Wouldn’t it be nice to have an operating manual for how best to be human?

If the Lego Movie’s Instructions to Fit In, Have Everybody Like You, and Always Be Happy leave you wanting more, you’re in luck.

You see, in addition to being passionate about helping others do meaningful work they love, I’m also a personal development geek.

And while I really can’t claim to know everything there is to know about being human (believe me, I am reminded daily just how much I have left to learn), I have learned a thing or two from a lifelong obsession with trying to figure out why we do the (lovably quirky and frequently irrational) things we do.  And there are some truths that are simple, if not easy.

The truth about who we are

What I’ve found is it pretty much comes down to this: We are all amazing.  Breathtakingly, beautifully, without-a-doubt awesome.  And we all have everything we need within us—security, confidence, power, love, harmony, wisdom, joy, guidance, etc.

But we forget.  Inexorably, inevitably, tragically we forget.  As we go through pain, loss, frustration, disappointment, and rejection, we misinterpret events and lose touch with all these wonderful things within us.

The big mistake every one of us makes

At some point, when we’re young and not very wise to the truth of the world, we come up with strategies to try to get these very wonderful things back.  Strategies like people-pleasing, or power-grabbing, or worrying, or trying to be perfect.

Our strategies, which we might also call our personalities, feel like they’re helping us, but they’re actually quite short-sighted.  And in the end, they take us further and further away from what we’re truly wanting.

How to make things whole again

So the key, I’ve found, to finding what we’re looking for, is to begin to observe ourselves and notice which particular strategies we’ve chosen.  And then to see in what ways they’re helping us and in what ways they’re not.

And then, the most important thing we can do is not to try to fix anything or—heaven forbid—improve ourselves.  Because that’s just another strategy, and it hardly ever works.

Once we’re intimately (and nauseatingly) familiar with our patterns, the best thing we can do to reconnect with our amazingness and move towards what we’re wanting is…

…to relax.

That’s it.

You see, it’s the tightening—from fear, from disappointment, from stress, from pain—that makes us lose connection with who we really are and lets us think we’re anything less than incredible.

When we relax, our natural awesomeness rises once again to the surface.


Relaxing is simple, though not really very easy.

It helps to stop believing all the negative stories in our heads and start seeing things as they actually are.

It’s beneficial to take loving care of ourselves and connect meaningfully with others.

It’s useful to notice all the ways in which the universe is supporting us and to contribute to something larger than ourselves.

Most of all, it’s helpful to breathe.  Oxygen is far better than valium.  Relax the body, relax the mind, relax the ego.

Over to You

I’m curious—what do you make of this?  What resonates?  What doesn’t?  Please let us know in the comments below.

Relax Into Your Awesomeness

This is all way, way easier said than done.  I needed lots of outside help before I was able to begin to relax into my true self.  If you want to reconnect with your inner awesomeness, click here to join the next Pathfinders: a Group Hike and Discussion to Discover Your Calling.  You’ll go on a beautiful walk in the woods, talk with others like you, and get new ideas about how to find work you love.  Oh, and you’ll breathe fresh air.  Lots of it.

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