Turning into a Human Today.

December 15, 2022

Turning into a Human Today.

May 29, 2023

Yesterday, after a surf session, I paused to admire the beautiful head-high waves rolling in. It was a peaceful moment on this fall day during yet another surreal election season.

As I took in the entire scene, directly in front of me, seven young men were teaching each other to do standing backflips in the sand.

Doing a standing back flip is not easy physically. It’s even harder mentally if you haven’t yet succeeded. There’s little room for error. Flip too short; you land on your back or head. Flip too far, and you might do a faceplant. Flip just right; it’s exhilarating.

That they taught each other and succeeded in doing back flips was fascinating. How they did it was what impressed me. While there was nervousness, there wasn’t cajoling, teasing, or shaming. They didn’t do it to impress people or gain “InstaFame.” They did it, seemingly, for fun and adventure. And they did it with support, patience, and daring.

Amidst another election season of politicians selling unkeepable promises with bravado, the communal support of these young men was a refreshing expression of the path of communal growth and learning. I don’t mean to exclude women from this moment, as what may have been so unique to this group of men is they apply more feminine approaches — support and camaraderie — to learning and growth. Unfortunately, it’s a rarity among men.

THREE REMINDERS FROM THESE YOUNG MEN.

Growth happens in your discomfort zone.

Risk is the threshold to growth. If we stay in our comfort zone, we won’t grow. But if we step into our discomfort zone near-daily invitations show up, so staying curious and open cultivates growth.

When we’re at the edges of our discomfort we can experience imposter syndrome – the feeling that we’ll be discovered as a fraud. One way to reframe imposter syndrome is to see it as an indicator that you’re at the edge of your growth.

Learning and growing in public doesn’t have to happen with shame.

Thanks, in part, to Brené Brown, we’ve culturally pulled shame from the shadows. Too often, shame comes from the words and actions of others publicly within our families, culture, and community. I know this from my upbringing, and I suspect you’ve experienced it, too.

We accelerate healthy learning and chance-taking in safe environments by fostering a supportive community and surrounding ourselves with supportive people. Support heals our shame. We all have a choice to support one another in teaching and learning situations.

The Power of “We Did This!”

The words “I did this!” carry chance-taking, action, and accomplishment within them. Certainly potent.

“We did this!” is even more powerful, as it carries a communal generosity of spirit.

Collective effervescence is the joie de vivre that spreads through a community or group in sync. Collective effervescence may be the secret sauce to how communities can move the world forward in common cause, be it seven young men learning together, the MEA community looking to change the stigma of aging, or a country pulling together for a greater future.

“It is not the critic who counts…The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena,” Teddy Roosevelt reminds us. Opposite of the critic lives the supporter. One remedy to the fears of risk-taking in public may be the love and joy that’s enlivened through collective effervescence.

Risk-taking in public is a rare and beautiful thing. These young men showed me that learning risk-taking in public could be a refreshing and vital form of collective effervescence.

While I cannot do a backflip, I learned from watching that you must gain enough vertical height and then commit your body to flip entirely around to land safely. “Aim high and commit” might be good rules to live by.

QUESTIONS FOR ALL OF US WHO ARE STILL COMING OF AGE?

WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF…

  • …We supported others when we knew they were in their discomfort zone?
  • …We stood by and cheered on those in the arena?
  • …We aimed higher and asked more of ourselves and others?
  • …We fully committed to our worthy aspirations?
  • …We give more, serve more, teach more, and critique less?


From surfing to creating artwork to beekeeping, Steven Morris is an ever-curious brand and culture advisor, author (The Evolved Brand and upcoming The Beautiful Business), and seeker who’s served 3,000+ business leaders at more than 250 companies — discover more at: https://matterco.co/

Go deeper with a workshop, in person or online.

No items found.

A Mastery Week with the World’s Leading Evolutionary Astrologer, Steven Forrest

May 20, 2024
 to 
May 25, 2024
Santa Fe, USA

Learn to Love Your Inner Critic with IFS and Dick Schwartz

May 27, 2024
 to 
June 1, 2024
Santa Fe, USA

Cultivating Purpose with Jeff Hamaoui

May 27, 2024
 to 
Jun 1, 2024
Baja, Mexico
May 27, 2024
 to 
Jun 1, 2024
Baja, Mexico

Cultivating Purpose with Jeff Hamaoui

May 27, 2024
 to 
June 1, 2024
Baja, Mexico
May 27, 2024
 to 
Jun 1, 2024
Baja, Mexico