So often what we want is definable and concrete—the answer to the question that brings us discomfort, the tool or trick to ease an uneasy situation, a new app to make us more efficient, a new hire to fill a gap, a new strategy that works, and so on.
And yet, the reality is that what most often brings us comfort, ease and, yes, even efficiency, is to dance in the realm of true identity—the identity of self and the identity of a company or organization.
I use the word “dance” deliberately, as identity is not such a concrete thing. Sure we can create the crystal clear language that says, “Bam, we nailed it!” the amazing new resume, the new website, color scheme and visual landscape that transcends the prior design. We can craft our personal brand headline that wows. We can even journey into an inner place and touch a feeling that has lied dormant within us for years.
And yet, to bring that new (or shall we say not new, but rather an emergence of what was already there) brand image to life, it requires us to live our brand (both personal and organizational) in everything we do. And the best way to do that is to dance with it.
Imagine it like this: children at play, the energy of a team prevailing in a game as they emerge from a huddle, an artist lost in the act of creation, a performer transcending the ordinary to evoke deep emotion in others, and even the CEO holding steadfastly to a vision that gives rise to innovation in others.
The amateur pastry chef spending an evening alone in the kitchen perfecting recipes, the web designer investing in a new concept merely because she wants to explore a design that does wonders for her client, the attorney who practices deep listening even when it leads him down an uncertain path for a client, and even the accountant who sees numbers not as mere symbols, but rather a language that can be used to do good for others.
The connecting thread is the transcendence from doing as a means to an end, to dancing in the joy of doing. It’s reaching a state that many have defined as “flow,” —that place in which we move, create and refine from the mere joy of it. It’s the place where we do our greatest work, where it’s not about the money or recognition.
We can’t bring anything less than true authenticity when we’re in the flow—showing up for the work and letting go of the outcome. It’s because it’s who we are, and it’s how we dance in the realm of true identity.