“Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man.” A Jesuit motto that invokes curiosity. From ages 3-5, I was programmed by Montessori. We met in the basement of a Mormon church with a curvy drive-way. I learned the value of self-motivation, planning and achieving goals at my own pace. I was also given the freedom of self-discovery. No one taught me to tie my shoe, I learned it on my own one Wednesday morning with the help of a tie board. When we gathered as a group, The 3 teachers taught us french and the process of choosing a president, (I voted for Carter that year).
Early childhood development is like the creation of our human operating system. It guides our adolescents and adult relationships. We use it to be courageous and make life changing decisions. If the operating system was constructed in a harmful or incomplete way, we may not know it until our “fixing” as adults doesn’t work. Salim Ismail, an entrepreneur and strategists, suggests that when this is the case, we must reconfigure our operating systems as a way to adjust our adult lives. Not just override – but reroute.
For me, a lot of how I process and achieve success comes from my Montessori years. Some people may believe that is unfortunate. But to this day, I hold a warm place in my heart for this Italian style of teaching and I happen to believe I am free.
For me, January has been a bit of a yelling fest. My search for self has been interrupted by random people either yelling at me or “giving me a stern talkin’ to.” In each case, I am completely surprised. And in each case, I have a choice. – I can weigh their information up against what I know to be true of myself. – I can react and defend myself. – I can listen and in a low tone excuse myself. – Or, I could actually yell back at them.
In case you were wondering, I always choose the high road and respectable calm exit. But what about the more assertive response? What about saying, “you are out of line.” What about standing up to a bully or disrupts the self-righteous instigator? There is nothing wrong with this approach, in fact a more assertive response may be necessary. Women and girls in general should investigate that place between being mean and being a doormat. We need to incorporate an assertive response that says, “hey, you sound upset, maybe it’s me, but maybe it’s not.”
I have to admit, I did allow all this interaction to confuse the perception I have of myself. I wondered if I have had the right approach – for that day and for the entire length of my life? I kept my balance and decided to be better prepared the next time it happens, if it happens. It might be time for a new approach, a self, interrupted.
In 2014 I started listening to Podcasts. I wanted to step into a new thinking around business, creativity and other vocational possibilities. I have narrowed my many podcast subscriptions to 2 favorites.
http://www.unmistakablecreative.com (with Srini Rao) & http://www.convergepodcast.com (with Dane Sanders). What I like about these interviewers is that they ask open ended questions to their guests and everybody is OK. The interviews are open ended conversation to inject direction, disruption and permission into my day.
The first Unmistakable Creative interview to kick off 2016 was with Philip Mckernan titled; How to Make this the Most Prosperous Year of Your Life. Normally, I would skip right over a topic so sensational. But because I know and trust these outlets, I clicked. Not only was Philip disruptive for the audience, he disrupted the interviewer. There are two ideas I want to offer.
“We give ourselves what we think we deserve.” & We ask people to help us but no one will tell us the truth…We already know the truth and we don’t want to see it. I have been disrupted for days. Maybe it is time for truth…which just might be a better view of myself and what I deserve.
On page 124, deep into a book that finished my 2015 reading plan, I find the secret to a better life. It reads, “We need to refuse to enter into an antagonistic relationship with ourselves. Quit blaming ourselves and being victimized, and take responsible steps to remove the victim….This is only useful to momentarily indicate when we may have violated our own moral codes.” So, why am I the first one to disregard myself, my value and my worth? And, how does this thinking affect my ability to live with others?… or even impact others in my same career.
The St Francis Prayer says, “Let it begin with me.” When I carry the weight of the “should” and “can’t”, I have got to go back to the view I have of myself. What are my values and my passions? Am I valuing myself as a productive and even disruptive contributor in my career? If the answer is not yes, I have to find out why not.
The view we have of ourselves, guilds and carves the path. Whether that is to the right, left, into good relationships and away from. Over the month of January, I will lay out a few ideas that can help us get and keep the right view of self. It will surely help to lead my life in the right direction.