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Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Week in Review (The F Word - part 2; What is Leadership; Be Authentic)

Someone asked "What is it that keeps you going?"
I looked at the 3rd person in the room because I didn't think he was asking me... At first I thought about answering but then thought "He cant be asking me... I haven't done anything."
He saw me looking away and said "I'm asking you," and nodded at me.

One word came to mind.  FEAR.
The laundry list of fears quickly raced through my mind.  I said "Fear of being broke.  Fear of not having the freedom to do the things I want to do." I want to see the world, I want to see every great thing this planet has to offer and when I picture myself at 60, I just cant see a guy sitting there saying "I wish I would've had the money and the time to see the Grand Canyon, to drive through Europe, to swim w dolphins, to wake up one morning and fish in Alaska..."  The fear of those things not happening... I just wrote that line and debated folding up the laptop and going for a run and then to the gym to hang some promo posters and then organize everything for this weeks training... That's the point, I wont rest until I'm pleased w my goal list is, which may be never but it doesn't matter.  Because if I can sustain this energy and this life for another 10-20-30+ years, he possibilities are endless.  For a while, being 37 was bothering me and I was thinking old, but then I thought, I know 27 year olds that need naps and have no ambition...   I move and think and act younger than people 10 years younger me... I'm in pretty good shape and improving, I have a sweet little career going and improving, I have a sweet life and its still improving... 37?  I cant think of one scenario where I would give a shit about that number.

The conversation was then turned to fitness "Fear of being immobile... Fear of my body not operating correctly."  I'm not afraid of someone saying I cant do "x," I'm afraid of not being able to run a mile when I'm 65.  Never mind now, I want to be fit and mobile and active until the day my heart stops beating.


And this whole fear list has had me thinking since... I wouldn't say I live in fear, but its definitely present.  I think it would be a little naive to act like we're fearless.
Do you want to be homeless?
Do you want your kids to go to dumpy schools?
Do you want to drive safe, reliable transportation?
Do you want to live in a safe neighborhood and have enough food for yourself and your family?
Maybe thats the problem.  Too many people that have, haven't lived without.
Takes me back to that old Eric Thomas speech, "When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe..."  Have someone hold your head under the water... and hold it and hold it... and then finally let you up.  All you wanted to do, was get some fresh air into your lungs.  This mindset is automatic for me.  I've been written off and brushed aside, I've been the underdog, I've been without.  I don't trust the people without the scars, without the battle wounds. I've been broke and bankrupt, I've been laughed at and mocked.  I've felt pain and I've been to the edge man...
So because I know what that tastes like, what it feels like, I'm not going back.
Want to challenge yourself?  Go three days without.  Work on some mini cleanses first then up the ante.  Remove your comforts and the things you take for granted.  I really dont see how we can stay connected to our inner fire, our voice, when we drown ourselves in iphones, shitty music, mind numbing television and the hectic stresses of our day jobs.  We need to unplug that crap and go into the woods for a solid 3+ days, alone.  Go without.  I guarantee, youll walk out of there feeling some new things and you'll start making some changes.

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I asked some people "What is a leader to you?" or "What are leadership qualities that you'd be motivated to follow?"

They wrote:
"An honest will to better others."

"The ability to inspire a vision of confidence."

"Someone who leads by example."

"I'd follow a leader who exhibits confidence in their knowledge yet openness to new ideas, determination to want to make a difference and follow through to show that learning is one thing but applying knowledge is the most important part."

"Leadership is someone that makes you want to work harder... But in a good way."

"Guidance... focus... honesty"

Scanning through, certain words pop out at me... 
Honest
Inspire
Confidence
Knowledge
Openness
Guidance...
And you may have chosen a few more.  

Honesty is something that really cant be faked... at all.  We've all known someone who really wanted to appear honest.  Maybe it was a salesman, a boss or even a friend.  We've all known someone like this, someone who appeared honest but wasn't.  
We can ask, "What makes someone honest?"
Lack of fear from being judged?  Fearless in terms of making mistakes?
Is it entangled with confidence?
He said "The honest will to inspire others."  What does that mean?  
An honest will...
I read that as truth.  But I really don't know if its something that can dissected with words in this screen... I truly think it needs to be felt.

I remember when I jumped into my first coaching job, over 10 years ago.  I spoke with my former coach about it and he said "Don't fake it, they'll know... Kids can always tell when you're bullshitting them and they'll tune you out."  So for me, coaching middle school kids (football) was fantastic training in communication.  People may think, "its football, its coaching young guys to play, its not that tricky." True, on a level, it isn't.  But keep in mind, I was on another path... Just like now where even though this package is surrounded by the fitness world, its not really about fitness.  Fitness is just a tool we use to discover new things inside of ourselves.  So when I started coaching, this was the birth of my passion.  It was never about football... never about wins and losses, it was about using football as a tool to open their minds to new doors, to clearing the foggy and confusing glasses that adolescents often wear while navigating the tricky waters of the teens.  So it was very important to me that I was on another level of honesty and it had to be authentic and open.


"The ability to inspire a vision of confidence."
To make them see something, a goal, AND make them believe it can become a reality.
To plant a seed, a thought, an emotion... To step inside their head and heart and help them see with their minds eye, a dream, a goal... And then make it so real, they can feel it and smell it... They believe it can happen and will happen.

Taking time to think about leadership and the kind of people you want to be around or follow is extremely important.  Someone said to me the other day, "Is it bad that I've been a follower?  Is it wrong that I don't lead?"  My first thought was "Damn, this guy doesn't even see himself accurately."  Why?  Because he has one of the absolutely best work ethics of anyone I've been around and he's probably in the top 10 smartest people I know.  So I don't see it as "He's not a leader," but I see it as "He hasn't found his arena to lead in yet."  My answer to him was, we all have leadership qualities in certain areas, it's just a matter of finding where and then getting in those areas.
I know many people who aren't doing what they love and because of it, they're dimming their true light.  They only come alive in certain spaces and its sad.   It's sad that our day jobs don't do more to help their employees step into their own power house of energy, still continue their jobs but let them grow.  I think that would create an extremely powerful company and better yet, community.
So in thinking about this leadership thing... For me, its about empowering people to become themselves and live full lives.
"Dude, your always saying "become yourself," wtf are you talking about?"
It's hard to explain actually... but when people are stressed or have gone through trauma, maybe they have high anxiety, maybe they have temper problems, or live in fear... maybe they have troubles in relationships... maybe they have honesty issues... maybe they hide... None of it is real.  Yes, the trauma is real, the pain is real, the issues are real, but they're not real in a sense of "Well this is just me, this is who I am, I'm a high anxiety person."  Ask yourself why.  How?  You have to do some digging and that can happen in a variety of ways that I actually cant write fully about in this forum.  But yoga is definitely one way, so is running and high intensity lifting.  Exhausting yourself is a great tool, releasing those endorphins... next time you go for a nice long run, when your finished, lay down... be quiet and just lay down and breathe... stare at the sky or close your eyes and breathe.  Dont think.  Dont watch the clock.  Watch what starts to happen.
If you're willing, you have the power and the means to heal, to unlock your truest potential and live the life you were born to... IF you want to.   











Sidenote:
Do you know how many troops, worldwide are in the arctic circle ready to fight over natural gases and oil at the north pole?
This story isnt on CNN or FoxNews.  Check out ViceMedia on HBO and youtube.
"Where'd that come from?"  I dont know... pisses me off that so few people watch news that matters.