This might sound completely self absorbed but bear with me a moment while I say I have been really good at almost everything I have ever tried. Hockey-good. windsurfing -good. cracking a whip-good. yoga-good. shearing sheep-good. paddling white water kayaks-good. pulling wrenches-good (don’t like it mind you). Guiding people in a wilderness setting-good. Shooting guns-better than good. Making speeches-good. DANCING- good (honestly ask my wife). Like most country boys I grew up fishing, hunting — cutting wood and doing all the clever things that you need to do to get along in the country — being smart about being able to grow food and keep equipment alive and a home warm in the cold of winter. My friends and I would laugh a the TV show of the 90s -McGivor — the main character — this preppy city guy could always clever his way out of any predicament. That is just everyday stuff for most country folk who have to ‘Jury-rig’ their equipment and life just to get by because they can’t afford to call the plumber whenever they want. So I grew up learning to be resourceful and gaining the confidence that most everyday things are pretty easy to keep going if you put your mind to it. Take anything apart and pretty quickly you’ll find out how it works and probably find the source of a problem. Later I learned that this was called “reverse engineering.”
I learned how to make parts out of whatever was around me. Give me a broken down rocket and me and my redneck friends will probably get it launched quicker than most teams of high paid resource rich engineers.
Someone in my work circles said once “wow — you have talents” , another facetiously asked “what job haven’t you done?” to which I replied: “clown and cowboy” BUT sometimes I FEEL like both at the same.
But this has been where it all stops…at GOOD — never a “stellar performance” or “incredible showing” but a “solid performance” because as a Jack of all trades I was the all round guy who never really excelled at anything but just did GOOD. So where am I going with this article you might ask?
I’ve come to the second half of my life and am staring down at a new world filled with nano-bots and Elon Musk and his electric cars (can wait to reverse engineer one of them) and other big name change makers who seem to have excelled at one problem or another — and I ask myself would I have lived my life any differently to prepare for the fast pace of change that we are now seeing sweep across the globe. Take a five minute ride on the internet and you will surely be told how to go to “the next Level ” in business — increase traffic to your sales funnel — retrofit your home with off grid components — biohack your way to physical supremacy — be the best version of yourself — to live your best life.
SO when I take the time to reflect more on what I am good at — I can think of only one more thing that really counts in my efforts for universal mastery and that is just being a GOOD person. I love Brene Brown’s solution for navigating this new face paced global landscape — in her latest book Braving the Wilderness — the quest for belonging and the courage to stand alone — she describes what showing up and being GOOD looks like. She does this nicely with through the acronym BRAVING — B-boundaries -being clear about what you stand for and having the balls to communicate them respectfully. R-reliability- doing and meaning what you say you are going to do and following through. A- accountability -taking extreme ownership of your actions and beliefs and not making excuses for why you are not showing up and delivering when you could have. V-vault keeping confidences and recognizing what is ours to share and what is not. I-integrity -staying true to your values and choosing courage over comfort. N- non-judgement — letting go of the helper/fixer mentality and just plain listening better. G- generosity — this one I love the most because it speaks to small acts of giving everyday in every interaction you have with people. It’s about affording others the benefit of the doubt and it restores belief in universal truth and the true-ness of all souls. Not everyone needs to be stellar but it does help to be GOOD.