Are You Making Use of Everything You Are?

Last week I wrote a post called, The Starving Artists’s Guide to Making Use of Everything You Are.

I couldn’t fit everything into one piece, so today we’re going to explore the second volume of strategies for doing so:

1. Honor your dominant architecture. Remember what happened when the Green Bay Packers offered Brett Favre twenty million dollars to retire? Right: He turned the money down.

To me, that was a great moment in sports history. Favre basically said:

“Excuse me, but, do you know who the hell I am? I’m sorry, maybe you’ve heard of me before: I’m Brett Favre – the greatest quarterback in the history of ever. And you’re seriously asking me (not) to make use of everything I am? Peace out, cheese heads.”

That’s what it sounds like to be in tune with your heart. That’s what it sounds like to honor the dominant architecture of your life.

The cool part is, when you do this, the example of how you live your life will become a walking book for people to read. And those lucky enough to watch the chapters being written right in their midst will be changed for better and for always. When you figure out what’s under your fingernails, will you design it into something that devastates the world?2. Visualize the aftermath. During one of his thousands of spoken word concerts, Henry Rollins said, “I want to make life run for its life. I want to be a pain in life’s ass. I want life to celebrate the day I die. I want life to finally get a breather once I’m dead.”

What do you want to happen once you’ve made use of everything you are? What do you want people to remember? Personally, when I die, I want life to give me a standing ovation. And I don’t want it to even think about sitting down until its ass is numb and its knees start buckling.

For you, it’s worth asking two questions: What will be the afterlife of what you do? What is the field on which you will leave everything you’ve got? Remember: Your purpose isn’t a task – it’s the way you live your life. It’s what your life is committed to.

Don’t die with unlived parts of within you. Welcome the dust of the daily battle. Unlock more of your hidden capacities and underutilized talents each day. Set yourself on fire and let the world sit back and watch you burn. What is the result of you?

3. Expand your role repertoire. Speaking of Henry Rollins, I love the opening line of his Wikipedia entry:

“Henry Rollins is an American singer, songwriter, raconteur, stand-up comedian, spoken word artist, writer, publisher, record label owner, actor, radio DJ, and activist.”

Now that’s how you make use of everything you are. I hope that by the time I’m fifty, I’m recognized in such a diverse way. What about you? How diverse dare you be?

My suggestion is to expand your role repertoire. Here’s how: Next time a new, risky or unexpected opportunity comes along, ask yourself: “Is this another chance to do more of the things I love?”

If so, take it. Stay engaged with life’s possibilities and stretch deep inside yourself for this new role. That’s how you invite victory in every game you play. Not by winning all the time – but by having fun, playing new games, playing your heart out and learning from the process.

Don’t worry: You will be rewarded for the value you’re able to create. As long as you remember that you need to renew to become great. Even if not everybody likes you. Screw those wankers. Better to be hated for what you are then loved for what you aren’t. Where do you want to grow next?

4. Uniquely define your curriculum. The most formative years of my childhood were first through sixth grade. That was when a handful of us were pulled out of class to spend a portion of our time in Gifted and Talented Education.

The programs varied from critical thinking drills, creative exercises and other subjects typically not covered in the classroom.

Interestingly, none of us knew why we were being pulled out class. We were just told that were part of a unique group. And when the gifted teacher, Mrs. Ray, visited our classroom, it was time to pack up and go get creative.

It was the absolute highlight of elementary school: We learned how to think, we learned why to think and we were all given an irrevocable license to create.

Lesson learned: If you want to make use of everything you are, locate your territory for expansion. Enter it with constructive ambition. Creatively engage whatever you have and empty yourself into adventure.

That’s how you leave room for genius to enter. Where are you practicing creative deployment of self?

5. Act from embodiment. Eventually, you start to become the thing you’ve been teaching. That’s what my mentor tells me. That after a certain number of years, every leader wakes up one morning, looks in the mirror and thinks to himself:

“Wow. I am the message. I am my own best case study. The word has become flesh.”

Are you there yet? If not, be patient in learning to live physically what you know intellectually. It takes time to become the physical embodiment of your understanding.

Meanwhile, my suggestion is to smoke what you’re selling. Audit your own consistency by asking tough questions like:

*How well do you resemble what you worship?
*Is the message you’re preaching the dominant truth of your life?
*Are you living your faith out in the world or lip servicing your beliefs from behind a desk?

Remember: When you align your onstage performance and backstage reality, it’s easy to act from embodiment because your life becomes your preparation. As I remind my clients, “It took my entire life to write that sentence!” Does your life enshrine what your lips proclaim?

ULTIMATELY: Making use of everything you are is a spiritual imperative.

As Leonard Cohen sang:

“I never had a choice. I was given the gift of a golden voice. And I’m just sitting here every day, paying my rent in the tower of song.”

This is the life that now calls you.
This is the life you were created to have.

You contain enough instruments of expression to staff a symphony.

The question is whether or not you will write music for each one.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Aren’t you tired of starving?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “7 Ways to Out Attract Your Competition,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

The world’s FIRST two-in-one, flip-flop book!

Buy Scott’s comprehensive marketing guidebook on Amazon.com and learn how to GET noticed, GET remembered and GET business!

