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Just Because You’re Good At Something

By September 12, 2012 2 Comments
[dropcap type=”2″]W[/dropcap]eek 6 is complete. Gonna keep this one short (I think). SCOREBOARD:

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Total Earnings

Driving: $141.00

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Bank Account

$149.11

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Bank Account 9-12-2012

Quick Story

My Dad is a weird guy. If you ever thought I was strange, then believe me, you ain’t seen nothing yet. But I digress.

There are many things to admire the man for, but I’ll choose one. He sticks by his convictions, no matter what. His integrity is rock solid, and is stubbornly unshakable. Those are mere words, but trust me, being around someone like that has some major impact on you, especially if you’re around them a lot.

Case in point. My Dad fought in the Vietnam War, and he was happy to go and fight for his country. He would’ve gladly fought in the Korean War, but they wouldn’t take him (too young).

Now, there’s only one problem with this whole “fight for your country” scenario. Dad is a pacifist. I mean real deal, super non-violent pacifist. I’m not quite sure if he would actually hurt a fly or not, but he certainly wouldn’t kill anyone if he had the choice. No way, Jose.

Adding to this drama, he just happened to be in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive in 1968. If you don’t know what the Tet Offensive is, then look it up. It’s considered by many who were there to be the turning point of the war. In other words, things got bloody for everyone.

And of all the times he’s been shot at during this period, he refused to shoot and kill others. Yet, he wanted to stay there, work as a mechanic, and support the American forces in any way he could.

Coward? Nope, he wanted to be there. Pacifist? Yes, but still a patriot to the very end.

Now let’s add one more interesting bit of trivia to the mix…

Pops was an expert marksman. He could take you out from a distance. You know, like, KILL SHOT.

Yet, he refused to use this one skill. And he refused to use it because it didn’t jibe with his values. He maintained his integrity at all costs, even when his very life was at stake.

Here’s the takeaway…

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Just because you have a skill doesn’t mean you NEED to use it.

Just because you’re GREAT at something, doesn’t mean it will bring you joy and fulfillment.

And just because you’ve done a particular job for years or even decades, and you get paid well to do it, doesn’t mean it brings out the passion and excitement that makes you feel more ALIVE.

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Thanks Dad.

The Flip Side

There’s a flip side to this lesson, of course. Let me illustrate.

This past Sunday and into Monday, I have been working with a friend who has a phobia of driving on the freeway (Back in 2004-5 when I had a ton of coaching clients, I dealt with many a phobia).

Now, if you ever had a phobia or know of someone with one, then you know how irrational it can seem, but you also know how REAL that feeling is when the symbol of their fear is present.

And many times the symbol of a particular phobia is not even related to the actual cause of the phobia. For example, in her case, nothing traumatic ever happened to her on the freeway. It seemingly came out of nowhere.

And before we worked on it together, she had already met with a therapist for some time and also tried meds to no avail.

Just to be clear, she CAN drive the streets and backstreets just fine, but when it comes to getting on that on-ramp, anxiety levels rise. And if she gets on the freeway, panic ensues, and she drives 40-50 mph while frantically looking for the next exit (I know, I was with her when I did my usual baseline test).

Long story short, after walking her through some exercises, we got on the freeway and she was able to go further than she had ever gone since that first panic attack. She still had anxiety, and was almost in panic mode, but not with the same intensity.

After doing her exercises the next day, she got back on the freeway without me, and although she still wasn’t going the speed limit, her anxiety levels dropped some more.

Today, Wednesday, I got the following text from her:

“Up to 65. Anxiety level 0.”

It’s been a couple of years since she was able to accomplish that feat.

I then asked her how she felt, and her response was, “It’s indescribable.”

AWESOME!

And here’s why I bring this up. As I stated earlier, just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean you should keep doing it, especially if it doesn’t make you happy, excited, and feel more alive.

But the flip side is…

What if you’re good at something that you’re currently not doing enough of (like knocking out phobias in hours)?

Maybe you ought to consider doing more of something because it happens to make you excited, happy, and feel more alive.

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What skills have you been shelving for another day, that bring out the best in you and others?

What knowledge do you have that you’ve been keeping to yourself, but if you put it out there, could impact someone’s life in the most beneficial way?

What activities bring you more joy, more peace, more passion than anything and everything else, but you don’t do them because more ‘important’ things need to get done?

What else do you have that’s laying dormant, but when awoken, will bring more life and beauty to the world?

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Next Steps

I’m working on various projects now, with more paid work coming down the pipeline for Value Detectives, once folks get their material together.

I’m revamping Wake Up Smiling right now, which may take some time, but I’m excited about the possibilities.

I’m laying the groundwork for products I want to develop, doing the market research, checking my excitement meter, and forming mind-maps.

As things crystallize, I will post more specific details here.

Hope you have a WONDER-FULL week…

Paul ‘Phobia Killa’ Campillo

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