When I was in grad school, I focused a lot on national identity and how it shifts depending on the situation.
Although it’s awesome from an anthropological standpoint that we can mold ourselves to better connect with others, from a war perspective, it can be dangerous.
All you need to do is clearly vilify another to convince people to identify strongly with a preferred group.
In a non-threatening example, it works like this:
- In New Zealand, I’m American;
- In LA, I’m a New Yorker;
- In NY, I’m a Central New Yorker;
- In Central NY, I’m from the Finger Lakes.
And so on.
You can identify geographically, racially, ethnically, linguistically, religiously, etc. What you are depends on what you choose to be in that specific situation in that specific moment.
Which from a business perspective just sucks.
– How are you supposed to capture just one aspect of yourself and stick to it?
– How can you create a coherent brand when you’re multi-faceted?
– How do you choose just one gift to highlight?
– And how on earth do you attract your tribe when we’re all so varied and changing?
Here’s the secret: you focus on a theme.
Take me for example – I “do” a lot of different things:
- I coach business owners on everything from their life purpose to their next launch sequence;
- I teach deep physical habit re-patterning under the name of yoga; and,
- I share mindful practices and meditation techniques.
Wrangling all of these aspects could be a business nightmare. But my varying outlets all have one thing in common – alignment.
- The coaching focuses on aligning the action entrepreneurs take with their vision.
- The yoga shows students how to align their postural habits to support their overarching physical goals.
- The meditation practices help stressed people align their breath, thoughts and daily interactions with how they truly want to feel.
Everything I do is about aligning. It’s about getting in touch with the core of who you are and what you want, then aligning your actions to achieve it.
Because you have to actively become the person you want to be. You don’t just stumble into it.
You evolve over time. And you can choose to be intentional about the shape and direction that evolution takes.
So the next time you’re thinking about all your different passions and skills and wondering how to contain yourself into a short sound-byte or tag line, look behind the obvious facade of what you “do”.
Instead, seek out the reason you do it.
What motivates you to pursue your different hobbies, interests, and activities?
What do you hope people discover as a result of interacting with you?
What perspective, approach, or knowledge do you want to impart regardless of the topic?
Dig until you find your common theme that ties your pieces together. The moment you discover you actually only care about one thing – you’ve just been trying to get at it from different angles.
Then embody that.
Allow a message to be your unifier and unleash your fluid, adaptable nature. Because your ability to connect with others on shared ground is what makes you a successful and happy human.
Be free. Be brave. Be YOU!