The Starving Artist’s Guide to Making Use of Everything You Are

“I am large. I contain multitudes.”

Walt Whitman wrote that in the 1860 edition of Leaves of Grass.

Now, the way I see it, his words challenge the reader to do two things:

First, recognize how much potential you actually have.
Second, spend the rest of your life making use of everything you are.

Here’s how: 1. Beware of editors. When I was a kid, my older brother used to make fun of me for thinking. Not for thinking a certain way. Or for thinking about certain things. Just for thinking. Like, it wasn’t cool to just sit in your room and dream.

But I didn’t care. I was going to think no matter what. That’s just who I am. The cool part is, now people actually pay good money to rent my brain. Sounds like all that thinking paid off – literally. What’s more, sounds like choosing (not) to listen to every negative comment that came my way paid off.

Who’s trying to edit you? Who, in your life, is actively attempting to discourage you from being your truest self? Your challenge is to assess if their comments are constructive criticism or destructive projections.

That’s all self-esteem is anyway: Deciding whom to listen to. It’s how you estimate yourself. The overall appraisal of your personal value.

And if you want to make use of everything you are, you have to begin with fundamentally positive self-regard. Who are you allowing to edit you?

2. Don’t dismiss or deny your native background. During a presentation last year, one of my audience members insisted on correcting the grammar on one of my slides. “I can’t help it,” she admitted to the group. “I’m an editor. It’s in my blood.”

Then, from other side of the room, someone asked, “Have you considered a transfusion?”

The group got a good laugh out of it. But I can’t help but wonder if the woman was a bit hurt by that man’s comment. I know I would be. And I think that’s something we need watch out for. Because it’s a disservice to yourself to dismiss or deny your native background.

On the other hand, making use of everything you are flows from a complete openness to yourself – even the parts you view as liabilities. And if you don’t remain true to that basic nature, you’ll render yourself a traitor.

Try waking up with that taste in your mouth every morning. Blech. What dormant parts of you await permission to be expressed?

3. Yield to the impulse of expression. A song that ignites my creative spirit every time I heart it is “No Choice,” by Edwin McCain. It goes like this:

“It was a love so big that it filled his heart, until it swelled and finally burst apart. And where the love spilled out they called it art. But he never really had no choice.”

“There was a beautiful fire inside of him as he balanced his way out on that limb. Could have burned right through that branch so thin, but he never really had no choice. Oh, he had no choice. When he gave his river a voice. He never really had no choice.”

Perfect reminder: If you want to express all that you have to contribute, you have to believe that something valuable will emerge. You have to believe you have the ability to build something substantial.

Only then can you get touch with your natural rhythms, surrender to the river – the unbounded vital force – and be creative without limitation.

And if somebody tries to interrupt you, just say, “Can’t talk. In pursuit of something meaningful.” Where will the current of your truth carry you?

4. Remove what robs you. I attended college at Miami University. But not the fake Miami in Florida. The real Miami: In Ohio. Anyway, I went to school around the same time as Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger. We actually had class together.

Although, not surprisingly, Ben never came to class. And I’ll never forget what my professor told me when I asked about Ben’s academic status:

“I pray I never see him in class. I hope he’s at the gym. I hope he’s studying plays. I hope he’s watching game film. Let’s be honest: Do you think Roethlisberger wants to make forty thousand dollars a year working in marketing; or make ten million a year playing in the NFL?”

Sure enough, Ben was drafted two years later. And he led his team to the Superbowl. Bet he didn’t lose much sleep over missing class.

Lesson learned: Remove what robs you; embrace what optimizes you. Especially the moment when you realize that you’re hardwired to become something bigger.

Otherwise, if you choose not to cater to your deepest desires and strongest urges, the existential agony will eat away at you like a one-celled bacteria. What robs you of your true talent?

5. Be not obliged to the mirage of limitation. Don’t brainwash yourself into believing that you’re a one-trick pony. Employ a little artistic diversity. Integrate everything in your life into your expressions. And taste the full scope of your creative power.

I started practicing this heavily a few years ago. I was curious about myself, so I decided to explore new ways to make use everything I was. From shooting educational videos to writing poetry to creating innovating new media through which to deliver value to my clients, expressive limits became a thing of the past.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

*Which of your skills do you rarely get the opportunity to use at work?
*What personal skills have you not tapped into yet to add value to your customers?
*What personal skills have you not tapped into yet to build your business?

You might be pleasantly surprised at the firepower of your creative arsenal. Where do you limit yourself?

ULTIMATELY: Making use of everything you are is a spiritual imperative.

As Leonard Cohen sang:

“I never had a choice. I was given the gift of a golden voice. And I’m just sitting here every day, paying my rent in the tower of song.”

This is the life that now calls you.
This is the life you were created to have.

You contain enough instruments of expression to staff a symphony.

The question is whether or not you will write music for each one.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Aren’t you tired of starving?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “7 Ways to Out Attract Your Competition,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

The world’s FIRST two-in-one, flip-flop book!

Buy Scott’s comprehensive marketing guidebook on Amazon.com and learn how to GET noticed, GET remembered and GET business!

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