Collin loves his part-time job. He appreciates the environment and the fact he's always learning from his teammates. Most of all, he loves his boss.


However, the environment wasn't like this some years ago. The boss wasn't treating his staff with the same amount of respect nor appreciation which led to a high turnover rate and unhappy customers.


So how did this workplace change?


COURAGE.


It started when a young man took the courage to stand up and speak the truth even though it might create conflict and tension. A courageous parent who chose to support this young man's action because of being in harmony with their personal value is far more important than to give in and fit in.


Fortunately, the chain of courage did not stop here.


The ultimate courage came from this boss to admit, accept and acknowledge "I was wrong, and I am going to do it right henceforth."


Three heroes! Three courageous heroes who were willing to get uncomfortable to do the right thing.


Anais Nin, a French-American novelist, once wrote "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage," and I couldn't agree more!





Some years ago I had the opportunity to attend series of seminars with the intention to learn more about myself in different areas. Since the majority of the attendees signed up for multiple seminars, we were able to build seminar buddy type of friendships. 



We completed Myer-Briggs. We did career assessment. We discovered college major does not always match with what we're genuinely passionate about.  Since I talked so much in each seminar, I even got to present a workshop on entrepreneurship.  


Then the day came when we were given multiple Post-It to write what we thought of each other that weren't as apparent such as their upbringings, their educational background, their life outside of work and so forth. 


I grew up in a dysfunctional family.  If I were to find two words best describe my childhood, without hesitation, I would say fear and shame.  Once I got older, the fear I had evolved to porcupine-like defensive mode. And shame evolved into hatred. 


Outwardly, however, I appeared to be friendly and a likable person... until I sensed threats. The outburst anger would shock the living daylights out of everyone who was involved as the sweet angel turns into a raging bitch faster than a magician could make a penny disappear in his hands.


When I walked back to my desk only to find the majority of the Post-It notes stating:

 

  • A well-sheltered child

  • Grew up in the upper-class environment

  • Never tasted the pain. Silver spoon


Quietly I took these notes to the instructor who served as my mentor at the time.  As always, he put me on the spot without warning, "Everyone, go back to your seat immediately.  Diana is going to present the notes she received and reveal her story." As insensitive as it seemed to be, I appreciated the fact he gave me no time to over think, or to polish what I was about to share with my fellow attendees.  


Sure enough, everyone was shocked as I shared about beaten with the water hose and leather belts, kicked in the stomach, publicly humiliated in front of my cousins as a child.  The list of experiences I never wanted anyone to find out went on and on.  


That very same day I heard this inner voice shouting out to me,


Diana, you have what it takes to change that so your son won't grow up

in the same environment.  You can break the chain. 


And out of nowhere, Wayne Dyer's 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace surfaced in my life.  The book is small enough for me to carry in my purse as my spiritual supplement - I could reach for it whenever I was about to feel sorry for myself, or about to have an outburst, or wanted to give up trying.   

My high school Science teacher, Mrs. Pam Lathem once told me to listen to the voice that empowers my inner strength. It took me many years to fully understand it.  All of us have that voice to guide us as I now refer that voice as infinite intelligence. And only when our mind is at peace can we hear such wisdom. 


You are only free when you realize you belong no place - you belong every place - no place at all. The price is high.  The reward is great.  - Dr. Maya Angelou. 

For the longest time, I ask myself over and over again, "What the hell is wrong with me? Why can't I be like the others?"  It turns out, there was nothing wrong with me.


I am different because I chose to speak truth to bullshit.  I am different because I refused to choose the comfort feeling of belonging over stand up for what was right. I am different because I stopped giving a crap about what people might think of me.  I am different because I no longer find the needs to justify my core values. 


I will continue to be different as I am quite comfortable being alone in the wilderness


 

Must Read:

Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown

 

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