A Pokemon evolution is so popular because it maps directly with humanity. Yesterday, my wife called me her little Pokemon. One of the things I love about her is her uniqueness and ability to accept change. She would argue that change is hard for her, but she accepts me every step of the way as I evolve.
Evolution is a theme of the 2020s. The world has changed in profound ways, and I doubt anyone could argue against that statement. While many things remain, constant change is everywhere right now.
Our society is in the midst of a forced evolution of ideas, thoughts, and systems. Now is the time to make the world a better place, and for me, that means starting with ourselves.
My view of the world has evolved in so many ways it’s challenging to articulate the changes, but I’ll give it a shot in the following paragraphs.
Neurodiversity awareness and learning that I am neurodiverse is a key takeaway. Technically we are all neurodiverse, but on a sliding scale, I’m not in the middle.
I learned I have Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) due to my daughter’s diagnosis. I used to think ADHD was in people’s minds, but wow, was I wrong. As a result of having ADHD, I’ve struggled where others had it easy. I’ve had intense emotions throughout my life, and through sheer force of will, I’ve been able to conquer them, for the most part. I’m one of the lucky ones.
I also learned that I have Aphantasia. I won’t spell out everything here, but you can learn what Aphantasia is through numerous other articles. In a nutshell, it’s an inability to see images in your mind’s eye. I’ve always struggled with directions, geography, and many other human endeavors and always blamed myself. I’ve felt ashamed that I’m not as good as other people at basic tasks. It wasn’t helpful feeling shame, so I’m glad I’ve evolved through learning about Aphantasia.
Through these discoveries, I’ve become acutely sympathetic towards people with neurodiverse challenges. It’s striking how ignorant humanity’s collective is about neurodiversity, and I’m still very unaware of many aspects of it despite identifying my unique circumstances.
Voice is a word appropriated to describe knowing who you are and more. Finding your voice is a key phrase you’ll find in self-help, leadership and many other types of books.
During the downtime the pandemic has thrust upon us, my self-exploration journey has been intense. I’m sure my family is getting tired of me talking about myself. There’s a fine line between being self-aware and self-absorbed. I try to keep a steady pace as I walk the line, but it isn’t easy. I’m on the verge of dialing it all down a notch, but I highly recommend self-discovery to everyone.
Finding your voice isn’t very complicated. I’m slow to uptake many ideas on purpose, and I try to filter ideas through my principles, values, and beliefs. It takes time for thoughts to seep into my philosophy, so finding my voice wasn’t a direct path. I used to think the concept was a spiritual or psychological idea that borders on cult-like behavior. While it can be, it’s not.
My now succinct path to finding & maintaining my voice is as follows.
- Engage in self discovery & increase self awareness
- Discover and write down my guiding principles
- Think critically about what I do every day
- Meet my fulfillment needs
- Rinse repeat indefinitely
Here’s how I do these things.
- Write a journal and a self reflection log
- Keep a written list of principles and apply them
- Take on work that aligns with my fulfillment needs
Writing might not work for you. Writing about myself wasn’t easy at first, and not everyone likes writing. Drawing, recording audio, recording video, and many other approaches can work well.
Principles reduce decision-making activities and guide your actions. Without principles, we’re rudderless, and we do things based on need rather than desire. The more we’re living our passions, the easier life becomes. Almost every person we consider successful is successful because they love what they do. We define who we are, what is important to us, and narrow our choices with our principles.
Everyone’s fulfillment needs are different, and nobody can define those for you; it requires self-exploration.
Health is easy to take for granted. Approaching my fifties has revealed that I have work to do with my health. The 2020s have been a turning point for me in the arena of health. I’ve quit drinking, changed my eating habits, increased exercise, and tackled big-ticket issues I’ve ignored over the years.
If you’re struggling with your health, know you’re not alone. I had to face severe issues like Gout to get the messages my body was sending. I was bullheaded in thinking I could plow through my health problems while I merrily drank and ate to attain happiness.
Imposter syndrome is another fun condition I identified during introspection. I’ve found ways to cope with it, but it still hides in the bushes waiting for its moment to shine. I found that learning by doing rather than learning with intent works best for me. It keeps the imposter monster away by keeping me focused on a task instead of all the things I don’t know. If you suffer from this, drop me a line, and I’ll share more coping mechanisms.
If I could identify a single practice that led to better health, mindfulness meditation would be it. I started with basic meditation and found mindfulness meditation the most effective. Mindful meditation brings me out of the day and directs me toward myself. By practicing this way, self-awareness increased and has made change possible. Knowing isn’t half the battle, but it does help.
Leadership is a discipline I’ve had an affinity for all my life, and I still avoid it, despite being in a leadership position at work. I do believe that leaders that are resistant to leading make the best leaders. Yes, that does sound egotistical, but it is generally true.
I retain aspects of a reluctant leader and am working on balancing my leadership style. Leadership, on the whole, is more challenging than I thought it would be, despite having been a leader on many occasions. Leadership is often about balance, which I adore, so I have faith in myself and know I’ll be a great leader someday. For now, I’ll settle for being a good leader.
A Pokemon evolution of our own making is more satisfying than any game, and it’s the ultimate game of self-discovery, self-determination, and self-realization. Finding your voice is a beautiful event that opens up connections you’ve never dreamed of before. So many people have found their voice, while many more struggle in life. My greatest hope is that everyone finds their voice and unlocks their most significant potential. I hope you find your way, and if you already have, I urge you to celebrate your fortune and share your bounty with everyone.