Confining, Defining and Uber

“How many persons confined to the torture of solitary confinement have gone mad-simply because the thinking faculties have lain dormant”!  Jules Verne

Let me ask you: Is the “what you want” the “what you want” or just the “what you want” until the “what you want” wants you?

For the last 18 months, I’ve been fairly busy holding workshops, coaching clients and functioning as the opening act for better known speakers. And, as a means of building a reservoir of stories for an upcoming book project as well as picking up a few mazuma along the way, I became an Uber driver.

Uber. What a concept! It’s a confluence of gizmos and intellections powered by some insane algorithmic coding to form an absolutely revolutionary, cohesive transportation alternative.

If you are a people-person, you will love driving for Uber. I found 99.8% of my passengers were terrific! There were maybe 2 riders that were less than great. Perhaps, they were having a bad day or maybe, a bad decade.

So many passengers opened up to me and completely shared their life’s story, their ups, downs and the lessons learned along the way.

The best part: nothing said ever comes back to hurt, haunt or impugn them in any way. First off, that is not my style. Plus, all I ever knew was the passenger’s first name and their final Uber destination. I call it the “veil of anonymity.” In this setting, people feel comfortable and are very revealing.

After the ride had ended and if their story was interesting, I’d pull out my trusty digital recorder and recount what was said to me.

I have collected so many stories that it is time now to write a book about what I have learned from passengers as well as my own Uber experience. So, in another 6 months, be on the lookout for “Ride-Share Secrets” coming to Amazon or a bookstore nearest you.

A quick Uber overview: Founder, Travis Kalanick devised an amazing system. However, he and his HQ cohorts can go a long way to perfecting their social skills. It is a system that, for the most part, is good for the passenger but certainly lacks any perceptible element of “swell” for drivers and the Uber staff.

If something goes wrong, Uber will get back to you-eventually. Fast, easy and compassion are irrelevant terms. And, under their current coding protocols, those words lack meaning and don’t compute. On a scale of importance, communication issues lack scant consideration; unworthy of concern or discussion in the Uber world.

Based on a recent experience, noted Author/Speaker Jason Jennings expressed his displeasure with Uber. In attempting to update his account information, every effort to input and revise his personal data was met with rejection and repeatedly unaccepted by their system.

In a recent podcast, Jennings made a very interesting observation. He concluded: when it comes to organizational progress, size is not the driving force. Today, the crown jewel of success is based on speed and how quickly an institution adapts to and implements change.

It would be quite easy to do a complete knock on Uber, especially in light of recent events. They certainly do have their faults but this piece isn’t the right platform for that undertaking. This is more about how I allowed their system to govern me.

For a long period of time, I became so immersed in acquiring stories for the upcoming book that I failed to realize how Uber driving was pushing me further away from my original purpose while, at the same time, draining me of energy and stifling whatever creativity I could muster.

Talk about a zombie. I had become one with no one to blame but myself. I lulled myself into acquiescence and submission; similar to the lobster in a pot that is slowly coming to a boil.

My goal was fading and without a dream, you give up on life and purpose. I had confined and defined myself by inaction.

I lost sight of my endgame. I took my eye of the ball. Worst of all, I had settled for the calm before the calm.

Perhaps you have been there. It is not a matter of overcoming obstacles. That is life. It is a matter of conquering self-imposed barriers.

Recently, I had a “Bardo experience”-the Tibetan-Buddhist expression for a state of consciousness between death and enlightenment.

No I wasn’t dying. But, I was sure as hell felt brain dead.

I was in “existing mode” of my own making; neither succeeding nor failing while steeped in a state of not-so-comfortable desperation and personal dissatisfaction.

Finally, I asked myself: Is the “what you want” the “what you want” or just the “what you want” until the “what you want” wants you?

In other words, I was ready to get out of my own way and shift into advance mode to achieve my original goal.

What I have learned is never allow the incidental to mitigate and diminish the essential, the original intent. It burns up too much precious time

I am way over the age of 50. No one is looking to 9 to 5 employ me.

For many, I have entered into the land of the conspicuously invisible and unseen. So, in order to again become a visible force to be reckoned with, I must create and re-create demand for who I am and what I do.

Entrepreneurship is my calling card. I am an Author/Speaker and Coach and very good at what I do.

Let’s face it, at our age, who has the time nor the inclination to buy into a pathology that supports incompletion and indecisiveness. I am not looking for a 5th place participation trophy.

I am ready for the “what I want.” And, I readily accept the invitation of wanting what I want right now and going for it.











Sampling the Exceptional or Settling for Mediocrity

“The person who seeks all their applause from outside has their happiness in another’s keeping.”     Dale Carnegie    

I can’t recall a time when so many people have opted for a life of settlement and maintenance that forfeits their right to maximizing the Exceptional.

To me, it makes no sense.  It’s antithetical to the American Dream.   It wasn’t all that long ago people took risks.  We were pathfinders. We journeyed to realms undiscovered.  We sailed upon uncharted waters.  We took flight into the great beyond, all with cautious optimism and utmost respect for the unknown, the uncertain and the unexpected

But, the driving force was the desire for self-fulfillment accompanied by an abundance of wide-eyed anticipation.

Yes, I know this sounds over-the-top romantic and the rantings of someone over the age of 50.  But, in reality, taking initial strides upon virgin terrain can dismantle even the most efficient strategies of preparedness.

