Business owners never talk like this. It’s too revealing. But I’m not your average founder. And this is what life is teaching me:
I want to be more kind.
I want to be less self-serving and less self-satisfied than I was in the past.
I want to harbor less inner smugness. (a lot less)
I don’t want to disguise my vulnerabilities and uncertainties as much. Less image-projecting and strategy.
I don’t want to compare myself to others as much. We “know” that isn’t the standard to which we should be measuring ourselves, yet most of us do it anyway. It’s damn hard to resist.
That phrase from the 60s: Get real, man! Well, how about we all do more of that this year?
Allow ourselves to be seen. And, when we do, find out for ourselves that we get a lot more support then. And in doing so, also grow stronger precisely because we did. We develop the strength of withstanding any criticism that we may get. We can come to recognize that criticism for revealing our imperfect qualities only comes from those who are hiding their own insecurities. (And, uh, maybe we don’t want to let their relationship with themselves define our relationship with ourselves, with other people, and with LIFE.)
Maybe this impulse to become more kind now comes from facing some big challenges last year. To a far greater degree than usual, we’ve all gone through it collectively, together. In different ways, but at the same time.
So, we can respond by now reinforcing in one another a pull toward more kindness.
Life is hard. And everyone is tender inside.
I’d like to see us all be nicer and happier. Together. The two are connected.
As an individual develops, you reach a point where you want to be kind — sometimes more than you want anything else. Where that’s what feels most important and what we really want. Because a successful life is actually collective matter, not something we achieve and experience alone.