Here’s a fun challenge for you: if you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Before you answer, think: these words have to apply to all facets of your life. They have to be so innately true to you that they permeate your career, your home life, your hobbies, your relationships—everything. The words have to apply whether you’re talking about being a parent, child, spouse, sibling, friend, foe, stranger, boss, employee, etc. Everything and everywhere. You get the idea.
The first word will likely be pretty easy to come by. It’s probably already hit you.
I suspect you’ll find coming up with the second and third words a lot harder, and it’s harder because of all the tens of thousands of words you’ll need to leave behind. It’s actually pretty brutal to narrow it down, as the words must ALWAYS apply in every situation of your life. They have to apply when you’re feeling pure joy and when you’re drained and stressed out.
My friend and coach Richard Janes, an Emmy-award winning producer, challenged me with this exercise a couple years ago. At the time, I was the CEO of MV Transportation and recognized
that I wasn’t going to be in that position forever but didn’t know exactly where I wanted to go from there. To look forward, I had to look backward, which meant tying different, seemingly disparate aspects of my life together. Richard’s superpower is helping people understand who they are and have always meant to be, and with this exercise, he did just that. He provided clarity. He helped me see how I could use my words to shift things in this world so I can leave this place and the people I meet better off, not worse. It was one of those life-altering moments wherein, after all these years, I could absolutely, unquestionably see my North Star.
Parenthetically, my three words are impact, integrity, and insight. In all I do in life, I want to make an impact, act with integrity, and give or glean insight.
These words helped motivate me to write my book The Renaissance Campaign. I wanted to write a book that makes an impact in people’s lives. A book that would give readers an insight or two they didn’t have before. And a book with a foundation rooted in integrity. I can’t attest to the first two points yet, as only the reader can answer that, but I’m confident that I (along with my team) made sure that we absolutely lived up to the last word.
Love to hear what your words are and if this helps you as it did me. Shoot me a note or give me a call if you’d like, but definitely give it a try. Never know where it could lead.