When you get right down to it, you never know.  You just hope for the best and go for it.  Shakespeare once said, “It is not in the stars to hold our fate but in ourselves.”  Let’s face it, we hold dominion over our own destiny.  That disqualifies personal judgments linked to resignation, self-imposed limitation and aspirations abandoned.

I’m talking about passion, that inner driving force, that lacerates your very core screaming for birth, implementation and fulfillment.

It becomes your sole purpose for being.

Unfortunately today, there is a prevailing mindset that celebrates complacency, discourages success and consecrates the dogma of mediocrity.

Sameness is a killer.  It is an enervating bitch.  It strangles innovation.  Looking at it from another perspective, it is the vapid celebration for coming in fifth in a four man race.  That is a prescription-in-waiting for nonexistence with the debilitating side effects of cynicism, worthlessness and despair.

Enduring happiness and satisfaction are derived through personal effort and achievement; not by predetermined outcomes and equal distribution.

I am not an anarchist.  I don’t believe in “anything goes” and down-with-order. I believe in structure.

For many years, I worked in Radio and, as talent, worked within format guidelines.  It was incumbent upon me to shine within the confines of the format and be the best that I could be.  The payoff: the better I was, the better the ratings.  The greater the ratings,  the greater my compensation package.

Sure, I took chances.  In retrospect, sometimes I was 2 steps away from sheer brilliance.  Sometimes I was even 2 steps from god-awful.  But, I was out there doing the best I could without the benefit of a safety net.

Safety nets discourage the Exceptional and mute satisfaction derived from effort.

As a Radio personality, there was no place for settlement, maintenance or mediocrity..  It was not an option. It was succeed or being “shown the door”.  And, being placed “in between success” is not something to be relished with any enthusiasm.

If your goal is to be as good as everyone else, congratulations, you are now-one of the many.  You don’t stand out.  You are no longer a “someone.”  You have been relegated to the status of a “some thing.”  Instead of being unique and exceptional, you fall under the classification of inconsequential and invisible. That’s means you are a replaceable commodity.

Today, with modern technology and predictive analysis calculations, it’s all too easy to become disheartened and yielding to the findings of some statistical probability equation.  That could render a negative forecast for your undertaking.  Putting it bluntly, it means the numbers don’t add up.

Albert Einstein has said, “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.”

Don’t get me wrong, experience counts.   And, the capacity to forecast fatal flaws cannot be dismissed as preposterous.

But, if you have done your homework and still believe strongly in you project and yourself, then go for it.

Now, the past is a guideline that cannot be disregarded.  What’s the old saying about those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it. It is true.

However, analysis is based primarily on the past in order to predict future outcomes.  But, the past cannot forecast the future with total certainty.  Sure, history is a guideline.  But, it is only……a Guide Line.

Life is not a rubric cube.  There are permutations.  Life is filled with anomalies that thrust humanity onto some wildly improbable journey.

You can’t ignore the power of unpredictability.  Sometimes things just happen.  In fact, sometimes the best stuff happens by mistake; and that funny little quirk doesn’t compute all that well.

Ever go to the store where they are handing out free product samples?  Are they doing this to be nice?  Is it a way of thanking customers for their patronage by dispensing goodies?

No way.  Many companies understand the power of the soft sell..  Research shows when customers are given the opportunity to sample product without hype and hard-sell, there is a greater likelihood of product purchase and building brand loyalty.

Why?  Because customers come to their purchasing decision voluntarily.

No one pushed them.

It’s a variation on the power of unpredictability.

The same is true with Exceptionalism.  Perhaps it’s time to sample the Exceptional you.

What are your assets?  How can you improve upon your strengths and raise them to Exceptional grade?

Sure it takes time.  It does not miraculously occur overnight.  Exceptionalism comes with time and practice.

So, practice the presentation of your Exceptionalism.  If you don’t believe in your own Exceptional ability, you end up singing in the chorus of  Mediocrity.

Years ago, I had lunch with a good friend of mine, Reggie Brooks.  Reggie Brooks is a super-demand Author/Speaker and an expert when it comes to Real Estate Investment.

Being an Author/Speaker was something I had always wanted to pursue.

During our lunch, I mentioned to Reggie that I too had become an Author/Speaker.  But, there was no conviction behind my words.  At the time, It was wishful thinking.  I had not yet paid any dues.  I had no real podium experience. And, my words came across as shallow and theoretical.

Theories are what they are.  Until put to a reality test, they are nothing more than upgraded BS.  And, BS is the nesting place for the theoretical.

This is about Quality over Quantity.  You are NOT one of the many.  You are one in a billion.  So, tell me, what is the upside for settling for Mediocrity?

So aspire to the Exceptional.  Work it.  Work towards the fulfillment and employment of your Exceptionalism.

And, with patience, sheer determination and a bit of good luck, you can be the beneficiary of Mother Nature’s unexpected bounty of good fortune.

Now, this is not happy motivational talk.  Consider this:  Can you explain why meteorologists have such a difficult time predicting the weather more than a few days out on any consistent basis?  They certainly have every technological bell and whistle

If this is so, then tell me who or what apparatus can foretell with total certainty future success or failure?  It can’t be done.

What I am saying is hold on to your dreams, nurture them and bring them to fruition.  Don’t opt for a life of settlement, maintenance that forfeits the right to maximizing the Exceptional you..

What I’m saying is don’t you dare give up on you.

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