Your Biggest Investment: Watch it Grow

March 9, 2015 at 4:17 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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“I still fall on my face sometimes
And I can’t colour inside the lines
‘Cause I’m perfectly incomplete
I’m still working on my masterpiece”
– Lyrics from Jessie J’s song Masterpiece

Hearing Jessie J’s song lyrics (above) on the radio yesterday got me thinking about many areas of our journeys of potential. Sometimes words or phrases that I hear cut right through certain themes that we are exploring within our programs, and these four lines provided me with much food for thought. We definitely are all masterpieces in progress, inspiringly connecting, evolving and creating ripples through our courageous daily thoughts, words and actions. Wherever we might find ourselves on this journey, or as Jessie J so eloquently phrases it as being ‘perfectly incomplete’, there is a realisation that there is still so much beauty, gratitude and growth available to us within all the challenges, obstacles, complexity and vulnerability that we face. But are we willing to navigate our interdependent journeys through a lens like this?

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” – Brené Brown

Brené Brown’s languaging of her research, like in the example above, has always inspired me. The honesty, depth and wisdom that her findings contain connect to I believe what we all at some level feel and struggle with to make real in our own lives each and every day. Brené’s work seeks to empower us as individuals and groups to dare greatly, while appreciating the wholeness of what it is to be human. This quote of hers that I share now expresses the paradoxical existences we are all living, ‘You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging’. This is why our leadership program is called L.E.A.D. with Courage™, and why we agree with Maya Angelou when she said, ‘Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently’.

“Courage is a heart word. The root of the word courage is cor – the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” Over time, this definition has changed, and today, we typically associate courage with heroic and brave deeds. But in my opinion, this definition fails to recognise the inner strength and level of commitment required for us to actually speak honestly and openly about who we are and about our experiences – good and bad. Speaking from our hearts is what I think of as ‘ordinary courage’.” – Brené Brown

The title of this week’s post came from thinking about the ways we language certain aspects of our lives. It can be very easy to talk about our investments or assets as the possessions or capital that we have accumulated. In this process we can externalise our worthiness to the things that we have. In times like these we can view a small or large loss or gain as us still not having enough, ultimately linking it to that we are not enough. Whereas, there is an opportunity to keep courageously coming back to our ‘perfectly incomplete-ness’ while we explore the possibilities, discover potential and act authentically, allowing our masterpieces to unfold as we deepen connection to self, others and the world around us and make a difference in our own and others lives. Our ability to keep getting back up, dusting ourselves off, realigning to what’s most important, and trying again, is how we embody our enough-ness. I love Brené’s description of ‘Wholehearted Living’ that I include below.

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“…at the end of every day, and at the end of every week, and at the end of my life, I want to be able to say I contributed more than I criticised.” – Brené Brown

So what do you want to be able to say at the end of every day, at the end of every week and at the end of your life? What are the challenges, obstacles, complexities and vulnerabilities that you are navigating, and what daily practices allow you to still see, experience and deeply feel the beauty, gratitude and growth that lies within them? What would you say is your biggest investment?

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