Pam Slim is a life coach. She helps people by having them explore some basic precepts and then points them in the right direction. I have listened to Pam online for a long time. This weekend I got the opportunity to hear her present and to spend some time with her. This post is several points she made in her presentation (italicized) and my response to those points.
There is massive change happening on the inside, but the world can’t see it yet.
This is true for most of us. You have the choice to make, do you want to change? Do you want to pursue your dreams? Do you want to make a difference in the world? Once you decide that ‘yes, I do’ the universe will conspire to make it happen. Change begins from the inside. Your heart will soften; you will begin to hear other peoples stories. Your courage will strengthen; you will explore ways to be that person you want to be. Your hearing will improve. You will hear the things you need to hear to change. Then when the timing is right, your outside will start to reflect what is on the inside. People will pay more attention to you. They will see you. Your smile will be contagious. Your dreams will be shared, spoken out loud and people will want to know how they can help you.
The purpose of a good life is to create a body of work that you are proud of.
It’s not just the one or two great things you do in your life. It’s the culmination of all the things you do in your life. Perhaps you are an amazing speaker and travel the world telling stories that move people. But when you are at home, you go nowhere, see no one and are mean to the little kids in the neighborhood. That part of you is also part of your body of work. We all have a dark side. It’s how we grow and handle it and care for it that we will look back on. It is a culminating whole that matters. That is your body of work – how you lived, played and worked on this planet.
What is your root? What anchors you into the earth? Why is it important? Ponder that – it is what draws you back into doing what works for you.
This is a set of questions for all of us to think about. It gets to the heart of who we are. To what ideas, feelings and thoughts do you keep coming back to? Why do you do what you do? Drew McLellan is a family man. As you read his body of work created over years of providing marketing services to the masses, he comes back to talking about his love for his daughter. He wants to make the world a better place for her. This is how I see Drew, this is the face he shows to the world.
What do you want to create? When you look back at the end of your life, what do you want to see?
I think at heart most of us what to be good people. We want to provide happiness for those we love. But these questions go beyond that. Pam is asking you to look deep inside yourself and align your dreams with your realities. Do you want to be a writer and see your books that helped to change someone? Do you want to be a painter and look back at the end of your life and see your work that has provided beauty for many? This is the time to dream big – reach for the stars. What do you want to create?
What story do you tell yourself? You must believe your own story. What is the story you tell others? Without believing your own story, others won’t believe it either.
Words have great meaning. If you look in the mirror every morning and think ‘well, there’s a loser’ you will indeed become a loser. Because you can speak into existence what you want. So what story do you tell yourself? I have a picture in my bathroom that says, “I accept myself just as I am”. It’s got a picture of me smiling above those words. So the negative self-talk early in the morning is interrupted by those simple words. I start my day out with the thought ‘It’s a good day today.’ And no matter what happens that day, it will have been a good day.
On many social networks you are asked to give a short bio. Mine is ‘traveler, connector, writer’. Those three words are my story, they are who I am. It is the story I tell myself and I tell others. There are many stories that are offshoots of those three words! But like a mission statement, those three words identify who I am and what I do. What is your personal mission statement?
The story telling is so important. In telling your own story, you strengthen that new reality into your being. Your story can be how you see your future. Build that story, dream and share your dreams.
What does success mean to you? Reflect on this and let this one question guide your actions. Own the choices you make around what does success mean to you.
My definition of success is different from yours. I want to make a difference in as many lives as I can. I want to connect people to others who can be of service to them. I want to travel once or twice a year and be a local somewhere else. I want to write each day and create a body of written work that tells my story. Success to me is something I can achieve in little bits throughout my day. I can write in the morning, I can research locations to visit at lunch; I can and do connect people all day long. At the end of the day I can say, “today I helped someone, I shared a part of my story and I dreamt of travel.” I went to the Misfit Conference because it fit into my definition of success. I wanted to meet these people who were about making a dent in the universe. What is your definition?
Who is in your corner? Learn how to identify a crew of people who can and will help you.
