Guess what movie I just saw?
Hint: Maverick (Top Gun) with
I walked into the theater with full-on buttered popcorn and no expectations. The exhilarating story of a cutting-edge fighter pilot took me on a ride where I felt that I was the co-pilot. Maverik was a leader in terms of getting in the cock pit and doing what he demanded of his team. Maverick led his crew with integrity and took calculated risks. His roguish precision was a nail-biting tribute to his training and authority. Maverick embodied his purpose, passion, and love for living on the edge.
How does Maverick's flair for pushing the envelope translate to our ambition to be successful as professionals? Simply put, we need to push our limits and also stay grounded in our personal morals and mission. With a broad stroke for gravitas, I will suggest that we are all bombarded with shiny object syndrome. We chase what is new and the blind promise of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
When we chase shiny objects we are distracted from our core mission and goals.
Definition of Shiny Object Syndrome:
Shiny object syndrome, also called "SOS" is a pop-cultural, psychological concept where people focus on a shiny, new object, in other words, whatever is most current, trendy, or the latest concept, regardless of how valuable or helpful it may ultimately be. While at the moment it seems to be something worth focusing one's attention upon, it is ultimately a distraction, either a personal distraction or something that is done intentionally to distract others.
Social Media and Chasing Shiny Objects
We are told that we need followers on social media to be relevant. We are told that we need have our perfect images splashed on YouTube and TikTok. Yet the return on investment is minimal. When we take a look at buyer behaviors it is clear that intimacy is what buyers, listeners, and readers crave. Typically a buyer, client, or audience needs to have an intimate attachment to our messaging. The polished, slick and often filtered snapshots on social media are not connectable messages.
Humans, as a collective want to protect themselves from judgment, pain, and disillusionment. We want to be liked. We strive to be adored. I hypothesize that the constructs of social media and the pursuit of instant gratification are a great distractor in building influence and real relationships.
The human experience is one of protection. When we are frightened we tell ourselves to self-protect. We do everything we can to armor ourselves up and protect ourselves from negative experiences.
This is where Brene Brown jumps in.
Brene Brown (if you have been hiding under a rock), is an American research professor, lecturer, author, and podcast host. Brown is known in particular for her research on shame, vulnerability, and leadership. A long-time researcher and academic, Brown became famous following a widely viewed TEDx talk in 2010. Since then she has written six number-one New York Times bestselling books, hosts two podcasts, and has filmed a lecture for Netflix as well as a series about her latest book, Atlas Of The Heart on HBO Max.
Take it over Brene:
When we’re afraid, even our neurobiology screams ARMOR UP. Everything screams, “Self protect!” As Brown says, if we want to be consciously daring, we need to say no armor. We have to double down on being both transparent and vulnerable. If you’re feeling beat up right now, you’re in good company. The easy thing is to self-protect, but if you want to keep moving toward your mission, you’ve got to refuel.
The hybrid of Maverick and Brene:
How can we, as professionals up our game with emotional integrity? Quite simply it is to take calculated risks and be authentic. Ask yourself- are feeling burnout from doing everything and nothing is happening? If the answer is yes, read on. Personal and professional satisfaction starts with self-awareness.
Building your personal or professional brand begins on a journey of discovery.
The Maverick-Inspired tips to holistic growth:
Tip #1: The Mission
First and foremost, my favorite tool is writing a mission statement. There is profound power in seeing the foundation of your vision and values scrawled on paper. A mission statement cannot simply be written and read.
Your mission statement needs to be lived.
A mission statement needs to articulate why you exist, what you stand for and the goals you strive for. On paper, your mission statement is powerful. However, inaction nullifies your mission. A mission statement is only powerful when you take inspired action.
I am obsessed with the power of a mission statement. It can be a confusing exercise in putting pen to paper-so I often recommend Franklin Covey's Mission Statement Builder. This mission statement builder is easy to follow and prompts you with questions to curate a statement that reflects where you are and where you want to go.