superman.  Not anymore. We can't live there. Not just because it endangers us, but because it puts them at risk. All of them. The isolation we endure is the price we pay for what we do. You can't go home again. Because when we walk into OUR world...we walk out of THEIRS.  Forever."


     I don't think Superman agreed with Batman, because he kept walking.  He continued his journey.  To find his own answers to questions like, "Does it matter?"

     Enter another moment where out of nowhere (a time portal - really) a few heroes clad in Superman-similar costumes greet Superman and convince him to join them.  To get a glimpse of the impact he has in the future.  Where there are "Supermen" and "Superwomen" all over the universe.  There's even a Super Gorilla and a Super Solar System and let's not forget the single-celled SuperCilia. Not only does Superman see what his ideals and actions have inspired, he sees how they all come together.  It's not just a Fortress of Solitude.  It's the Fortress of Solidarity.  No more being alone. No more wondering if what he does makes a difference.  He was given that rare gift of KNOWING.  The question of "must there be a Superman?" was clear...YES.

     I don't have a graphic novelist writing my story to give me a glimpse into the future.  I DO have faith in the One who wrote my story long before I was born.  Superman's story has been inspiring for me.  So has the Old Testament's Shepherd-turned-Warrior-turned-King David.  The Psalms, most of which were written by David, are full of questioning.  Questioning himself, questioning God.  Lamenting situations. Pouring his whole heart out for God to give him a peace that surpasses understanding.  And I do the same on my journey.  

     I don't have all the answers yet.  And my direction is not as clear as I'd like it to be, but I've learned to focus on my most excellent process and let God take care of the results.  I strive to do good in the world - to have a positive effect on the world around me.  And when all is said and done, how could I not believe that matters.   

     I don't suppose you've ever questioned? ...

Sunday, June 22, 2014 0 comments

Being Super - Beginning Thoughts

When I first said I was going to write this book, I was excited and overwhelmed with thoughts of what to include, how to arrange it, how to make it relevant, and write it in such a way the reader WANTS to read it.  Then stuff happens to get in the way of making time to sit and put my thoughts to written word.  Stuff I'm sure you, as the reader, have never been through:
  • Family drama
  • Financial trials
  • Feelings of betrayal
  • Change of residence
  • Loss of loved ones
  • Relationship challenges
  • Being abandoned by friends
  • Health issues
  • Times of depression
  • Technical difficulties
  • Identity crisis
  • Moments when the world just crashes in on you all at once...
     Oh wait, that's right.  You're human, too!  You've had these things happen just like me.  Challenges provide the contrast in our personal painting of life.  But it takes an intentionality on our part to see the beauty that is our lives.  Unless we take a whole picture view, we can sometimes get caught up in the fire that we're trying to put out.  And even in the midst of those moments, we sometimes ask ourselves, "Why can't I get anything accomplished?"  

     I've always wanted to be that person that creates and accomplishes something so unique and great that it changes the world. Like Mother Teresa loving the lepers, Nelson Mandela changing a culture, Steve Jobs leading the movement to mesh creativity with technology, Zig Ziglar motivating the masses to "take it to the top," Condoleeza Rice helping women in the U.S. change the face of modern politics, Stan Lee creating heroes to thrill and inspire generations, Melinda Gates giving billions of dollars to philanthropy efforts, even Queen Elizabeth II who has stood as a pillar of strength, grace, and wisdom through an amazing amount of traumatic events.  The list goes on and on.  I still want to be like them - world changers.  What I've come to realize that is that I am a world changer - by changing the world around me.  Start where I am - with me.  Those small changes have a ripple effect into other people's "worlds."  And one day, it can have an affect across the world.   

     When I decided to make a career out of executive coaching, because I had a knack for it, I decided to get some real training to be truly effective.  The training process included going through a lot of tools that a coach can use to get a client to open up and see the questions - and the answers - from the inside-out of what makes them "tick" or hold back from moving forward on their goals or any number of things. Through that training process, I learned a lot more about myself.  I became stronger in my self identity and learned what I wanted to accept and what I didn't.

     It's mind-blowing how intricately made we are as humans.  The biology alone is fascinating.  But think about how we THINK.  The process our brains go through.  The dreams we have while asleep and awake.  The imagination and creativity.  The memories.  The feelings that happen from moments.  The fact that a smell or song can rush our mind's eye back a point in time we either cherish or hoped we had forgotten.  It's awe-inspiring.  And yet, many of us don't use what we have to our advantage.  Many have never even taken inventory of what they have to know what to do with it.  Thus, the major element of friction in not getting anything accomplished.

     It's in helping people discover their "inventory" and use what they find to accomplish their "great thing" that I find joy and accomplishment.  

     This book, Being Super, was born out of the passion to want to help people do a personal inventory, be strong in who they are, find their "WHY" and passion for their life's purpose, and then inspire and motivate to go out and accomplish their great things.  Now, let's face it, I am not a world political leader, a multi-gazillion-heiress, a selfless guru living off the land in chains, a missionary to cannibals, an evangelist to the masses, a Fortune 10 CEO, or a genius entertainment executive.  I am a God-fearing, strong-willed, knowledge-loving, lesson-sharing, (and a long list of other adjectives), survivor who believes Being Super is not just for the "top 10's."  

     Being Super is about staying true to yourself while in the process of accomplishing your great thing.  That's why the title reads "Being."  Not "been."  Not "going to be."  But "Being."   

