When I began 'being myself for a living' eighteen years ago, people often reacted to my message with a "yes, but..." They knew it was optimal, said it was visionary and confessed that they aspired to it, yet they focused on reasons why it was difficult, impractical or unlikely. Now, it has come into mainstream consciousness.
Speak to young adults today and it's in their language, built into their approach to life, immediately accessible for their articulation. Look at the world today and you'll see that the need is more pressing, the opportunity more abundant and the inclination more intense than ever. Companies desire it and individuals demand it. The time has come, wherever you work, to be yourself for a living.
In the interview I did this morning on breakfast television, the youthful presenter was in the sweet spot, sharing how all of his diverse and creative endeavours are integrated by simply being himself, giving him an effortless edge. "It takes a while to get there," he added, 'but it's what everyone should do." He is doing it and, in the public eye, demonstrating and exemplifying it. The camera crew even said that about him afterwards.
He asked me on screen to help people do it. I said that we all know intrinsically how to. It's a knack that we all need to find for ourselves by using our own aptitude and intelligence. It's all feel. You take risks, explore passions, experience and evolve. It's in-born but conditioned away, so effectively you find your way back to yourself.
You live in a creative and enterprising way as an entrepreneurial artist aligned with the vision of the organisation you are in. You explore your talents, of which we each have at least five, and express yourself using them, at the office and beyond. Without that you are frustrated and unfulfilled. With it you are balanced, each passion and talent informing the others and all of them weaving together into your unique personal brand. And this is what also grows the collective.
You live increasingly in the present. The now activates your full intelligence, drawing you out of your heavy thinking about the past and the future into the lightness and lift of the only time there really is. Here you are happy, relaxed, inspired, engaging, responsive, unencumbered by conditioning, and less susceptible to manipulation. You are in your power.
You take time to be still, getting to know and love yourself. Your confidence becomes authentic. You develop an intimate acquaintance with your inner guiding voice, which you are able to distinguish from the many distracting voices in the media and the sea of social opinion. A wisdom arises and infuses all you do.
You are on the journey of awakening, self-actualising and being of genuine service. You are leading others and influencing the world profoundly, simply by your elemental presence. You are being yourself for a living.
*Robin Wheeler Robin Wheeler speaks internationally, runs corporate consulting projects, and is author of the INSIGHTS series of books. He will be making regular contributions to Leadership magazine and Leadership online over the next few months. Watch this space! - ED