Another reason I traveled to Fargo for the Misfit Conference –to continue to build my crew of people who can and will help me. Gigi Blum is my accountability partner. Melissa Leon is my cheerleader. Nelson DeWitt is my buddy on the trail of story telling. Jackie Shelley is my siren to be the best I can be and not give a shit about what others think. And I will be their crew too. My friend Mel helped me move three times.-In three years. Her wit is rapier and she’s one of the best travel partners I know. I have a few friends from my Chicago days that I consider my original posse: Cruzanne, Lynno, Erin, and Richard. These are the people who tell me the truth, no matter what. These are the people who love me no matter what. You will meet many people who matter to you only in the moment. They will not remain your friends. They will be a memory you may want to hold on to. It is quite all right to let go of them and thank them for the time they’ve given you.
Finally, don’t be tied to the outcome. Let nature take its course.
Your story will change, adapt and work best to suit you. You have not failed because you have not created what you thought you would. You fail when you stop creating. And even in failure there is opportunity. At any moment you can stand up and begin again. Failure will not stop you, failure can make you better. Nature will make your story even bigger and better! If you let it.
First — thank you for seeing me. And for allowing me to bubble to the surface of your consciousness as you wrote today. I know how many people you interact with and connect to — so it’s delightful to be memorable enough to serve as an example in your post.
Second — you are so right. My roots/what connects me to this earth is my daughter and being the kind of dad I aspire to be every day. She is my legacy and lucky for all of you — it’s a good one! When I dedicated my book to her I called her my Jiminy Cricket. She inspires me to be a better human being because I know she’s watching and learning from me, warts and all.
Third — and perhaps most of all — amen to everything you said. We are what gets in our own way. Our own beliefs, self talk, worries and fears are what keep us from being all that we’re capable of being. Isn’t it an odd thing — we are the people who hold the dreams and the hopes and we are also what gets in the way of us realizing them.
I think as we get older, we recognize this bad habit faster and hopefully are more adept at barrier removal, even if it’s just knocking ourselves out of the way! But, you are wise to surround yourself with other people who can lend a hand in calling you out and helping you get out of your own way. Everyone should have a posse like that. You’re blessed to be surrounded by a fan club who can outshout even your own doubts and fears.
In your heart of hearts, what do you want to create Deb?
Drew – wow, thanks. How could I not use you as an example when you so proudly and boldly show us what moves you to do what you do? I am so glad that our paths have crossed and I get to know you.
In my heart of hearts – just the picture from those words is beautiful. I do believe we all have a few things (hearts) we are connected to and return to. The children in my family first — that’s my happy heart. The words I read and wish to capture and the way they move me – that’s my contemplative heart. My friends who make me laugh, think and dream – that’s my wishful heart.
Since I was old enough to hold a pen, I’ve wanted to be a writer. I’ve wanted to bare my soul and share my story with the world. I believed I had something to say. Life conspired and provided me with many experiences I could share – some good, some bad. I stood in my way, thought my stories would hurt those I love, stopped writing them. Yet .. yet. In my heart of hearts, I am now writing those stories. In just the writing of them freedom for me lives. I can feel the weight of sorrow, of secret keeping begin to leave me. It is my intention to tell the stories so some young woman or young man can hear them and change the direction of their life – into the light. Because fighting darkness is simply too hard.
Thank you for asking Drew, I love you.
I love you too. I love your spirit. I love that you give off such a genuine aura of affection that giving you a hug/getting a hug is not optional. And I love that you tell stories of truth with integrity and gentleness.
As a fellow writer — I both love and dread that pit in my gut that I get when I write from a brave and honest place. It’s that “should I hit publish” angst that tells me that I wrote might be important enough to be memorable. I don’t get to do too much of that in my professional writing space. It’s not why people follow me. But even there, every once in awhile, I find myself compelled to go to a completely different and deeper place. (Like this post: http://drewmclellan.me/ZtU1nC )
I, for one, hope you keep writing the hard truths. I know we need to read them.
Oh, dear Trey. I only knew him online. Yet his death shook me. Still does. Age has shown me that I can survive depression, yet in the darkest of days you pray for light. I wish I could’ve hugged Trey. I hug a lot of people and it pretty much is mandatory with me. I need those hugs too!
Drew, always hit publish. Please. And I’ll do the same.
Deb, I glad you two met! Pam poses some great questions and I love your responses. Thank you for being you.
Love you too!