One of the capacities you want to cultivate is the capacity of being in awe. Awestruck, awe-inspired.
Awe, the state, is when the spirit is surprised and moved. Inspired.
Not faking it… real awe.
Because unless you can be moved on the inside, you are dead on the inside. And although you move around, you do things, you talk, you don’t feel alive… because you are NOT alive.
Unless you can attain to a certain level of awe. Unless you feed and nurture your inside, the spirit, the source of inspiration, you are dead. Dead people are not going to be able to have a purpose. Feel loved or love. Or rise above the pedestrian existence of the current humanity.
This is a project you need to invent for yourself to try to get in the state of awe. Inspiring stories, inspiring books, inspiring people, inspiring movies.
Awe is being present to the beyond… beyond the level where you are, the plodding self-concerned reality of humanity. Beyond the knowable universe… from where all power comes.
One of my students has a day job that pays the bills, but in the doing sense is not challenging enough to feel he is using his life wisely.
I recommended that he uses the job as a practice ground for being, for purpose, to integrate what I recommend into his life.
He resisted that, like all arrogant fools, for a while… after all why give meaning to an obviously meaningless job… right?
But if you want to live the good life, you cannot exclude any part of your life… you need to integrate your life, and make it meaningful… all of it.
It’s not easy. You need to decide what will be the common thread, the glue between the parts. The meaning, the context that unifies them.
But before you can do that… it seems that you want to claim some control over each area.
For this student work was the area that he felt he had no control over.
This is what he just wrote to me this morning:
This is what I discovered today. When I am at the desk, if I just pay attention and do nothing else. I can extend those moments of clarity and service. No internet, no watching the 67 Steps, nothing. Not pretending to be paying attention, not splitting my attention, not filling myself with anxiousness or resentment. Clean, clear, easy, blissful moments…calmly, gracefully being attentive and available. Connecting with my people as they pass through the lobby. Actually doing my job (with a level of beingness and not just doingness.)
I was better at the door, too. More focused on doing a good job, less on my phone, less on wanting to be somewhere else. Still quite a challenge.
I experienced this myself for the first time back in 1987. I was an architect for hire, and I hated my job. Less than a year later I quit the profession for good, but at this point it paid my bills. But nothing beyond. It filled with hatred for my life.
It felt like everywhere would be better than in the office. Everything would be better than doing what I had to do.
Do you hear ‘hell on earth?’ It was.
Then I decided to bring excellence to that area. I didn’t know excellence from shinola, but I had a feeling that how I was was not excellence.
So I took some steps. I left my little black book at home. I told my friends that I couldn’t take calls at work. I brought my lunch to work.
All of these so I can make my work, the office the whole world: no other world to be pulled by.
People looked at me with funny eyes, but I didn’t care: I was happy. I was in the flow, I produced, I hummed a tune under my breath. It was a safe space: I was in my own cocoon.
When I look, this wasn’t the first time. Back when I was 13, I was on a self-imposed quest to get an A in violin. I had been learning to play the violin for five years. but the sound I had made was not music. I was just plodding along, just doing it because I had to. What I told myself that had my parents got me a piano it would have been different.
Anyway, my playing was miles and miles away from getting an A.
It as summer. And all my friends were having fun outside… pool, the zoo, camp, whatever.
But I was on a quest, and I made it more important than anything else. The promise of a custom made guitar was waiting for me at the end of that quest. I was going to win. No question about it.
And I practiced. And practiced. 4-5 hours a day. All summer. By the middle of August the sound that came out of that violin was music. And it was beautiful. People stopped in the street to listen.
End of August: I aced the exam. I left violin at the top of my game.
I invented grit for myself. And awe. I was in awe with myself and with what I did.
That is, by the way, the foundation of my relationship to myself. I am someone who will produce awe-inspiring results.
For me that is the common thread in all areas of my life. The Self.
And even when it’s tough, even when I fail, the Self remains the same… I am on a quest to produce awe-inspiring results in every area, with every person, with every project.
Do I succeed at everything? Hell no. But the failures are temporary, because who I am is that person who produces awe-inspiring results.
There is no way I am going to be anything less than magnificent!
The difference, maybe, is that even before the violin summer, I developed the capacity to be awestruck…
I didn’t know I was inventing my Self… I just wanted to get access to that guitar. That was my motivation. And also not to disappoint my father.
My father played a larger than life in my development. I didn’t want to disappoint him.
And the path was arduous: I had to make up for five years of slothful, dutiful, belligerent behavior in one summer.
But I made it so nothing else mattered. Nothing else was important. Not whether I was skinny or fat, whether it rained or shined, not whether there was a good movie on television.
I practiced the violin and I read. It was the best summer of my whole life. Long and beautiful.
PS: When you see who you are, the Self that is awe-inspiring for you, in that one area, then you can take it and be that awe-inspiring person in every area of life.
The Self is like a beacon. All actions come from the Self.
Integrity will make sense for the first time. The expression: Being true to your Self is now clear: only actions, behavior, speaking that are consistent with that new Self have integrity.
Self-development makes sense… because the Self is still going to be a little shaky… it doesn’t have enough legs to stand on… so developing more legs will make sense to you. (The main job of the 67 steps coaching is to show you all the areas that you can see in 67 days where you could grow legs… that would allow you to be larger than life. That is how I used it, that is how it’s worth using it.)
PPS: if you are not willing to be awe inspired about your own accomplishments, then you are too pretentious to be in this work. And if you are awe inspired by your looks, by your talent, and other non-accomplishment, not beingness qualities… then you are narcissistic and will hate this work…
The secret about you is that you have a self, but you are looking for it, not seeing it, not feeling it, not nurturing it.
What is your Self, where is your self?
If not enough people register… rent and mortgage payment is too close to a lot of folks, then I’ll push it a week later… So no worries…