My Vulnerable Thought: Self as the Laboratory for Aspirational Success

For essentially the entirety of life, it has seemed as though much of the focus has been on where we are going, what we hope to be doing, or who we will be. From the time that we are young school-children, transcending all the way into the college age-range (where my biological clock currently calls home), and even well into adult life, our destination or ultimate climax seems to frequently surface as a hot topic. For that young school child, it comes in the form of “what do you want to be when you grow up?” The question starts to gain a bit more realism and traction as we progress, and begin our well-intentioned attempts to define our plan (if one could even call this life’s journey as much). We progress to a point of more official commitment around this conversation when we enter into university, or trade school, or at least as we begin to narrow our scope of thought and action. We declare a major, we complete a degree, or a program, all of it, is looking forward. 

 I think that this progressed thinking is important, obviously. I sink hours into working with people and creating content around so many facets of life which I believe will set us up for sustainability as individuals. The thesis of this writing here is one that questions, and seeks to reexamine the practice of scaling toward a goal. 

As is the case with, oh just about 100% of my opinions and beliefs, vulnerability is the overwhelming denominator as both a means, and as a mode for this expedition that is your date of-birth till time-of-death. In this particular segment, I’ll aim to ponder vulnerability in a more refined practice, for the sake of this specific thought progression. 

Ask that 3rd grader, that high school freshman, that college senior, that 34 y/o corporate employee climbing the ladder, “where are you aiming to go?” (obviously the wording changes based on the targeted audience). They may cite an aspiration of being the CEO, or the leader of a powerful movement, or a doctor, or an author, or maybe even the president of something like these United States. All of these, can and will be achieved by many. They are phenomenal goals, with potentially phenomenal realities set upon their summit. 

But now, here is where my questions come in. This is where I need vulnerability to take over for me, and where I believe its super-power-strength can be found. In recent self-conversations, when I have considered my version of this aspirational question, and considered my authentic answer(s), I find myself returning to a thought which I believe can be so valuable for the preparation of oneself for the work leading up to success, and for success itself. 

The thought goes like this:  If I have the aspiration or the ambition to be something like the CEO of a large company, or the leader of some movement/organization, or the captain of the team, or even something like the president, how can I expect to do this, and do it well, without first making the conscious decision and attempt to become the CEO of my own life, or the leader of my own dreams, or the captain of my own actions, or the president of my own self? 

This is not to say that achieving the lifestyle of president or CEO is not possible without these thoughts, but it is rather to say that with them, are we not armed with a tool more valuable than any that we currently feel are required for these positions? Again, this is all rooted in the powers and fruits of vulnerability, my believed necessity to all-things life. It is the principle of building your action thoroughly and patiently through you, so that your actions are merely a reflection of your innateness and your purpose, that frames this entire writing’s message. The idea is not to create a one-track plan towards the presidency (or whatever your current perceived ambition is), as the true river that is life does not flow as straight as a man-made canal does. Once again, I will say, this is all about the principle of vulnerability being placed into a more defined method of execution. It is the practice of questions such as this article that have made the difference for me in many respects. 

The greatest conclusion to this piece, as is the case with the majority of my theses, is that it is not about what works, it is about what works for you. Life’s most elusive concept, but perhaps its most important nugget of knowledge, is that no one has the key or the answer. I experience, that the questions, in fact, are the answers…

And once more, we find ourselves back at a vulnerable thought.