Is AWESOME in your Lexicon?
I was on a coaching call with a client the other day and pointed out to him how everything in his world was always only good or OK. It was never better than that. It was never great and it was definitely never AWESOME.
“Awesome just doesn’t come to me,” was his response.
“Of course it doesn’t come to you – you have to go to it! Awesome isn’t something that happens to you. Awesome is something that you choose to see. It’s a perspective. It’s a point of view. It’s an interpretation of what you see.”
Let me give you an example. Every year, Allan, my husband, works with middle school kids to direct and produce a play. They meet every Sunday for about 5 months to rehearse, choreograph, and block scenes in order to perform in front of all of their family and school friends. This year the play he chose was The Lion King and the performance was scheduled for March 9th and 10th. On March 8th, he asked me to join him at the last rehearsal to watch what he had been working on and give him some last minute adjustments. What I saw literally gave me a stomach ache. The kids were tired and yawning on stage, they didn’t know their lines, and I could hardly hear them. The dances were completely out of sync and the chorus had absolutely no energy or spunk. I could not imagine them performing in front of a live audience the next day – they were clearly unprepared. When Allan asked me what I thought – I looked at him with wide eyes and didn’t say a word.
The following morning, we were still in bed when Allan received a text message from “Mufasa” one of the lead characters in the play letting him know that he was quitting the play because his friends told him that they were only coming to see the play so that they could make fun of him and that he simply couldn’t live with that. My stomach ache turned into an ulcer.
After Allan put out that fire by assuring Mufasa that he would talk to his friends and make sure that they behaved themselves, Allan spent the day with the kids at the theatre, in costume and makeup, going over the final details. That night I came to watch the performance with the rest of the audience.
I was shocked.
The kids looked incredible in their costumes, their energy was sky-high, and they knew exactly what to do and when to do it. They came together like a team. The lead characters shone and the supporting characters made it all look good. The chorus was loud and proud. Somehow something gelled over night. Although it was not polished to perfection, the turnaround from the day before was staggering.
Watching Mufasa on stage beside Simba sharing his fatherly words of wisdom gave me goose bumps. In that moment I knew that the play was never intended to be a refined Broadway production, it was intended to be a vehicle allowing middle school kids to explore, experiment, come together as a team, and gain an incredible sense of confidence and self–esteem.
It was AWESOME.
AWESOME is something that I chose to see. It was my perspective. It was my point of view. It was my interpretation of what I saw. It was me looking past the actual on-stage abilities of the cast, and seeing everything that Allan had helped them see in themselves in the months leading up to the actual performance.
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