Who Are You Beyond Your Work?

BlogHer Original Post

I've been mulling this question over quite a bit in the last week. I was trying to figure out - what is that catchy post title that bridges the gap between the public tragedies like the death of Whitney Houston and our everyday lives? While I don't have a catchy title, I do believe the essence of all of this is simple, so I will ask you the question:

Do you know what you have in common with Whitney, Amy Winehouse, Demi Moore, the millionaires in the NBA, or < fill in the blank of any public figure...>?

You are human. They are human.

So what does being human have to do with career and business? Um, everything...because you cannot separate YOU from the things you do each and every day. In fact when people often ask me...are you a business coach or a life coach? My answer is always, "Well, do you plan on taking YOU with you to work?" I am usually met with blank stares straight out of a Far Side cartoon or Wallace and Gromit movie. (Go ahead...take a moment and visualize that blank wide, eyed stare with slow blinking.) My point is that you cannot separate you from you any more than you can make a rocking pot of winter soup and then decide to take out the salt or oregano.

At the end of the day whether you are famous, rich, poor, or just getting by, you are a human being first and foremost. That means you are not immune to the trials and tribulations of the human condition, the darkness and the light. Success and big amounts of money only amplify what is already there. If you were a generous and giving person before "making it", you likely give more when you suddenly have more good fortune. If you were a backhanded, evil, greedy person, you will just use your power to do more of that. We can be so quick to judge the "others" but it is just a distraction and a justification where we try to make ourselves feel better, but it leads nowhere.

For instance, I was working out at the gym the other day when the bank of televisions had on a story about Demi Moore. The two people working out in front of me launched into a diatribe about how they don't feel at all for that "poor baby" with all that money. While I don't have any opinion whatsoever on pop culture (frankly I rarely have a clue what is even going on because it doesn't interest me much) - I immediately thought - what is wrong with you buddy? Money, fame, or otherwise, people have challenges. Often the "machine" if you will simply exploits already existing cracks in someone's personal foundation. Don't you have anything better to do with your time and energy, like perhaps live your own life?

So beyond the soapbox, here's some food for thought for you to consider during the calm of a weekend. These are questions that are really worthy of consideration because they become your anchor point in good times and most definitely during the storms of life.

  • Who am I beyond all the roles I play in my life?
  • What fuels my identity? (Is it a job title? Skill? Lifestyle? Or, something more solid?)
  • What do I stand for? (At the end of the day what is your life about?)
  • What type of legacy do I want to leave with those I love? People I come in contact with? The world at large?

These aren't quick questions and it certainly isn't cocktail conversation. Yet I've found that when I use questions like this with my clients: Lives change. Businesses take off. Careers flourish.

We've seen it before (Lehman Brothers employes jumping out windows, beautiful artists self-destructing, beloved friends numbing out to life) and it is so avoidable. So be kind to yourself and others and realize that there is a common thread between us all. Take some time to affirm and get clear on your own values and who you want to be. It'll be your most reliable compass.

what you have in common with Whitney, Demi, and others

Credit Image: photographers of famous person via Shutterstock


Paula Gregorowicz is owner of The Paula G Company and The Intuitive Intelligence™ Coach and helps you learn how to tune into and turn your intuitive knowing into practical action for better results in your career and business.

Download the Free Report: Your Own Uniqueness: The Path to Purpose, Prosperity, and Playfulness at http://www.thepaulagcompany.com.

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