Truly Powerful People (357)

Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

Today a friend told me that I have the greatest job in the world. My eyebrows shot to the top of my forehead – “It’s a good thing,” I thought to myself, “that I still have a full head of hair or else my eyebrows would have kept on going.” I am fairly phobic when it comes to the word “job.” I’ve never understood it. Actually, that’s not quite true. I understand it as an abstraction; to me a job is akin to a root canal: I’ve never had a root canal and will be most grateful if I never have one. I feel the same way about a “job.”

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve waited tables, thrown bales of hay, dug foundations, painted houses, sold office products, unloaded semi-trucks filled with mattresses, cleaned chicken coops; I consider those things experiences, not jobs. There’s never been a separation between who I am and what I do. I am an artist. That is not an occupation, it is not something I leave at 5:00; it is a way of being in the world and I can’t remember being in the world any other way. I’m not sure what a day-off means. My dad used to say that he worked for his weekends; I used to wonder what that would feel like: working 5 days for 2.

My friend was referring to my work as a coach. She said, “You have the greatest job in the world. It must be so much fun to help people step into the fullness of their lives.” What a great phrase – and a terrific aspiration: step into the fullness of your life. She is right; coaching is great fun. And, I can’t help it; my coach-ness and artist-ness are one-and-the same thing: artistry is about the fullness of living, isn’t it? Coaches, like artists, help people see what was there all along: the fullness of life. I see it because I’ve had to find it for myself. Art was my Virgil.

Her follow-up statement brought gravity back to my eyebrows. She said, “You do it so well so why do you suck so badly at telling people what you do?” She laughed as my face bobbed from the force of my eyebrows descent. I stammered, which is what I usually do when people ask me what I do. This is what I know: if you are smart you will avoid me at the party because I’m the guy that will have you revealing your deepest desires 3 minutes after meeting me; you will have made a mistake in asking me, “What do you do?” I will say “artist” or “coach” and both will be equally ethereal. I will have no satisfactory answer. We will talk, your mask will come down, the evening will pass and you will leave the party wondering what hit you; you will feel better, fuller, more alive – or sad that you missed the dancing. Either way, you will hope that I didn’t record our conversation. I will leave the party thinking, “What a fantastic story!”

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