A. I am most naturally myself when I’m with people who are reciprocal conversationalists, who are inquisitive about new ideas and life, people who are “comfortable in their own skin.” The places that enhance my natural self are retreats from civilization—the mountains, outdoors, cabins, and open spaces. The activities that bring out the fullness of myself include: wine tastings—because wine helps people (and me) gradually take down their guard, stop posing and be themselves; painting with watercolors—because I feel God’s pleasure when painting; and reciprocal community.
I do not fully enjoy (although I am often forced to put up with) people who always “one-up” stories, who mostly talk about themselves, who are needy, and are not inquisitive.
2. What is one thing I could stop doing, or start doing, or do differently, starting today that would most improve my quality of life?
A. This is a very personal question. Here is the portion I can talk about publicly. My personality spirals quickly to the negative about things with which I disagree—and I tend to be verbal and verbose about them. I also feel extremely compelled to confront leaders who are corrupt, shallow and judgmental. While I understand that as a leader and influencer, I must correct and confront, my quality of life would greatly improve if I choose those battles wisely and less often.
3. What is my greatest talent?
A. Encouraging others to be everything they are created to be.
4. How can I get paid for doing what I love?
A. I do. But taking the plunge and leaving a very successful career to do what I love took the greatest leap of faith of my entire life.
5. Who are my most inspiring role models?
A. John Adams, Harry Truman, Jesus Christ, Billy Ray Hearn, Dr. Luke Boyd, and Mother Teresa to name only a few.
6. How can I best be of service to others?
A. By being a true friend in every sense of the word (by that I mean emulating the words of Emerson and Montaigne about friendship) and by encouraging and mentoring influencers.
7. What is my heart’s deepest desire?
A. To be loved, respected, cherished and influenced by my immediate family.
8. How am I perceived by: my closest friend, my worst enemy, my boss, my children, my co-workers, etc.?
My closest friend: As a “real” person.
My worst enemy: As a threat.
My boss: N/A
My children: Questioning the status-quo, searching, passionate.
My co-workers: In my previous career—In 360 degree evaluations, my co-workers have described me as a risk-taker and perfectionist who believes in fun, teamwork and truth-telling.
9. What are the blessings of my life?
A. First and foremost: Family. Secondarily, freedom, grace, unconditional love and somewhat functional parents .
10. What legacy would I like to leave?
A. A good (not perfect) husband, father, mentor, friend, dreamer and creative.
Have you taken time to write down your answers?
These questions are from from p.60 How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day by Michael J. Gelb