Kindred Connections

friendsWhen you know your worth and what you bring to the table, it makes it easier for you
to place people where they belong in your life based on what they show you
rather than where you would like them to be based on
your hopes for their potential.

Hey there Legacy Leaders, Mavericks, Mavens and Kindreds –

Thank you for joining me here again. It is truly an honor and a pleasure to share with you all as you embark on your journeys to a limitless legacy.

This is the final installment in our foundation building series on how to create the life you and your family desire and deserve.  As always, my hope is that by the end you find a way to love big and live whole, so that all you are comes to serve not only your circle, but the world at large.

To date, we’ve discussed the importance of having a clear vision and taking consistent action toward achieving it.  We’ve delved into the importance of knowing yourself and how it attributes to clarity, and what kind of complementary kindreds you will likely need when creating your inner-circle so you can be effective and consistent.

Today, we’re going to talk about how to make new friends.  Not simply how to identify them, but what you will need to know and understand before you start looking for the folks who will eventually serve in your “Circle of Trust.”

You may or may not be familiar with the Ben Stiller movie franchise, which began with Meet the Parents. In this film, Gaylord “Gary” Focker – it’s as funny as it sounds – (played by Ben Stiller) meets his future father-in-law, Jack, (played by Robert DeNiro) who happens to be a retired CIA spy.  He has access to resources and manpower that allow him to pry into every personal facet of Gary’s life. Gary’s relationship is practically ruined by his father-in-law because at every turn he seems to prove that Gary isn’t worthy to be in his “Circle of Trust”.

Jack is very particular about his Circle of Trust. No one is allowed in (or out) without his say-so.  Furthermore, he is deliberately intentional about the outcomes for his Circle.

Granted, Jack is a little fanatical and overbearing, which ultimately leads to him being put out of his own circle, but we could learn a couple things from him about how we look for potential partners (in life, love, business, etc) and what we need to know before we do.

Be aware of what you bring to the table.  Do you know who are?  Do you understand your inherent value?  How do you see yourself: as complete, a work in progress, in need of someone else to make you better? Are you a perfectionist?  Do you hold the reigns too tight, or do you trust others around you because you trust yourself and your judgment?

Here’s a lesson we can learn from Jack. HE thought a little too highly of himself. For most of his adult life, his family indulged him in his beliefs about what was best – without question.  Questioning his authority meant questioning his intelligence and his integrity; it implied that the person inquiring knew better than he did. Though we don’t know it right away, Jack fears losing his family more than anything, which is why he enmeshes himself so deeply into their lives.  But his fear of losing them is rooted in his fear of failing them. For Jack, losing his family is the equivalent of his failing as a father, a husband and a man. It’s only when he lets go (kinda) that he gets everything he wants.

How you view yourself is imperative to how you choose the people around you.  When you know your worth and what you bring to the table, it makes it easier for you to place people where they belong in your life based on what they show you rather than where you would like them to be based on your hopes for their potential. When you trust yourself, you trust your judgment (and you know how to brush off the hiccups).

Before you go looking for people to fill your inner-circle, you need to be honest with yourself about what you want and why you want it.  Again, drawing people into your life is all about you first. If you aren’t honest with yourself you will invariably lie to the world around you. For instance, you may think you need someone assertive, forthcoming and articulate to complement your quiet, meek demeanor.  However, what you may really need is someone who exhibits those traits who can help you develop them within yourself.  This means that not only will s/he be assertive and strong, but s/he will also be compassionate, considerate and patient.  See how the relationship dynamic shifted a little when you added those other attributes? You no longer need someone who will simply do those things for you, but will do them with you.

Let’s revisit our friend Jack again.  Jack knew exactly what he wanted, but he wasn’t honest about his why.  Outwardly, he appeared to want his family to have the best of everything so they could be happy, but in truth it was about them having the best of everything so he could look good. Once Jack accepted that truth, he as able to step away from it and allow his family to have what they wanted.

When you’re honest about your why, you’ll find that things take an amazing turn for the better. Not only do people show up who want to help you, but suddenly there’s a synchronicity – a synergy – that allows you to go farther, faster. Be honest, get real and get moving.  Who do you need? Why do you really need them?  If it makes you tear up (or choke a little) you’re on-track.

Building a life of laughter, love, abundance that can ensure for generations takes work – teamwork.  You are going to need help; whether it be your spouse, parents, family or friends.  You are going to need people to sacrifice themselves at times.  But can you give as good as you get?  Are you able to return the favor?  You may be unashamed to ask for help when you need, but can you be equally unashamed to offer help when it’s required?  I’m not talking about unsolicited advice; I’m talking about genuine assistance.  It doesn’t take much effort to help someone in the way you think they should be help, but it takes patience, compassion and humility to help someone in the way they need and prefer.

