May 27th, 2011
I like to talk about the importance of flying your freak flag. It is a message which seems to resonate and it is largely about authenticity…being who you truly are…making your unique contribution. One of the questions that I always ask people to reflect on is “do you know what you are here for?” I think sometimes this question freaks people out a little…thinking about purpose and calling has some electricity to it…it can make your tummy rumble a little bit. One of those questions.
I personally see it as a question that we need to dance with throughout our lives. The answer is important, the answer may evolve as we go through life and if we lose sight of our purpose or our calling it can be easy to gallop off and chase other things or to misinterpret our experience in the world.
Sometimes people get fired. People get fired for a lot of different reasons, but we have a pretty strong tendency to see it as a bad thing. And while I understand that the unexpected termination of employment is a big deal, I know that it can also be a good thing in many ways.
One of the reasons many people do not fly their freak flags is that we all know that sometimes that flag is going to draw enemy fire. Being one of a kind means standing out…and there is some danger baked into standing out. So, we fake the funk. We play along. We go with the flow, we downplay who we are and we fit in…and we avoid the enemy fire. But that enemy fire is important…that enemy fire informs us of the true nature of our relationship with the organization or community we are in. It helps us figure out where there is work to be done and whether or not we are truly compatible.
There is no progress without deviance.
If you go to work for an organization and set about doing the voodoo that you do and they start to resist and circle the wagons and point all of their pale bony fingers at you as they desperately hold on to the past…and you keep pushing…well, you may lose your job because of that. And in this particular scenario loosing your job is a good thing. It happened because you refused to forfeit your magic. It might not be convenient, but it is a good thing. It is a righteous thing.
Wholeness is not achieved by cutting off a portion of one’s being, but by integration of the contraires.
Flying your freak flag is not for the faint of heart, because the real you, the whole you and nothing but the true you is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. But regardless of what the world sends you, if it is a result of you being you…then it is righteous.
But if you do not know what you are here for, it can be hard to interpret the evidence correctly.
Conformity makes us radically incomplete. Easier to manage, but incomplete and unhealthy.
-John Taylor Gatto
I could probably build a pretty bad ass fort out of all of the rejection letters I have received in my life. Without some clarity as to what I am on this planet for, I might take the wrong meaning from these rejection letters. I might see that as evidence that there is no value in what I do or that I lack talent in how I do it. I have seen a lot of people interpret rejection that way.
Rejection is not necessarily a bad thing. If you are doing something that is somewhat unique and original, most people are not going to know how to respond. We are much better at finding, sensing, choosing and relating to what is popular than we are at finding, sensing, choosing and utilizing what is valuable. Sometimes popular and valuable overlap, but sometimes they are actually at odds.
If you do not have clarity of purpose, you may misinterpret the messages that the world sends you.
Do you know?
Be good to each other.