What are you gonna be for Halloween? Who are you going to dress up as?
Bigger than Christmas is seems.
What is it about Halloween that so excites, that so sparks the imagination?
Yes, fun for sure. The chance to let loose, hide out, switch it up. The possibility of being someone new, something new, someone different from who we are in the hum-drum of each day.
And the truth is that a lot of folks are worn down by the hum-drum of each they. The want new, better, different. Just not the same. For god’s sake, not the same.
So, who do you want to be?
More important: Who are you already… really?
Are you your job? Your role in a relationship? Your hobby, pursuit, passion?
I am a an executive coach, high altitude mountaineer, blue-water sailor, adventure photographer, husband, father, business owner… .
But is that who I am… really?
- If you have a job and lose that job… who are you?
- If you have a marriage and the marriage unravels, who are you?
- If you have kids and they grow up and move away, who are you?
- If you’re an athlete and you’re injured, who are you?
- Who are you when your friend betrays you? When your parent dies? When your business fails?
- Who are you in the face of success, failure and change?
Who are you… really?
Our identity. The very core of who we are. What a struggle that can be. Especially for success and achievement junkies… I know a few… They’re the folks who come to coaching… (As for myself, on advice of counsel, I can neither admit nor deny any of the heretofore!)
When we’re not doing, achieving, accomplishing… who are we?
Ann and I have been at our home in Ireland for the past month… a completely different culture… a completely different pace… Some have characterized Ireland as the “Jamaica of the UK.” If stress and adrenaline are your fuel, you won’t find much here. And without that fuel, we ask, … who are we?
The Buddhists teach: Nothing to do, nothing to be, nothing to have.
Really. WTF? What then?
One of my very favorite stories from the Torah is when Moses comes upon the burning bush. God speaks to Moses from the bush, telling Moses what he needs to be about. Moses, looking for a bit of borrowed cred, asks God for God’s name. God says, “I am who I am.” Tell those Israelites that “I am” sent you.
Maybe there’s a clue here. Maybe when we define ourselves with a title, give ourselves a label, tie an object to who we think we are, we make ourselves small, we limit our (divine) potential.
Maybe, at the end of it all, one more billable hour booked, one more product sold, one more article published, one more email sent, one more race run, one more mountain climbed, won’t really matter.
Maybe it’s ok just to be.
And damn, what an interesting (and unusual) costume that is!
This is an encore of a post first published on October 31, 2013.