Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Who Am I?

I am struggling to not be myself in my new location and position - as if I know who "myself'" really is.

Long ago, I had a manager whom I revered as a role model comment to me one day on the job "You know Terry, I'm not really one to speak about conforming to normal behavior" (and he was not), "but it occurs to me that management will find it hard to promote a guy to more responsible positions if they see him jumping up and down and waving to folks inside the manufacturing facility." And so I took what he said to heart -or at least as much as I could to heart. I tried to double down, read the usual "how to be successful" books, try tame my behavior into some more acceptable outlets - and to be fair, it does seem to have served me well in certain aspects.

At the same time, I realized tonight, walking around the block in the 8:00 PM 93 degree heat, that this was not just a piece of advice that I was carrying around: it was a strait jacket I bound on myself.

Who am I? Who do I want to be? What am I capable of being? I'm certainly not traditional leadership or senior management material (so say the books) - but look at all the people who are now not "typical" leadership material. I was not deemed acceptable for the pastorate - but there is more than one way to be a light for God. I was not cut out for real estate - but you cannot be successful at someone else's dream, only your own.

Who am I? Whose ideas about me have I continued to carry around? Who am I trying to satisfy? And who should I try to be satisfying, except God?

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