I think that for early humans there was no word for I. Each of us depended so much on the skills and attention of others that to think of yourself as separate was dangerous. And so we thought of our whole tribe as a giant and pervasive I.

Of course, things changed as they always do. Our villages grew and our identities began to separate like rain slowly evaporating off of a windshield.

Just think about how terrifying that must have been. One generation we’re fully connected with our people and the next has we are alone adrift in a sea of choices and it only got worse from there.

The more we advanced, the more our wills became capable of creating whatever we could imagine. We created ships and statues and computers and 3D printers.

Unfortunately, while our variety of choice has increased our ability to choose has not and so we cling to political parties, religious groups, and online forum guidelines to fence in our wills in order to avoid the terror that comes with claiming the authority we truly have over our lives.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. If you are leader you can choose a different path. You can choose to see your patterns and transmute them. You can choose to observe your laws, your industry standards, and even your community’s guidelines and renegotiate them.

You have the power to step outside the narrow confines of your identity, your expectations, and your obligations and create something beyond what you think is possible at the very limits of your imagination.

You can meditate, do sacred medicine ceremonies, form high-level mastermind groups, become a minimalist, work with a deep coach, change your habits, experiment in your life, or do a whole number of others things to challenge your view of yourself and of the world.

But in order to do all that you have to claim your birthright of self-creation, you have to let go of the simple rules others have given you, and only take them up after you’ve examined them and only if you’ve found them to describe your reality in a helpful way.

This is the way of the extraordinary leader and it takes more than just a willingness to dream.

  • It takes a willingness to put your whole self, heart, and guts on the line and step into the wide open empty space of possibility without the assurance that the world will be there to catch you.
  • It takes a willingness to be raw and vulnerable with those you love the most.
  • And it takes a willingness to see the world and be seen by it, in all your messy human glory.

This is why leaders don’t dream bigger and reach higher. Not for a lack of ambition, but instead because they lack the will to move beyond the comfort of ordinary rules.

So who will you be?

Will you be the kind of leaders who colors vibrantly within the lines, dazzling the world with your ability to shape color and pattern? Or will you be the kind of leader who burns the book in order to light a fire of passion that consumes the entire world?

This kind of freedom is terrifying, but it’s also the root of the world’s most amazing creations.

Thanks to Jeff Riddle my coach and author at thegivegive.com for the inspiration for today’s post.