"Acceptance and tolerance and forgiveness, those are life-altering lessons." — Jessica Lange
In July of 2017 I hosted a performance of show It’s a Magical Life at the Hooker-Dunham Theater in Brattleboro, VT. This is a significant program in my catalog because it’s much more than a magic show: it’s truly a one-man variety show, complete with stand-up comedy, storytelling, saxophone recital, and even a poetry reading. The overall message that audiences walk away with is that despite the tragedies that we may experience, there is incredible wonder and joy in life to relish in.
I premiered this program in 2016 and have hosted performances every month since, but this July 2017 performance was different: no one showed up! There was no one in the audience! Such things can be disheartening, especially because I know the true value of this program, not merely as entertainment but as a means to plant seeds of transformation into the lives of others.
The reason I share this story is to highlight this important point: if we accept the responsibility of being a Positivity Leader then we must also accept the fact that there will be days when no one will be there to watch us in action. After all, if we can’t accept setbacks as setups then we clearly aren’t as passionate about our one supreme effort, and if we aren’t truly passionate about our work then no one else will ever be passionate about it either.
What’s more, if we only act positively when others are watching then are we really Positivity Leaders? Or are we just pretending to be that way to pull one over on people? The Magic Word Acceptance reminds us to stay humble on our journey to grow and develop sculpting our character bit by bit. Just as a sculptor removes the outer layers of stone, marble, and wood to reveal the image that lies beneath, so too must we accept the process of letting go to grow to become more than perhaps we ever thought we could be. But such work requires Acceptance.
How’s your situation? Do you have acceptance? Or have you been discouraged by the results you’ve been getting? If that is the case then are you using these results as an excuse to give up on your efforts? What can you do starting today to incorporate more acceptance in your life?
Jonas Cain is an educator, facilitator, and coach, working to engage, empower, and encourage leaders and the people they serve to experience joy.