Weekend Star Article: You Are Enough, You Do Not Need Validation

 

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If you’ve lived long enough, you’ll relate to a person’s need for validation. Subconsciously or not, we’re always asking, “I’m I doing okay?” We go about life wondering if we’re getting it right. At each turn, we look out for signs – from loved ones, institutions and other sources – that confirm we’re doing well.

We’re energized by the assurance from what we consider credible sources and frustrated by the lack of affirming words or action.

That said; when should we be affirmed? When do we qualify for the pat on the back?

 

The Lie and Struggle

Our fast-paced modern culture communicates a clear message: do more, be more, get more. We call it: ‘the grind’, ‘the rat race’, ‘the hustle’ – whatever the term – the idea is to constantly break your own record because your life depends on it.

Get a degree, get a job, get married, get kids, buy a home, get more degrees, get a better job, move to a nicer neighbourhood, climb the corporate ladder, climb higher – and the demands never end. Is it ever enough? When at each peak, you’re told to do more.

I’m for hard work and attaining higher levels, but my concern is the nagging inadequacy that people experience with success – a situation where success becomes the struggle.

Society lies to you that you will be worthy of respect (or be enough) as a human being only when you achieve (and keep achieving) higher goals – and not before. It’s a lie because the goal post is constantly shifting. You achieve a milestone only to have another set before you. It can be exhausting when your value as a person is tied to getting or being more.

This lie creates undue pressure. For many, the pressure mounts daily because they’re convinced that they must first acquire more stuff before self-worth is conferred on them. So they grind away, getting more, hardly content and still feel unworthy.

 

See Your Worth

Contentment is the belief that you are enough as a human being at each point in life as you work hard at getting better and attaining higher levels.

For instance, I have a bachelor’s degree and currently pursuing my MBA. But before I get my graduate degree, I appreciate who I am now.

I am adequate and secure in my person as I push for better. Before the MBA, my worth is in place. I make the MBA, it doesn’t make me. Right now, I am enough as a person.

Some people achieve goal after goal and remain confused about their adequacy as persons. It’s a tough place to be because you’re blinded to who you are, what you’ve done and what you already have.

 

Enjoy Where You Are

If no one has told you (or you probably need reminding), I would like to clearly state that: YOU ARE ENOUGH! Yes, YOU. So far, you’ve done well and I appreciate the person that you’ve become in your journey. Right now, you are a person of value. It’s not dependent on how much more you achieve, but the fact that you’re a human being – and that’s enough!

You’re not yet a billionaire, but you’re a millionaire (or not) – for now, that’s enough! You may not be the perfect parent or spouse, but you work hard to improve – that’s enough. You work hard on your job and you’re getting better – that’s enough. Appreciate and enjoy where you are as you plot the next level. Celebrate who you are now and what you’ve attained as you grow. You are enough!

 

 

Weekend Star Article: The Three Reasons Why Your Great Idea is Likely to Fail

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Ideas are common. Like oxygen, everyone has access to these free flowing elements. For some, it feels like a ‘mind-siege’- they constantly have fresh ideas surging through their system. However, how many of these thoughts get done? Truth is:  an idea assumes value only when it’s done. Until then, it’s cheap – just floating in the air.

Reality is an idea’s dream. Every thought wants to move from the unseen to the seen realm. That’s the push. Hence, an idea would keep moving until it finds someone who’s able to make it visible. That’s why you’ll see an idea that occurred to you being done by another – it moved. Doing the thought is more important than receiving it.

Two people get the same idea; one is unable to do it and the other does it successfully. Why? Why would brilliant ideas move from you? What’s stopping you? Why do you think, talk about it and don’t do it?

Existing Thought Patterns is one reason. Often, ideas occur in contradictory circumstances. They come to shake up our established way of thinking and living. Hence, it’s easy to think an investment banker is crazy when he decides to become a novelist.

Every new thought will encounter a push-back by our comfort zone. This is where the fight begins. Many novel ideas don’t survive this stage because the conflict can be fierce and most times, the comfort zone wins. Here, folks conclude it’s not worth the trouble.

The misconception is that you can execute a new idea on your current wiring (existing thought patterns). This approach has proven ineffective. To increase your chances of success when you get a fresh hit of inspiration, first ask yourself: what needs to change about my current way of thinking for this thought to flourish?

Another reason why ideas fail is Environment. Every place powers a thought. Silicon Valley powers tech innovation, Hollywood is the world’s movie Mecca, Las Vegas supports the idea of gambling and Wall Street is the engine for global finance. In these places, the atmosphere is specifically designed to ensure that a particular idea thrives.

This is very important in the creativity process. Generally, positivity enthusiasts assume that any idea can succeed anywhere. This notion works against the reality of the forces at play in each location. Sometimes it’s possible to exert a greater force in order to change the elements of a place for your idea to work. Other times, it’s wise to move to a place with ready energy for what you have in mind.

Where are you now? Does your location support your idea? If not, what are you going to do about it? Perhaps, you have the right idea in the wrong place. You can’t ski in Turkana – it doesn’t snow there.

People can hinder creativity – this is the third reason. If you ask me what I think is the main key to success, my answer would be: association. It’s my number one pick. In my view, nothing affects your journey more than the people around you.

There are dreams and ideas that you may never birth in the company of certain people – no matter how affectionate they are. There are places and experiences you may not get to enjoy because of your crew. Some ideas will naturally die around some folks.

To make ideas happen, sensitivity in this area is key. At the risk of sounding cliché, I’ll ask: who are your friends? Who’s got your ears? Whose company and words help shape your perspective? If you’re not willing to change your association, you might as well forget your dream.