Put out your ideas for humiliation and criticism. Your success in life depends on your ability to embarrass yourself. Let others into who you are and what you do.- Daniel Oliech
I happen to know a few friends doing stand up comedy. I met one over the weekend and sought to decode from him what life as a stand up comedian is all about. Because being a comedian requires a great capacity to stomach embarrassment and failure, and it requires constant reinvention to stay relevant and to continue to captivate your audience by your humor, wit and insights.
Life is about growth, creating meaning, purpose and beauty. But life is made by embracing imperfection, our raw potential and passion, to want to make things happen, rather just let things happen. Life is about seeking truth, finding truth and living it. But it starts by willing to let go of certainty and seeking the key that opens us. It starts by being willing to speak your truth even when your knees shake. Beauty is not in finding truth, beauty is in the struggle to find truth. Life is about risking out to create, we were put down on this earth to create.
To create is about being open to embarrass yourself. Because in seeking out to redefine experiences we will be criticized for our ambition, we will be ignored for our ingenuity and novelty, remember there are those that are seeking a faster horse rather than embracing the imagination of an automobile. If it is important to you, you must risk disapproval, you must risk being laughed at, for your courage to walk the unwandered path rather trudge the same roads that have led to the same destinations. Taking smart risks is about being comfortable enough to ignore feelings of embarrassment. Embarrassment is about fitting in with the herd, forgetting that the world connects and reveres the weird and that authenticity inspires tribes.
There is liberation in authenticity, in failing to agree to sell yourself shot. To manifest our highest most expressive selves, we must lose the fear that we might lose, the fear that we might be wrong, the fear that we might create crap. We are here not to live up to other people’s expectation of us. We are here for a greater purpose; to love, to serve, to create and to share. We were put on this earth to connect with others at the base of their fears, of their hopes and vulnerability. That is what being human is all about.
It takes courage to dream and greater boldness to share a dream with a world. Transformational leadership happens when we get hell bent on actualizing a vision, not just empty goals.
Stand up comedy in business and in life is about appealing to enthusiasts. Most of us are afraid that haters will hate, we forget that enthusiasts will embrace and may be, even start a movement. Stand up comedy is about maximizing happiness for the human race, when all we tend to focus on is the big bucks and the fast lane life. Stand up comedy forces us to ask ourselves, WHAT DOES FREEDOM MEAN TO ME? WHERE IS MY HAPPINESS? What makes you light up and awaken humanity in others, and cause others to reconnect to a part of themselves that they had lost or forgotten?
Stand up comedy is about grasping that ambition is about reaching hearts, not touching skies. When we have become defenders of business as usual, it is about democratizing focus and productivity, about dignifying passion though execution. Stand up comedy is about the days that we have defined ourselves as products, accomplishments, failures; it shows us that the ability to do more than one thing well is what human genius is all about.
Stand up comedy is about untethering ourselves from traditions so that we can allow life to unfold and the universe in its wisdom to speak and to direct us, to engineer its magic from its pool of divine coincidences.
Stand up comedy is about understanding that we lose the chance at creating different, when we fail to be different. It understands that enthusiasm and lack of wholeheartedness has killed so many a dreams and caused so many to trade freedom for a deadly cage of complacency and mediocrity. A comedian understands that it cannot be about comparison, it can only be about running your own race, being your own man. It is about self-preservation. Tuning out mindless chatter, doubting yourself, thinking that you are not good enough. You are all that you have. Preserve you.
“Remember, first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”- Mahatma Gandhi.