Let’s revisit our dear friend Jack one last time.  Ironically, though this movie is one of the funnies I’ve seen in some time, it deals with some heavy hitting family dynamic issues – and in ways that make it bearable to watch…repeatedly! See, by the end of the film Jack has been put out of the circle of trust he started. His wife and daughter want nothing to do with him, and Gaylord…Gary, has decided that the pressure of being part of the family is too much, so he opts to end his relationship with his fiance and hop a plane back home.  Jack now has a choice: stand his ground and believe he knows best or alter his position and ultimately give his family what he wanted for them all along, their happiness.  Of course, he chooses the latter.  Now, Jack – who’d initially used every trick in his book to get Gary to disappear – will use every single one of his resources to get Gary to stay! Sure, Jack seeing his family happy served his ultimate goal but he had to be willing to sacrifice himself.

The same holds true for you.  If you want people in your life to love you, honor you, appreciate you, support you and contribute to your overall well-being, you have to reciprocate.  Sometimes, you even have to initiate. This is what I call having a servant’s heart.  It’s when you give freely, not expecting anything in return, that you receive most fully,

Okay, so by now you have figured out that you have a lot of work to do before you can draw the people you need into your life – especially where it pertains to your inner-circle. You need to know who you are, what you want and why you want it.  But, perhaps most important of all, you need to know how to be a friend.

Having the life you desire and deserve is as simple as having people around you who support your vision, believe in your dreams and are willing to help you get where you want to be.  If you want to surround yourself with such people, be one yourself.

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To Clarity and Consistency… and Beyond!

Knowing yourself isn’t all it takes.  You also have to know what you need.
Having a grade-A team of helpers can be the difference between
a life of struggle and a life of bliss. 

We’ve been talking quite a bit about clarity and consistency these last couple weeks – what they are, why they’re important and what they look like when manifested. Now we move on to how to actually attain a life of clarity and consistency – how to have what you want so that it serves you, serves those you love and serves the world.

In Clarity and Consistency – Part 1, we noted that clarity and consistency are the result of knowing yourself – your true Self, the Self God created you to be.

It’s a bit of an oversimplification but I believe people often fall into one of four distinct archetypes: The Visionary, The Analyst, The Builder and The Implementer. Sure, we embody all these traits at any given time but knowing which is your predominant disposition can be the difference between feeling content or stagnant.

But knowing yourself isn’t all it takes.  Yes, it’s a huge part of the puzzle, but the truth is there’s more.  When you know yourself you also know what you need from those around you. Having a grade-A team of helpers can be the difference between a life of struggle and a life of sublime bliss.

So who are you, and who do you need in your corner? Let’s find out.

The Visionary
Always have a million and one ideas blooming, but can never seem to get them all done? Always thinking about how to meet an unfilled need or create things that don’t exist?  As you’re trying to manifest them, do you often get distracted by something else that seems to be related, which needs to be addressed before you can move on?  You’re a visionary.

Visionaries are often eccentric, eclectic and just plain odd – at least somewhat, and certainly to those who are closest to them.  But it’s because of visionaries that things which were once considered impossible, or science fiction, are now taken for granted.  Think television, WiFi, microwaves, airplanes, trains, cars and telephones.

The Analyst
Is it easy for you to look at something and see what works and what doesn’t? Do people often accuse you of being critical when you’re just trying to be helpful?

The Analyst and the Visionary have a lot in common in that they both see how things could be better.  But, whereas the visionary structure things from scratch, the Analyst is at home re-structures things already in place.  Not only can an Analyst tell you how to fix what isn’t working, but they can also teach you how to use what works to build a brand, expand your reach and create a legacy.

The Builder
Can you see tasks in your mind like some people see pictures? Are bullet points, flow charts and color coded spreadsheets a way of life for you? Do you believe in communicating a plan effectively in order to minimize the need for repetition? Are words like planning, project, program, short-term, outcome, and data-driven decisions part of your standard vocabulary?  Then you’re a builder.

Builders excel as project managers and quality assurance specialists. They create charts and graphs like others breathe.  It’s easy and second-nature, a means of clarifying what needs to happen, when and who’ll be responsible. Builders are the backbone of every operation. If you want to see where a company (or a family) will be in 10 years, talk to the builder.

The Implementer
Do you love puzzles? Is life a puzzle to you? Can you thrive when you have all the details? Is information a helpful resource that lets you thrive rather than a hindrance that boxes you in?  You’re an implementer.

