If you randomly ask someone of any age, what is your type of super, the answer tends to be something along the lines of doing. The answer is usually followed by at, “I am super at art. I am super at basketball. I am super at improv.” Invariably, all the answers follow the same pattern.
Here’s what breaks the pattern…
What do you bring to that type of super? What do you bring to art? What do you bring to basketball? What do you bring to improv? What do you bring to your doing?
Being your type of super is an intentional use of words. My premise is when you know how you are super and intentionally be with it, learn it, know how it operates through you; it informs and impacts your doing. Know. Be. Do.
Malcolm Gladwell presented the case for being when he proposed it takes, 40,000 hours of intentional practice to get to mastery of a thing. When the switch of knowing gets clicked on, we can decide to intentionally practice with our knowledge to unlock what we bring to it.
Why Be Your Type of Super For Our Youth?
As a purpose coach, when the switch clicks with clients and they realize something about their super (one of the internal levers of purpose), the switch turns to a spark when they connect the knowledge to something they knew or a thread that began as a kid. There are lots of reasons for this phenomenon, and some are noble and probably appropriate for the time. But here’s the deal — the longings don’t go away. Sometimes they get muted and we feel them without remembering what the longing is really connected to. It feels like a foggy dream. We feel like something is missing.
If the adults in the village recognize this pattern, why not encourage the curiosity and exploration of our youth and let them unlock what being super really means for them? When a child says, “I am super at being a friend,” if we, the village impacting them respond, “great, what happens in you when you are being super at being a friend?” the child can replay and unlock what they bring to a friendship. What they bring to a friendship becomes a super that he or she can have adventures with understanding through intentional fun practice that I call fractice. What a child learns about herself through fractice becomes transferable skills that she brings to her doing. Does she listen well? Does she practice empathy? Is she a safe space for her friends? Does she make light of challenging situations?
When Fractice Becomes Doing, Purpose Is Activated
Any time we figure out, often organically, how our super is helpful to others and intentionally incorporate that into our doing, we activate purpose. During an Impact Theory interview, Jay Shetty described purpose as the hand, our extension to others, and something clicked for me in my soul.
Our Passion Is For Us, Our Purpose Is For Us & Others
The passion is an internal event. When it is shared with others it can be inspirational, motivating others to take inspired action, and it can also fuel how we extend our hand in service to others, whether we are paid directly or paid through an intrinsic reward.
The Search For Purpose May Be A Search For Ways To Authentically Connect Our Passion & Brilliance With Others
What if that is the real journey that many of us feel drawn toward? And what if the journey shifts over time? My purpose at 50 is different than what I recognized at 30. What if this type of self-exploration is modeling fractice for our youth? Understanding the pattern of activation with the response of being with it before jumping into doing is a powerful combination. Without understanding the pattern, one may feel a lack of meaning or intention. The pattern reveals intention and even before the intention reveals itself, a history of pattern recognition builds trust in the processes of life that challenge us before the reveal.
Being Is Internalized Doing
I was not expecting that one either. I market myself as a resultant. Being and doing are both verbs and actionable. It’s about which is our first type of action. For the resultants reading this, you may feel like, “ugh, wait for what?” The middle step of being takes as long as it needs to take. I don’t think Malcolm Gladwell intended for us to spend 40,000 hours of intentional practice thinking about what we’re going to do on the sofa. It’s like what we call in consulting, slowing down to go fast.
Slowing down to go fast means there is an integration step between knowing and doing. There is an alignment process. There is the awkward part of transitioning from the “old way” to the “new way” and who knows what that means until you start being with your shifts and changes.
What Is The Be Your Type of Super Series For Youth?
They are creative, super simple (no pun intended) workbooks for our youth from the ages of Pre-K/Elementary, Middle School and High School. The New York Times recently published an article that says suicide rates increase by 50% when schools begin. With many contributing factors that lead to youth depression and anxiety from various sources, the author offers that the triggers are communal or cultural. Three recommendations to combat this reality are free play, family time and mealtime.
Let’s reverse engineer a purposed mindset that already exists in our youth by celebrating it, practicing it ourselves, and being ok with our youth having fractice (sidebar, they are not making college decisions at 7 and that’s the beauty of being young, able to experiment without the full consequences of being an adult) and using our time together to ask fractice questions, “what do you bring to your super?”, “why do you think that happened?”, “what did you learn from that adventure?”
It’s counterintuitive for some of us. I planned to rescue my children from some of my youth challenges before they came to be. Sounds a bit crazy when I say it aloud, but it sounds like, “my children will never experience this,” “or I will be sure they have this, do that, be this.” And, it does not work. One, because I was a child making those declarations and promises and as an adult, my perspective shifted. Two, I am not present to the journeys of my children because I am still stuck in the journey of my childhood. Three, because some of the challenges I faced birthed the person I am and if I helicopter mom, my children, my children, and the world may never know the true nature of their types of supers.
Being Super Requires Support From The Village
Have you ever gone to a conference and had a wow experience and then you get back to ordinary life and you revert to your pre-experience mindset and behavior? The same is possible for our youth. If they have breakthrough thinking for them, they need the village, the adults, to be ok with them having fractice, being with the experience and logging in those intentional hours of fractice. They need to know they can have mini-adventures in life with the village holding space and safety for them. If he wants to explore being helpful and it looks like being helpful means being taken advantage of, he needs to establish that boundary within his being with support from the village akin to how Spiderman had to learn not to burn up his uncle’s barns with his laser eyes with support from his aunt and uncle.
And the adults in the village can have their own versions of fractice. In fact, the inner child in you would probably love it! Adults can peel back the layers of auto-pilot answers and check into being. Demonstrating being with our youth instead of the often-anxious energy of I’ve got to find something I lost, may prove more valuable than we can imagine.
To purchase Be Your Type of Super workbooks and gear, go to bit.ly/PurposePlace. If you are in the Atlanta area August 31 — September 1, visit us during the AJC Decatur Book Festival, in the Children’s Zone, Booth 623. Download a sample at bit.ly/BeingSuperSample. Download the schedule at www.decaturbookfestival.com. Check out the workbooks and join me in getting them into the hands of our youth and building communities that support them being his or her type of super!