     There are times that I agonize about what I would include in this book.  The process of thinking about it rips me to the core enough that I start crying and have to stop writing.  This is one of the most painful projects I have worked on to accomplish.  "Why?" you may ask.  Because, to share with you lessons I've learned, there are some that I would rather not re-live.  Yet if I don't, you won't get a complete picture.  Remember, part of the beauty of the whole picture is the contrast.  And we all have contrast.  

     What will it be like to read Being Super? Imagine yourself the hero of your story, because you are.  It'll be like watching your favorite hero movie with breaking in to see what makes those moments of decision and action so impactful.  Tools will be shared to help you discover your inventory.  There will be Super Snippets of people who are Being Super now that will give you inspiration to dream big.  You'll read moments of motivation to help you take action. And ultimately, you'll BE your own kind of super while accomplishing your great thing. 
Thursday, June 19, 2014 0 comments

What Are You Doing Out There?

     In my last post I talked about getting back to my roots to recharge.  It was a reminder from my reading of Superman: Grounded.  But it doesn't stop there on being spoken to through graphic novels.

     Superman is walking Main Street, U.S.A., to get in touch with humanity again.  Along the way his encounters are everyday people with real issues.  During one encounter Superman comes into a tricky moment - a lady was going to end her life by jumping off a building.  While the police waited below, Superman flew above to meet with her.  And spoke to her not in platitudes that everything would be rosy, but of sharing with her what he's learned about loss.  Then he waited. In silence.  For her to decide.  She chose life.  (whew)

     As he continues to walk a man approaches him in total surprise that he's just out walking and says to Superman,  "Shouldn't you be out saving the world or something?  You're a HERO, right?  Isn't that what heroes do?" Superman's response is deep:

     "To be a hero--and I'm not say I am one, I'm just saying--is to live your life in a small cell whose bars are the principles and rules that define what you will and won't accept.  Injustice.  Cruelty.  Murder.  On the night they threw Henry Thoreau in jail for civil disobedience, a friend cam to see him, saying, 'Henry, what're YOU doing in HERE?' Thoreau said, 'No, the question is, what are You doing OUT THERE?'  If I am lucky enough, privileged enough to live in that cell, to serve in that box with the word HERO written on it--then I say to you, from somewhere deep inside that box -- What are you doing out there?"

     As Superman walked on, the guy was dumbfounded.  I, on the other hand, was sparked.  I got it.  I just needed to define my own small cell.  Back to my core values - the principles to live my life by.  What was important to me?  What could I just not tolerate?  I'm not saying I'm a hero, but I certainly don't want to be "out there."  This moment with Superman reignited a flame inside my "cell."  I hope you see more than a flicker yourself   :-)
Monday, June 9, 2014 0 comments

Rotating the Soil

     One thing I know I can do and do well is work.  I LOVE what I do with my business helping others focus to achieve their goals and dream bigger dreams.  However, lately, I've had some blocks.  It's been hard to write.  It's been hard to sing.  It's been hard to dance.  It's been hard to move.  It's been hard to think.  It's been hard to breathe.  It's been what?

     I don't know about you, but when I have a block of any kind I want to know why.  Why is it there?  Why did it start?  Why am I just focusing on it instead of demolishing it?

     When I can get to that moment of ready to demolish...I suddenly see all the why's.

     I read comics as part of my enjoyment and I always get inspired through the characters and the writers' insights to human nature and overcoming challenges in the form of defeating alien invasions or humbling mythical gods or simply taking down the bad guys before they hurt anyone else.  Recently I've been re-reading Superman Grounded. The story picks up after Superman loses another Kryptonian world.  Losing the first one with his parents dying wasn't enough.  It happened again in a different way losing more friends and family.  While being confronted with the aftermath of losing the "New Krypton," Superman gets slapped in the face with reality (literally) - he had lost touch with people on a real daily life basis.  Superman Grounded takes him from flying above the skies keeping patrol to walking America's main streets and backroads to get in touch with people again.

     So how does this relate to my blocks?

     On one page, he remembers a conversation he had with his Earth dad, Johnathan.  Dad is teaching young Clark about why you have to rotate crops from time to time, "ANYthing that stays in the same soil too long withers and eventually dies.  I think people are the same way. If we stay too long in the same soil, we start to dry up inside.  Soon, there's nothing left but the shell, and after awhile, even that goes.  If we do the same things, in the same way, over and over, in time, we fall asleep in our own lives.  Until something happens to wake us up.  That when, like any living thing, you have to take yourself out of where you ARE and put yourself BACK where you should be, where you started off before you fell asleep.  You have to rotate back to fertile the soil that nourished you...back to the Earth."

     This hit home to me.  I had been losing some of my basics for too long now. I had been dried up because I wasn't refreshing myself.  It was time to return to my own "fertile soil."  It was time to demolish the blocks.  Time to sing because I enjoy it.  Time to write regardless of what people think of it.  Time to dance to simply express my love of life.  Time to dream big again, knowing I'm creative and resourceful enough to make it a reality.  Time to enjoy life for the simple pleasure of enjoying it.  So, I am rotating my soil to find new adventures in my life moving forward that will make me a better person and my business world-renowned.

    I'm not sure where you are on your path of life today.  But I am sure that you have either "been there" or will be soon enough.  Remember, rotate your soil.  Return to those things that put a spark in your eye and fire in your belly.  Your adventure awaits...