Implementers are often referred to as worker bees, but they should not be confused with robots and drones. It is true that Implementers are the hardworking, hands-on type. But don’t be fooled. Nothing happens without this group.  Visionaries may be the ones most likely to start it, but it’s always the Implementers who finish it. Implementers are the first-faces; the ones who meet and greet your public or enact the family plan. Implementers are loyal, committed and determined – but they won’t take your guff, so be nice.

Though these categorical overviews are abridged (considerably), they can help you gain insight into who you are and therefore whom you need in your inner-circle.  And just how can this help you to create the kind of life you desire and deserve with the people you love? I’m glad you asked.

Join me next time (lol) as I discuss how these different personality types can help and hinder one another. I’ll be discussing the difference between optimal, median and frustrated functionality within your respective personality and how to get the most of your natural inclinations.

Until next time Legacy Leaders,
Akima “Queen” B.

PS – I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic.  See yourself in any of these personality types? Did something click? Think I’m full of it?  Would love to know.  Leave a comment.

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Getting to the goal

Some people think that planning is the same as preparing, but the truth is if you invest in a poor plan you’re still wasting your time. Being clear in your objectives and knowing what you want, then taking the necessary steps to manifest that desire is the epitome of working smarter and not harder.

We all want things out of life.

Some want basics like food, shelter, and clothing.  Others want an abundance, more than enough…overflow.  Some of us want to make more money or build better relationships, Others still are dreaming of new experiences or how to relate differently to the world in which we live.

In these scenarios, there’s usually that someone we talk to about what we’re thinking. Some of us will even talk to…I mean think aloud to ourselves about what we could be improved and how we could improve it. Unfortunately, we can become so accustomed to talking about it that we place no real focus on learning how to manifest these dreams. Or worse, we know everything we need to but, for whatever barrage of reasons, never take the action that ensures their fruition.

And it isn’t intentional.  Right?  Who sits around thinking, “I don’t actually want to be successful. Note even in the least. I don’t want to be fulfilled”? Who? “I have no issue with this constant yearning for more; this need to be meaningful and feel like I’m contributing my best to the world around me,” #saidnooneever. Well, at least no one I know.

We all want to feel full; to live life and not just watch it pass us by.  This became especially true for me after becoming a parent. When I speak to new parents, it’s often the same.  It is now very crucial to figure out just how to do be the best version of yourself.  Not because you want to be the perfect person or the perfect parent, but because you now understand that giving your child an example is so much better than the best advice.

Being your best will have unspeakable rewards for your life, it’s true – but there’s something about knowing that being wholly and unapologetically you will help them do just the same.

Be honest, would you rather listen to the person who has some great theories for creating the kind of life you’ve always dreamed of living but has never achieved it for herself, or would you rather follow in the footsteps of someone who’s actually done it? Most people would say they want the tried and true example; someone who can tell them how to avoid pitfalls and leverage opportunities.

The problem, though, is that even after you find someone who’s done what you want to do and can offer some guidelines for how to create the kinds of things you’ve always wanted to see in your life, there’s no guarantee that a) you will have the same kinds of outcomes and b) that you will want those things once you have them.  But I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

You can avoid expending all your time, energy and joy trying to achieve success only to discover you don’t want that version of success once you have it – or worse, never see it in the first place.  You’re only required to contribute two things: clarity and consistency.

Clarity and consistency can save you quite a bit of heartache. Being clear in your objectives and knowing what you want, then taking the necessary steps to manifest that desire is the epitome of working smarter and not harder.

Abe Lincoln is famous for having said, “If you tell me I have six hours to chop down a tree, I’ll spend the first six sharpening my ax.”  He was referring to the importance of preparation.   Some people think that planning is the same as preparing, but the truth is if you invest in a poor plan you’re still wasting your time.

The best way to prepare is to know your destination, and you can’t know where you are going unless you’re clear.

Granted, sometimes the beauty of the journey is in the route traveled, but even the most scenic route can become a complication if you don’t know where you’re headed.  I’m all for “getting lost” on occasion, taking a random turn just to see what’s down the road – but when building your life (and your legacy) you want to avoid random turns at all costs.

Now, I’m not referring to life’s detours – those unexpected  twists and turns you’ll have to navigate along the way. I’m talking about moments of seemingly harmless passivity that masquerade as “going with the flow” and “just trying some things out”, which in truth are self-induced sabotage and deprecation.  If you’re on vacation and want to give some things a shot…hey, go for it.  But not when you’re trying to build a solid life – to create something for the special someone or someones in your life – you need to be clear and consistent. Period.

So just what do clarity and consistency look like? I’m glad you asked.

I’ll tell you next time.   😉

Until soon Legacy Leaders!

Your Lady Boss, Legacy Builder, Mommy Maverick, Sister Friend –

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