Your Circle Wants To Keep You Encircled

Your Circle Wants To Keep You Encircled

Your carnivore friends won’t understand when you tell them that you’ve decided to give up eating meat. Or when your drinking buddies find out that you’ve quit drinking. They’ll just see you as weird. Or going through a phase.

But when your actions show them you’re serious, tensions will inevitably rise.

Tension is a force which breaks things. In these scenarios it will either break your commitment to eating only veggies, break your resolve to embrace sobriety, or it will break the Circle which needs you to remain who you are.

Circles. Our own tribal communities built upon common bonds. The influence our Circles have on us is quite strong. Standards, expectations, and compliance. Circles aren’t typically an encouraging place to grow or change. Your Circle wants you to stay in the Circle, gravitationally pulling and pressuring you to remain exactly as you already are. That’s why you’re in the Circle.

The growth you want requires joining a different Circle.

That’s a huge factor as to why many people choose to never grow. They feel safe and even somewhat obligated to their Circle. They fear being ostracized so they stay exactly where they are to maintain exactly who they are. Even if remaining exactly who they are no longer serves them. Because that’s what the Circle demands.

You’d think personal growth and the changes that come with it would be a universally supported ideal. After all, we do want those who matter most to thrive and live their best lives. Don’t we?

Or perhaps our true motives are far more self serving?

Unfortunately personal growth often comes with a healthy dose of raised eye brows and resentment. As if your personal growth is some sort of de facto pronouncement that the life you’ve built within your existing Circle is now somehow not good enough for you. You’ve rejected them, they’d surmise, and rejection is never very well received by the rejected. Their resentment and hostility can even lead us to question our own worthiness of attempting to become anything more than what we already are, which, inevitably, will keep us in the Circle.

At some point you’ll find yourself at a crossroads. Will you remain loyal to who you’ve always been and to your Circle, or has your loyalty shifted toward who it is you know you were created to become?

Leaving stagnant Circles for new growth Circles isn’t easy. We are creatures of habit. We crave the comfort and safety of the familiar, even if the familiar is keeping us from creating the life we know we are capable of living. But finding a Circle to support our growth and evolution is extremely beneficial. We do become more of who it is we surround ourselves with.

Most of the important growth I’ve experienced in my life has come from finding Circles aligned with my vision of what I wanted to create for me. As my vision has evolved, so has my need to find Circles which support my evolution. New people, new situations, new opportunities…all located in unfamiliar places outside of my existing Circles. And as uncomfortable as stepping outside of the familiar can be, staying within the limiting Circles of “What Is” comes with it’s own degree of discomfort. Consciously deciding that comfortable stagnation is preferred over stepping into your own growth is the perfect garden for the seeds of regret to grow in.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve experienced enough regrets to know that I have no intentions of create any new ones.

In our ever-connected world, finding new Circles is significantly easier than at any other point in history. Whatever it is you wish to become or experience there are those who are also walking a similar path, who’ve shared a similar experience, who are willing to support and encourage, to collectively help move their Circle closer to who it is they wish to become.

Is your Circle moving you closer to who it is you want to be?

Moving forward. Staying put.

There’s a circle for each one.

Which Circle will you be a part of?

Photo by Pablo Guerrero on Unsplash

Flowers, Weeds, and the Joy of Regret

Flowers, Weeds, and the Joy of Regret

“Why not change the world?”

This was the first slide of the presentation as we began the college tour. With each slide the university showcased it’s long history of how by creating of a curriculum and environment of innovation and excellence their students had, indeed, changed the world.

When I graduated from high school, I never went on a college tour. I was lucky to get accepted into a community college where no one was talking about changing anything, let alone changing the world.

As the presentation continued, I found myself wondering if the students in the tour group understood how huge of an opportunity this was. I know I surely saw it, wishing Continue reading “Flowers, Weeds, and the Joy of Regret”

The Way Life Could Be

The Way Life Could Be

I hate being told what I should do.

Especially when I’m talking to myself.

There is an iconic sign everyone sees as they cross northbound from New Hampshire into Maine on Interstate 95. In white letters on a background of blue everyone is greeted with “Welcome to Maine…the way life should be.”

Maine is beautiful, overflowing with an abundance of natural wonder and inherent tranquility. In a state the size equal to the combined area of the other five New England states, Maine’s vastness and slower pace make it a perfect place to relax and escape the intensity and demands of Big City living.

Perhaps the sign is right. This is how my life should be.

I just don’t like the word “should”.

Should is the verbal hammer I use when I beat myself up for the mistakes I accuse myself of making. “I should have turned off at that last exit.” “I should have put more Continue reading “The Way Life Could Be”

The Benefits of Kissing Your Own Ass

The Benefits of Kissing Your Own Ass

It’s become standard operating procedure of late. The passing of a music icon disrupts the preprogrammed corporate music playlist of radio stations of the same genre. Now when I hear three songs by the same band or artist played back-to-back-to-back on the radio I assume someone has died.

That was the case recently with the loss of David Bowie. His passing filled the airwaves with his songs, his life celebrated through a lifetime of the music he created and shared with the world.

Sometimes hearing songs for the first time in a long while allows you to appreciate their artistry and message. Time changes us all and often with it our perspective of songs we’ve heard most of our adult lives.

“Insanity laughs…under pressure we’re cracking.”

Back in 1981 when it was recorded by Bowie and Queen, “Under Pressure” was lyrically insignificant to me. It was a great song driven by an infectious bass line. But I couldn’t relate to any meaning the words may have contained. The only pressure I had at that Continue reading “The Benefits of Kissing Your Own Ass”

Standing On The Edge Of Your Greatest Possibilities

A prayer and a parachute hoping to tame the laws of gravity and return him safely to the Earth below.

I watched in awe when Felix Baumgartner gave a wave with his right hand, stood up, and stepped off his capsule 24 miles above New Mexico. I watched the footage of his jump several times, more amazed with every viewing.

During one playback I paused the footage a few seconds before Felix began his jump. The camera angle was directly above Felix, offering an encompassing view of him standing outside the capsule Continue reading “Standing On The Edge Of Your Greatest Possibilities”

This Will Make You Think…#24

“I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.”

— Lucille Ball

Up until recently most of my own regrets were related to the things I have yet to do. Things I’ve thought about and backburnered or simply dismissed for various “justifiable” reasons. Dreams and ambitions never allowed to be anything more. In the context of our own capacity to maximize the talents, gifts, and abilities we all have been given, things yet undone is greatness unrealized. It is capacity unfilled.

What is it that remains undone for you? How much of your own greatness remains unrealized?

Today is not a time for regret. Rather, it is a time for recognizing and recommitting to fulfilling the divine promise that resides in all of us. A time to rediscover and to nurture the greatness that lies within.

Waste no energy looking back lamenting what has yet to have been attempted. Instead, use that energy to propel you to maximize all that you are capable of accomplishing. Begin getting done what remains undone. It’s the first step towards fulfilling your purpose.

It’s a great day to be you!