“Isn’t it nice to be human?” These are words that I often say when something goes awry in the normal course of life’s beautiful happenings. It could be a moment of forgetfulness, an uncorrected spelling in a presentation or saying one thing and meaning something completely different. It is these wonderful, unique moments that our humanity breaks through and reveals the simplicity and beauty of ourselves. Seth Godin captures this thought in a recent article, Effortless, and teaches us the magnificent message of these precious moments.
Effortless – When John Coltrane plays the melody early in the track Harmonique, you can hear some of the notes crack. Of course, Coltrane was completely capable of playing these notes correctly. And yet he didn’t. It’s this effort and humanity that touches us about his solo, not just the melody. Sometimes, “never let them see you sweat,” is truly bad advice. The work of an individual who cares often exposes the grit and determination and effort that it takes to be present.
Perfecting your talk, refining your essay and polishing your service until all elements of you disappear might be obvious tactics, but they remove the thing we were looking for: you.
We go through life giving other’s an image of ourselves, a picture that we constantly and fervently reinforce. We are strong, committed, focused, untiring and eternally enthusiastic. This is the person that people know and love. They take joy in who we are. Yet, in those singular moments when people see you not up to your ‘perfect’ game, they find in you the simplicity and beauty of your humanity – that beautiful, childish and imperfect you who continues to strive for perfection. They find you. The learning is not to seek and propagate those ‘human’ moments, but to give people that ‘you’ who is so beautifully unique in this entire world. As Lao Tzu tells us: “The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white. Neither need you do anything but be yourself.” As Godin writes: “… the thing we were looking for: you.” Be more than you ever dreamed you could be… and so much more.