February 26, 2011

Simply Be Your Best

Day 57: 25.9 miles/1:28

 “To do a common thing, uncommonly well, brings success.” ~ H. J. Heinz

Since today’s ride was number 57, I couldn’t resist the desire to find a quote from the originator of the most familiar “57”, H.J. Heinz himself.  Considering the basic nature of his most famous product, Ketchup, there is little surprise that this quote is also pretty basic.

When you really think about it being awesome does not require much.  It simply involves a commitment to do what we do best, at our best.  After all, we have been given a set of unique talents, skills, and abilities that enable us to be the best at who we are.  And, it is our passion and our purpose that needs to drive us every day.  We do not need to be the next great [fill in the blank], all we need to focus on doing is being the best us we can be.

Over the past few years as I struggled to find footing relative to my passion and purpose, I continued to try to invent or create something that would elicit high praise from my fans, contacts and friends. I spent more time complicating my passions with something that sounded, looked, and felt awesome.  After every iteration I was still limited by the feeling that it was not enough.  I was struggling with creating something unique from outside of my being.  Once I discovered that being awesome existed within me, I began to feel empowered to do what I do best – be myself in the most sincere, authentic, and giving way.  I am still learning in this regard; however, the difference it has made in my ability to be the best me has taken enormous pressure off of creating something special.

I have conversations with people all the time who underestimate the power and strength of their “common” uniqueness.  How we leverage our simple, but powerful, skills in concert with our passion and purpose defines our success.  When I would talk to Brandon about writing his music or sharing his songs, he often struggled with his perceived normalness of it.  He had this fear-based self-talk that it wasn’t unique, special, or big enough.  How did he know?  It was his.  He owned it, designed it, created it.  It was music that lived within him and was his passion.  How bad could it be?  Success is defined by how passionately we embrace our skills and abilities to do what we do best.  His music cannot be bad because he made the commitment to make it great because he was great.

It reminds me of a blog I wrote about Susan Boyle entitled “She Didn’t Know She Was Supposed to Fail.”  She went on stage with all her energy, passion, and commitment to a desire to sing and perform.  No one expected her to be successful when she walked on stage, nonetheless become an iconic pop star.  All she desired to do was do a common thing—perform a song–uncommonly well. Look what happened.  What was unpredictable became an inspirational success story.

Realizing success is not very complicated.  We often make it far too complex and difficult.  Simply do what you do best, very well, and you will realize your mission.  Get busy on being your best – the rest is simply details!

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About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.