For the eyes. For the heart. For the ears. For the feet. For the soul.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Release Your Brilliance - By Simon T. Bailey

A friend of mine lent me the above mentioned book, which on the back cover states:

This book is for anyone who wants to live life by design rather than by accident. If you:

* have hit the wall--personally, professionally, physically, or emotionally
* feel unfulfilled in your career, working only for the paycheck and benefits
* want to stretch and grow as a person
* long for authentic relationships
* miss the fun and excitement of life
* sense that you have the potential to do something great with your life, but don't have a clue what that might be

Upon finishing this book, I realized the author was using diamonds, which are beautiful, valuable and precious as a metaphor for living life and regarding oneself as such. It was a simple read, and nothing extraordinarily new in terms of content, however it was still a beneficial read. Here is one of my favourite passages:

I remember a business lunch I had once with a sixty-nine-year-old gentleman in Southern California. I asked him what life lessons he had to share with me. He said, "Release the need to be absorbed in self. Understand who you are and refrain from always believing you have to impress people." Genuine people don't feel the need to impress others because they recognize their own value and brilliance.

Cubic Zirconia (CZ) people, however, compare themselves to others, work hard to impress them, and try to make people think they're something they're not. Instead of speaking from the heart and really connecting with others, CZ people are usually busy posturing and being politically correct, especially in business. They will say what is popular and what others want to hear, rather than speaking the truth and dealing with it accordingly.

CZ thinking is the cancer of brilliance. It spreads and affects every aspect of life. CZ people tend to be preoccupied with themselves. For example, they value perfection, so they often have their external "facets" reshaped and polished with cosmetic surgery. Ironically, they strive for perfection through imitation. Interestingly, most people think genuine diamonds are perfect, when in fact they rarely are. Almost all authentic diamonds have inclusions, and yet they shine brilliantly in spite of their flaws. There is perfection in the imperfection. In other words, you don't have to be perfect to be brilliant.

CZ thinkers follow the crowd instead of their hearts. In fact, they need that crowd to reinforce their beliefs. Authentic people know that when you stand for something, you sometimes stand by yourself. CZ people are uncomfortable standing alone and often don't stand for anything at all. They don't want to be the odd person out, on an island by themselves.

Genuine diamond people are willing to stand alone if that's what it takes to release their brilliance. When you decide to step out of the pack and be your authentic self, your friends and co-workers may look at you differently. But genuine people are comfortable saying "I'm okay with me even if you're not okay with me." They act on their convictions without fearing what other people might say or do.

Today, I invite you to look in the mirror, take off the mask, and strip away all that's preventing the real you from shining through. Recognize who you genuinely are, and choose to live an authentic life in which you brilliantly shine from the inside out. Realize that authentic living is a process and that it takes time. An imitation, a manufactured person will never have the same depth, strength, or resilience as a genuine person who has been refined by the fire.

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