“I’m not aware of too many things. I know what I know if you know what I mean.” ~Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians
Forgive me, because I’m about to wax philosophical on your ass. The thing is that I don’t think we know even half of what we think we know. And on a deeper level, I’m sure that we are just barely touching the tip of the iceberg in our current understanding of our role in the universe. Yeah, I do think too much, and this post is about to prove it (if you haven’t already caught on). As I said in the last one, I’m your every day average think-outside-the-box, pay-it-forward Bullet-Journal-not-calendar (non-linear thinking) kind of person. I’m an introverted extrovert who is as creatively prolific as she is ridiculously disorganized.
I do my best to suspend ego when I’m learning because, after these 43 years, I have recognized that we can, in fact, misunderstand and be misinformed, even by well-meaning sources. I mean, I’ve been learning new truths since I was a kid and gaining new and deeper understandings of the world and of myself as I’ve evolved and grown.
All of this has led me to understand that we cannot possibly know even a tiny fraction of all there is to know. And that at least some of what we THINK we know isn’t what is true at all.
That’s why I do my very best to avoid being too set in my ways and in my understandings, and it’s why I am always open to a new understanding of even things I thought I knew for sure. But while I’m always open to the possibility that I’ve been wrong all this time; and generally, I don’t accept every theory as fact. That’s what I mean when I say I’m content to wonder as well as to wander.
This makes me different than a lot of people I know. Many people seem to need to KNOW everything in order to feel comfortable. The idea of the unknown makes them question things they don’t want to question – or maybe they just can’t imagine that such a thing exists. It’s like they need to believe what they’re told is true because they might explode if something else were true. It would mean that everything they thought was real…might not be real.
Or that they’d have to open their minds to things that don’t currently seem possible.
Or maybe it’s that they don’t think to think outside of what they’ve been told because it’s forbidden to do so by their culture or religion (which brings me to a whole other discussion that we won’t get into today).
I just think differently. I think it’s arrogant to assume that we know everything, because the more I understand the world, the more I understand that we really don’t know much of anything. I feel like if I stay stuck in what I “was told” then I might miss out on what is really the truth. So, I keep my mind open.
This is truly what accounts for both my biggest areas strength and my biggest areas of weakness. Strength because it allows me to be completely open to new ideas, and because it allows me to create and formulate stuff that really means something, stuff that really touches people and helps them to understand something that makes their life better. And because it lets me personally help people, through video and coaching, not to mention the other content I create.
Still, those weaknesses are there, and in my case, harshly lit by forgotten tasks, stuff that slipped through the cracks and procrastination-induced incompetence in certain areas. For example, I’m almost never on time. I am bored to tears (and mildly overwhelmed) by things like invoicing, spreadsheets, focusing on stuff that hasn’t caught my attention, managing employees and all of that stuff.
That stuff doesn’t FEEL like stuff I want to care about, and it doesn’t lend itself to doing things that stop the flow. Brutal honesty here: I get a lot done because I am driven by inspiration like a force of nature. But those things I don’t want to do seem to stand in the way of that force – which obviously tends to just bowl them over and leave them as casualties along the way.
So, I could beat myself up for being who I am. I could try to fit my star-shaped peg into a square hole. I could tone it down and slow down and do What I’m Supposed to Do every minute of every day.
My inner child screams out in despair at the thought of it!
But I’ve tried it. I did it for years – I did the best I could, and I made some progress. And, the truth is that it isn’t for me. It’s not my area of genius. At best, I’m reluctantly competent.
We all have our areas of genius. And I guess what I’m saying is that these days, I mostly stick to my genius zone. I think I’m here for a reason, and I think it’s related to helping people understand people and also themselves. And I think when I stick to that end, I am unstoppable. Or, I would be, if I could also care enough about those areas where I’m reluctantly (barely) competent.
Enter a whole new level of self-understanding.
Through recently-developed, unfiltered self-knowledge and unconditional self-acceptance, I’m learning that leaning into (and embracing) who I truly am offers the best bang for my proverbial buck, so I’m doing something different. I’m making allowances and modifications for my true self. The things about myself that I can change, I do change. Or I try. The things that are more intrinsic and that aren’t what I’d like them to be, I don’t focus on them.
Well, I do focus on them, but only enough to create modifications in my life to accommodate for them, just like I would do for anyone I love.
I focus on what I can control, not what I can’t. And what I can do is to prioritize, delegate and live in my area of genius as often as possible. This, in my experience, is the knowledge that I was missing all this time. Or at least the beginning of it.
By focusing on my strengths and the things I love and am good at, I move closer to becoming the best possible version of myself and also having the most impact on the people I want to help. By not having to focus on the things that slow me down and stop my flow, I can triple my productivity. And all that boring (necessary) stuff I don’t want to do – or at least a good portion of it – is handled by my amazing business manager/BFF.
The point is that by being aware of and okay with the fact that I cannot be everything to everyone, and by staying focused on not only the stuff I’m the best at, but also the stuff I enjoy doing – I’ve become more successful than ever, in both my work and in many ways, my life. I’m on my way to finding the best possible version of myself, and I’m okay with the fact that this will be a lifelong journey. Because truly, what is life if not a journey?