What is one major personal sacrifice you are willing to make this year in the service of the greater good?
Scott Barry Kaufman
The Greater Good
The one thing that has become unavoidable in the wake of the 2016 US Presidential Election is that huge portions of the US don’t talk to each other with any degree of respect or understanding, if they even talk to each other at all. The fear that has been raging in the US since 9/11 has been cultivated and propagated by leaders in search of power and has now poisoned almost every conversation about public issues.
In my personal life, I see individuals and couples failing to build relationships where people can thrive as human beings.
And don’t get me started on the dating advice being given out. My divorce is recent and I have been trying to think about dating again and how to create any new relationship from a foundation that might lead to intimacy. And most of the advice I see out there is aimed right at people’s fear of being alone. There is so much advice on how to get a partner that works at the expense of creating intimacy for the long run.
I have been told over and over again that I am wise, that I write well, that I explain complex things clearly, that I inspire people to be their best selves, that I hold huge amounts of space for people to grow into their best selves.
People who work with me become confident in their own authority; good at holding their boundaries/bottom lines; courageous enough to ask for what they want and offer their services; and resilient in the face of rejection. These are the fundamental capacities required for courageous conversations.
I create spaces for truth-telling with compassion and teach others how to do the same.
The world needs my gifts.
Somewhere along the line, I acquired some beliefs that are holding me back. I don’t know where all of them came from. Some seem just to have been the water I was swimming in or the air that I breathed. Others, I can tell stories about when and how I came to adopt them as beliefs.
The truth is that it doesn’t matter how I came to adopt these beliefs, they are currently stopping me from serving the greater good and I must cut them loose and reject them.
For some of them, there is no heavy weight to the belief and I know that simply identifying the belief and starting to question it is all it will take to start releasing its power over me. The ones that I know came from things my parents said are a little more challenging. I must find ways to acknowledge that my parents always had my best interests in mind (they did – they are amazing people with the most generous hearts) and had no idea that I would take something they said and make a fortress with it to imprison myself. I did the fortress building all by myself.
What Must Be Sacrificed
I must sacrifice the following limiting beliefs:
- The world doesn’t want my gifts.
- I am too big.
- Only selfish jerks want people to pay attention to them.
- No one will pay to learn the information, approaches, and understandings I have to offer.
- Making money requires playing safe.
- Changing my beliefs requires rejecting people who love me.
The New Vision
Sacrifice alone is not enough. I must work to replace those beliefs with new, empowering beliefs.
The world needs my work. Other people see value in my work. People will pay to learn how to have courageous conversations in service of their values.
In fact, this moment in history needs my skills as much as any period in history ever has.
I must be willing to stand boldly in the public realm and offer my skills to all who seek solutions to the complex challenges of the world and the people who live in it.
There is no time to play small or wait around.
My time is now.
The money will be there.