I want to take you on an out of body experience.
Pour yourself a wine, grab a beer, or make yourself a cuppa, and take a seat. Melt into your chair and imagine there’s a drone lifting off beside you.
As it starts gliding higher into the sky, your point of view switches to that of the drones, and you become one.
You look down and see yourself sitting in the chair as the drone starts circling around your body, giving a 360° view of yourself.
What exactly are you seeing? Possibly two dimensions – your physical attributes, i.e., body shape, posture, bald spots, maybe a few flaws.
Then there’s the metaphysical – what are you projecting? Your energy level, self-esteem, motivation, attitude, your values?
How would you describe what you see?
It doesn’t matter what that description is to anyone else but you.
This is a technique I use often. We all look out and see the world from our own viewpoint, and this activity encourages us to go outside of ourselves and think about how the world sees us.
I see the world through my insecurities, struggles, and challenges. But the world – i.e., my clients, friends and community may see me from an entirely different perspective – hopefully welcoming, warm, a repository of killer dad jokes.
I hope, and I think many people are the same, that the world from the drone view sees me as doing my best – regardless of any inner demons.
So, what does your drone view show you?
In a recent coaching session with my client – a high-ranking finance professional described herself as just an “average and ordinary” person. Someone who tries to be a good person – struggling with a few challenges but doing her best. Pretty honest!
But what a dangerous description. When building Singapore into what it is today, Lee Kuan Yew said “To survive, Singapore must be an extraordinary nation. If we are ordinary (or average), we will simply not exist”. And look at it now!
You don’t want to be average!
The problem with describing yourself as “average” (as a wise mentor of mine recently reminded me), is that average occurs when the best of the worst meets the worst of the best. How good is that!?
My opinion is that our role in life is to do the best we can, given the resources and circumstances we have at a particular point in time.
That’s why I reckon we can’t be too overly critical of our (or others’) past behaviours or actions – assuming we did our best given the circumstances.
This state of mind allows us to be more forgiving to ourselves and others. To move on and thrive.
We are on a journey to be our “best”.
However, our “best” fluctuates and is influenced by our experiences, maturity, relationships, successes, and failures.
In a way, our challenge is to be good. Once we are good, the goal is to become better and then the ultimate challenge is to become the best.
But the “best” is a mythical state – something we will never reach!
How do we travel beyond average and through the journey of becoming good, better, best?
My mentor had more wise words for me: “Dennis, being better is about being and doing differently.”
Hmm. What do you need to do differently to become better and then the “best” parent, partner, employee, leader or community member?
I reflect on my own life and wish I was the drone looking down on me during the many things in my life I’m not proud of or could have done better! The drone could have given me insight and information to allow me to change.
So, take the drone view.
Get outside of yourself and look back at you.
Where are you now, and what are some things you can be doing to be good that allow you to become better and then “best”?
Average and ordinary sucks. Do and be better!