29 Nov ENGAGING FOR AUTHENTICITY
J.P. Morgan was one of the most powerful and respected bankers of his time. He financed railroads and helped organize U.S. Steel, General Electric, and other major industries that helped the United States become a world power in industry. Morgan was a man who knew about success!
One day a man walked up to him and held up an envelope. The man said, “Sir, in my hand I hold a guaranteed formula for success, which I will gladly sell to you for $25,000.” This was not chump change, even to a man as successful as Morgan. $25,000 in the early 1900s would be approximately $750,000 today.
I want you to put yourself in Morgan’s place for a minute. You have provided the funding for dozens of businesses, you’ve started your own bank, and life is looking pretty good. Do you take the time to talk to this man, or do you decide he’s delusional and wasting your time? I have to admit, if you walked up to me on a street today and offered me the contents of an envelope for that kind of money I would say, “Thanks but no thanks,” and walk away.
Morgan didn’t do that. He had learned that value can show up in unexpected ways. Be he was also smart enough not to just shell out $25,000, Morgan replied, “I do not know what is in the envelope. However, if you show me and I like it, I give you my word as a gentleman that I will pay you what you ask.”
I’m sure the man with the envelope was doing a little dance in his head at this point. One of the most powerful men in the country was willing to look at what he had in that envelope, information that he considered to be worth a small fortune. He quickly agreed and handed over the envelope. Morgan took out the contents, a single sheet of paper, read it, and immediately wrote a check.
That piece of paper said two things:
Every morning write a list of the things that need to be done that day.
How simple is that? Yet I would be willing to bet most of us don’t. I know my to-do list is LONG. It’s so overwhelming at times that I would love to just hide and pretend that list doesn’t exist. But I don’t. I chose to engage and get that list done. Delivering results to achieve your goal and expand your success is the very core of engaging in your life.
Engagement, or engaging, is a process that should be transformational for you. In this process you move from being a person whom things happen to, to an individual who makes things happen. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to just deal with things as they come. I want to be the driving force. I want to make things happen. I want to create Forward Momentum in my life.
When you are engaged, you cope with challenges and work to achieve goals. By recognizing the importance of engaging, you foster connectivity and create a community that supports and encourages you. You can be the motivation in your life, you don’t have to just live what you’ve been handed!
If you want to truly engage, you need to understand yourself: your motivations, strengths, vulnerabilities, thought processes, behavior, personality, and how you are perceived by others. Achieving self-clarity is a deeply personal journey but taking time to know and understand yourself brings authenticity and genuineness to your behavior and actions.
Be yourself. Don’t worry about proving your specific attributes to others. If you take nothing else away from this blog post, remember this: God created you to be you! He made each person unique. So stop trying to be like everyone else and develop your own identity! They only way to do that is to achieve self-clarity and acquire a unique identity you can personally own.
Your first step is to focus on your strengths and vulnerabilities and recognize them as important elements of who you are. Don’t be afraid of conflict as you work to come to terms with your weaknesses. We all have personal issues, and it can be difficult to deal with them, but if you want to live your best life then dealing with your weaknesses is essential!
Evangelist D. L. Moody was once asked which people gave him the most trouble. His response was, “I’ve had more trouble with Dwight L. Moody than any other man alive.” As Jan Smuts states, “A man is not defeated by his opponents but by himself.”
The pathway to self-clarity and true engagement requires the development of your unique identity. This identity must be expressed through your ability to find your own voice. Finding your voice is an important component of living a life dedicated to Christ. And friend, I know that your authentic voice is powerful!
You must know who you are and what you stand for. It’s as simple as that. Self-knowledge creates self-confidence that is both formidable and engaging. So are you ready to seek self-clarity so you can experience true engagement in your life?
Here are some coaching questions you can ask yourself to help you on your journey:
- What is the purpose of what you do?
- What type of impact do you want your life to have?
- How do you contribute to others and the world?
- How are you going to contribute to the betterment of others?
- What percentage of the authentic you shows through in your life?
- If you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you try right now?
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how motivated are you in your life? What motivates you?
- Describe a moment when you felt the most alive.
- What motivates you? How do you motivate yourself?
- What is the one thing that never fails to move you to action?
I want to leave you with an affirmation you can use as you seek self-clarity and incorporate engaging into your life. Just insert your name in the blank!
Christ gives me _________ the strength to face anything! (Phil. 4:13, CEV)