This is the underlying question almost everyone has running in the back of their minds. Someone makes you an offer and you automatically ask it.
“What’s in it for me?”
Parents ask a variation, “What’s in it for my child, my family?”
It’s perfectly normal and most everyone does it.
So why is it a problem?
Because this question reveals a mindset of lack.
“Gimme, gimme, gimme.”
“Take, take, take.”
It’s the voice of the ego based on fear, insecurity, and a lack of abundance.
It’s victim thinking, not a hero.
I experienced this growing up.
It was like life was an all you can eat buffet.
But “You better get your money’s worth.”
It’s why cruise ship guests put on their “buffet pants.”
Or the advice of some who say, “don’t fill your plate with the cheap stuff, grab the good stuff.”
Now, what if we could shift this to the opposite?
What if we could change the question?
“What’s in it for me?”
“How can I help?”
By asking this new question, there is an assumption of abundance. This question assumes you have the power, capacity, and ability to help. It’s a powerful question. You are tapping into your true gifts. It comes from a deeply spiritual place, not your ego. There is more than enough to share.
We’ve all had ups and downs in our lives. I personally experienced many magical miracles. And then flipped to complete despair.
What I’ve noticed is the presence of the first question and not the latter. Mindset is the key.
So what is mindset?
A mentor of mine recently gave me an amazingly simple definition:
“Mindset is the voice(s) in your head.”
That’s so true. I hear my parents, teachers, and even people I don’t care for speaking in my head.
Who put these voices in our heads?
They get installed automatically throughout life. Parents. Teachers. Relatives. Caregivers. Friends. Facebook. The media…
The thing is, unless you are aware, you are being programmed all the time. If you let it wash over you daily without consciousness, you are installing these voices. The prevailing mindset of lack, poverty, and despair.
The good news is, you can reinstall new voices. It’s like upgrading your internal operating system to the latest, greatest version. You choose your own voice.
Tomorrow, my son turns sixteen. Sixteen! We’re about to start visiting colleges. Think about focus of study. Plan out a course for life.
What I want most for him is to flip the questions. Ask more empowering ones.
“How can I help?”
“What can I offer the world?
What was I born to do?
What are my gifts?
What makes me the only one?”
A Lifetime of Questions
Of course, questioning goes on for a lifetime.
We never completely know. We are always discovering.
The journey of life and success IS the journey of discovering the answers to this question. Life is self-discovery. And this question can change your life.
How can I help?
I hope this awakens something inside of you. New voices = new life. This goes beyond parenting, music, education, business, whatever. This is for you. And through you, you will light up the world.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and place it under a basket, but place it on a lamp-stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine, so that they may see your good works…” – Matthew 5:14. the Bible
Or Releasing The Fears And Rules Of Others To Get Back To Your True Self
I’ve recently realized I need to draw/doodle for my own sanity. Back in high school, I was a pretty good visual artist and actually had to choose art or music as a career path.
I chose music, but I’ve felt something amiss in not drawing anymore. I didn’t feel like I had permission to waste time doodling or drawing – there was work to be done! [Note: You could insert any activity here really: drawing or painting or writing songs or anything you passionately love.] But yet, it was like a part of me kept bugging me, like a piece of grit in my gut that was forming itself into a pearl.
I’ve always envied the life of the independent cartoonist. I was never really into comic books like Spiderman or Marvel stuff. Instead, I was attracted to people like Bill Watterson (of Calvin and Hobbes fame) and Gary Larson (The Far Side) who could command their own worlds and enjoyed international fame and fortune. But problem is, I couldn’t really see myself writing and drawing my own comics.
A Seed Is Planted
Years ago, I read Hugh Mcleod‘s amazing book Ignore Everybody. I was so envious, jealous even! How did he escape the big ad agency and claim his own life! At the time I was still involved with interactive advertising world. And to think that Hugh was not even an Art Director, but a Copywriter who drew these crude cartoons! Though I didn’t do anything about it, it planted a seed deep within me.
About a year and a half ago, I came across a book about this process called Zentangle which had this entire process of making simple abstract art from rules. It was like a drawing meditation and I started to play around with it and found I really liked it. I also got to buy myself some really cool pens and pencils!
This was fun, but it still felt a little bit like I was wasting time and needed to go and do real work. It’s amazing what your previous programming does to you. I was hearing the voices of authority in my head from parents, teachers, society, etc. But, it felt so fun! And, I was only doing a little bit each day. It’s like my version of sitting on the couch watching television, which I don’t really do.
Then I came across this great book, the Sketchnote Handbook about note-taking using drawings! This was so cool! It’s kind of like giving myself permission to draw because I was doing some thinking work at the same time. (Or I was note-taking at a meeting or I was learning a new subject.) This also re-awakened in me an awareness of hand lettering and calligraphy, something I used to know about back when I was a teenager.
Starting to feel a little inspired, I bought this great book called Creative Lettering, Techniques and Tips from Top Artists by Jenny Doh. It was actually hard for me to justify doing this, so I think I used some points to purchase this book. And what a breath of fresh air! It is a review of beautiful lettering by many different artists. I loved it so much, I started to add little lettering features to my daily list of lesson plans for my music students.
Here’s some examples.
Then about a week ago, I was in a coffee shop and came across an artist sketching some beautiful abstract designs in his notebook. It turns out, he does this just for fun too. He has a real job in technology, but you could tell this really turned him on. We spoke a long time about ideas, letting go, pens, paper and giving yourself permission.
It seems that we often don’t honor our true nature. Instead of doing what feels good and right, I was trying to do the “right thing,” which paradoxically is not so. The other thing I haven’t been doing enough of is writing fiction. But that’s another long post!
I Give In
So I’m going to start a series of hand lettered designs. I live in Brooklyn and it’s apparently the center of the Universe, according to those who live here. 🙂 So stay tuned for my series of hand drawn Brooklyn. I’m feeling better already. It’s like going through life with one arm tied behind your back. Now to get the kinks out and get the blood flowing again!
Wow. There’s so many books in this space of marketing and I usually read to find the one idea that will make a difference. This book is unique in that it really lays out a whole philosophy on how to approach all things communication. Highly recommended.