On this day, I was born.
It was dark and stormy night. Waves as high as mountains. Crashing against our ship. There was lightning that lit up the ocean with atomic explosions. Deep beneath the sea were creatures which the world had yet to know. Mutiny hung like a low haze on the deck of the ship. Treasure was the motivator. Fear the master.
As the journey continued, a squall the likes the world had never seen came it's pound of flesh. Some say hell had risen to match the power of the ship. Others said it was God testing their faith, either one, devastation was imminent.
My mother, lie on a sack of rice in the belly of the ship. There my father acted as guard to any unplanned intrusions. With only a candle, non-potable water, and a rusty spoon, the wet nurse tried her best to keep my mother calm.
Little did they know the opposite of calm was about to take place. The captain, drunk on his own power, refused maps. He refused warnings. He refused to listen to the angels weep at the calamity he was about to make. And it was at the last thunder strike, of the last hour, of the last minute, of the last second did he realize the colossal error he made.
The ocean ran out.
In front of him was North America. And for him, it was judgment day.
Impact! The ship shredded against the rocks. My mom in labor. Dad guarding the door. The demons below and the angels above. All paused for one brief second before annihilation.
It was at that second I was born. My body thrust out of my mother. Shot out, carried by the winds of destiny, I landed on a rock. Standing. Hands placed on my hips. Full head of hair. Some say like a lion. Others, a golden fleece.
My first words? A roar. A roar that tore the flesh off any living being within a 100 mile radius. The sun wept. New stars born. And I, Bryce Thomas Kennedy, had arrived.
On this day, I was born.
Choice is big. It is massive. It is essential. It is crucial.
We can forget we have a choice. To walk away. To stand up. To demand. To stop. To ignore. To forgive. To fight. To leave. To stay.
And when we give that choice away, it often comes out as blame. Or as we had no choice at all.
But for the most part, it is a choice.
The homework now is to become conscious of when we are allowing someone else to make the choice for us.
Which is fine. But choose to let them choose.
Either way, it's your choice.
Half in and half out. It's a safe way to live. Not too much commitment one way or the other. Not choosing. Hedging your bets. If one fails, you always have a backup.
That's fine. To a point. Until...it's not fine anymore.
Until you feel burnt out. Fractured. Not whole.
But why do we do it? Why do we not commit?
Fear. What if I fail? What if I'm not good enough? What if, what if, what if?
Those are fair questions. But the truth is, if you are half in and half out, you aren't fully living. It's a half life.
So what do you do? Choose. It's simple but damn is it hard. It can be brutal. But not choosing is how you die. Trust me, I lived a huge chunk of my life by never choosing. Always living in this weird grey area.
On the night before my wedding, I was speaking to my father in law who is ex-FBI. I was talking about work, life, afraid of making the wrong choices (not regarding my marriage of course). And I asked how he made his decisions, especially when people's lives were on the line.
And he said this, "You choose. It might not be right but you just have to fucking choose. And then own it."
Maybe the real problem is that nowadays we aren't forced to choose. We can live this safe, complacent life, half in, half out life. Well, what if your life depended on it? What if it did matter, right NOW?
What would you fucking choose?
And then do it.
Some of the most profound moments in my life were the most subtle.
A subtle ping to turn left instead of right.
A subtle idea to say this instead of that.
A subtle opening in the heart that allowed me to see someone in a different light.
A subtle moment of gratitude.
A subtle breath, gaze, laugh, smile.
In a world of bigger is better. More, more, more. And brighter, shinier, louder. Subtle becomes precious.
It's a shedding of the false to hear the truth. A moment of discovering ourselves amongst the chaos. Subtle is key.
Today, see if you can take a minute to go inside. A few deep breaths. Feel into the body. Listen. Sense. Open.
And let the subtleties of life unfold.
Fried chicken and ice cream. Sometime that's exactly what you need.
That's the beautiful thing about having a business partner that thinks like you do. We have very similar tastes.
We also have to be on when we are coaching people in corporate settings. We need to know the business inside and out. The problems from both sides. Then we need to dig deep into what the undercurrents are. What's being said. What's not.
Then we need to develop a strategy. How best to deliver this information. How best to elicit it from people. How best to create a dialogue for growth and change. Careful but not too careful. Tactful but also blunt.
It's about seeing the very best version of the person. Seeing they are at point xyz and we need to get them to point abc.
And we love it. It's the ultimate strategy game. It involves the brain. Intuition. Heart. Tough love.
That said, there are times when you need to step out of the office, let go of the strategy, the analysis, the thinking, the people...
And get some fried fucking chicken and ice cream...unleashing the animal. Ohhh hurts so good.
Then go back to war.