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You're going to be awesome

Thought for the week: you know you’re going to be awesome.

I’m heading off to deliver a week’s work for a new client. It’s a short-notice commission that has had me working stupid hours to get the prep done but we’re just about there and rather than being nervous or worried about it as I might have been a year ago, I’m actually looking forward to it.

In my post-box yesterday, I found a card from a very wise friend of mine that read: “Good luck with it… You know you’ll be awesome.”

I love that!

Ok, yes, I love the fact that he’s the thoughtful kind of guy that sends stuff like that. Who doesn’t want a cheerleader? But I also love the message. It says: good luck with the thing; you know you’ll be awesome. It makes a distinction. That separation between ‘the thing’ and ‘ourselves’ is something we so often overlook. There is no reason why, when we show up to do whatever it is we do, that we cannot be absolutely awesome, but find it still doesn’t go so well because Lady Luck wasn’t on our side, or the Fates, or the weather, or the audience, or the rail network or the stock exchange or whatever it is that might disrupt our end result.

My late partner never sent me ‘good luck’ messages – ostensibly on the grounds that “you don’t need it”. A lovely thought, but…

...but I do.

We all need luck. Hard as we work, talented as we may be, there will always be that element of random chance, a meeting with someone, a connection, or a connection missed, upon which everything else could turn.

There are the shoulder-slopers who never accept that anything is ever their fault – that there is always someone or something else to blame – but they are not the norm. Most of us turn up wanting to do a good job and worrying that we might not hit the mark. We worry about all of the things that could go wrong, all of the things that will stop us being the brilliant shining star we all aspire to be, howsoever we might personally define ‘shining’ and ‘star’ – we don’t all want to be centre stage after all. Even if we choose to hide away in the back row of the chorus, we still worry that if it doesn’t go well, that will be because we were not good enough. We worry that we will fail - fail ourselves, fail everybody else.

What a burden we place on our own shoulders when we do that. After all, how much influence do we have over whatever it is we are trying to do?

The actor Dennis Quaid once said that “You have as much control over what happens to you as a donkey tied to a tree; you can swish your tail and get some flies off, but that’s about it.” I don’t agree with that, but it is the case that there are myriad things we cannot control. Some of those things will affect our day, some of them may well determine the outputs and outcomes of whatever we’re putting our energies into – but they’ll have less of a chance of doing so if we do put our energies and creativity and curiosity and skill and knowledge and heart and passion into what we do. We can stack the odds in our favour. We can be awesome.

We can choose to be awesome. Do the work, be authentic, share the passion. Be committed. Focus on the task. Remember why you’re doing it. Keep at it. Keep learning. Stay curious. Engage and enjoy the moment. That’s all it takes to be awesome.

If folk are not duly awestruck, maybe that’s them, not you. Maybe on another day they would have been. Maybe a different bunch of people would have been.

Yes, we all need the stars to align and the Lady to smile on us for it all to come together perfectly – but I think we also need to remember that even on the days when it doesn’t, we might still have been awesome

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