Sunday, November 3, 2013

You, Inc.

"Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You." -- Dr. Seuss

When we were kids, we liked to play baseball out in the yard. Actually, our game of choice was wiffleball -- particularly after the hard ball found its way into a few windows. As you may remember, a wiffle ball is a plastic version with holes in it, Combined with a plastic bat it produces a more contained, yet enjoyable version, of the summer classic.  Making this adjustment allowed us to not only keep playing ball, but to keep our allowance money intact. The will always finds a way.

Inevitably, we would take on our wiffleball persona -- which was usually one of the members of the Detroit Tigers. The notable exception was two older kids who insisted on being Yankees -- just for spite, I suppose. I remember as I came to bat, I would suddenly be transformed into Norm Cash or Jim Northrup -- two of my boyhood idols who would be instrumental in the Tiger's 1968 World Series Championship. Interestingly enough, I would be facing such Tiger pitching aces as Denny McClain or Mickey Lolich cleverly disguised as one of my friends down the street. It was especially gratifying if I hit a home run off Whitey Ford or Mel Stottlemyere of the hated Yankees. Being a major league star was fun and it made perfect sense on the wiffleball field. However, there comes a time when the imitation has to stop and the original has to step up.

Unfortunately, so many people fail to see the unique value they bring to the table and instead spend way too much time and energy trying to be someone else. It may start when we see the attention that somebody is getting for a particular idea or accomplishment. Feeling that we too need to grab some of that attention, we attempt to squeeze ourselves into somebody else's mold. Predictably, it is not a very good fit and the chafing it produces, both internally and externally, subtracts from the positive result we hoped to create. Besides, the copy will never have the distinctive value of the original. A trip to see any art appraiser will confirm this is true.

So what stops us from seeking to be the absolute best version of ourselves? Is it laziness, lack of confidence, or just plain ignorance and lack of awareness of who we are? My thought is that it could be any combination of these things. However, it may have its real root in not truly understanding or embracing our unique, God-given purpose. In his classic book, "Resolved: 13 Resolutions for Life", Orrin Woodward lists Purpose as the first rung on the ladder to individual success and fulfillment. He says, "Purpose provides direction to a person's life, making every task, even seemingly mundane ones, filled with significance." 

To help discover our unique purpose, "Good to Great" author Jim Collins suggests we ask ourselves three questions:

  • What are you deeply passionate about?
  • What can you be the best in the world at?
  • What drives your economic engine?

The answers to these questions may very well provide the catalyst we need to truly discover the unique value and contribution that we can bring into our world. When we understand this fully, we also understand that we need not be a cheap imitation of someone else when we and we alone have the seed of individual greatness. Armed with this information and awesome realization, we can confidently move forward and construct the lasting legacy that will define our life -- and our life alone. It is "truer than true that no one alive is Youer than You."

So now that you know it, here's what You do, live the fabulous life made especially for You!

Your comments are always welcome.