Sunday, December 29, 2013

Identification of the Theme

When you take an inventory of your skills and experiences, you may discover an emergent theme that points you to something about yourself. I can look back over my life going back as far as I can recall and see the man I am today getting shaped and formed.

I liked to be on stage in high school, but always in a supporting role. I wasn't the lead, they had too many lines. I was there to make the lead look good. I was the assistant manager at my fast food job, and later when I was the kitchen manager at a bar and grill, the role was still subordinate to the general manager. In my first and second marriages, I was the sole provider, but let my wives decide what they wanted to spend the money on. When I parent my kids, I tell them how to have a good time, explaining the ways that "bad behavior" isn't fun, and letting them figure out what  they'd like to do instead. In my private practice, I like to tell people how to empower themselves, and let them figure out what they want to do as a result. In the Great Work, I like to create the Stone, and then project it into the world to heal the sick, bring wealth to the poor, and to set the captives free.

I'm a facilitator. I get my pleasure from the provision of the things people need to be happy. I had to learn some hard lessons about that, mainly centered around not making my happiness be dependent on other people's happiness. I had to learn that my happiness comes from the process of helping, rather than what other people do with what I provide. Because people will do what they want with what you give them, and you don't get to tell people what to do or how to be happy. I had to learn to provide the things that helped me, and let others use them how they want, or not at all, without expectation. That was hard, and like I said, it took a few times before I learned my limits and how to focus on the things that I'm good at doing.

So when you've taken a look at your skills and talents and experiences, see if you can find an emergent theme. What roles were you really good at? What roles did you enjoy the most in your life? What was it about those roles that made you so happy? Figure that out, and you'll learn something about yourself and what makes you tick. Pay close attention to your successes in life, the things you do really well.

Those are the clues that will help you understand who you are, and what you do. Armed with that knowledge, you'll find yourself creating things with ease and aplomb, and the challenges you face will be the kind that are fun to solve instead of frustrating and annoying.