It was not until my brain attach that I understood the meaning of Frank Sinatra song, “My Way.” The first stanza of the song follows.
And now, the end is here
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I’ll say it clear
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain
I’ve lived a life that’s full
I traveled each and ev’ry highway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way
This a song not for when we are old or dying, but for that point of our life when we begin to lose ourselves to people, things or the status-quo. No one wants to find out when it is too late, the importance of living life “their way.”
Thank God for my stroke, for without it I would not have realized that I was not living life my way. For example, I need to dress colorfully, find “out of the box” ways of doing things, and relate to people in an honest way. I need these things to bring out the fire in me. Sometimes I feel I need them, just to breathe.
When I wear funky red clothes, I feel filled with as much light as the very material I am wearing. My attire does not always fit with the unspoken dress code of most workplaces or churches, but it sure fits with me. When I develop a virtual training session for soft skills development, this may be out of the box for many people, yet it bountifully boosts my ability to break down barrier to learning and sharing. When I share my honest thoughts, this may be uplifting or terribly disappointing to someone, yet it is my commitment to inserting true love that will heal us all, certainly me.
Up until my 20’s and early 30’s, my way of being seemed to push me to full expression of self, like the vibrancy of youth. At that time, my appearance and my spirit was colourful, out of the box and honest in my life and work. One example of this was when I worked for the Canadian International Development Agency. I came up with and created the Agency’s Self-Directed Learning Centre, which was one of the first such centre’s created in the Canadian Government. It became a model for other departments, and was hailed as one of the best accomplishments that came out of CIDA’s Human Resources Department.
As the years went on, my way of doing things became lost in my inner-fight to fit in, to be like others, to have what others had. I wore darker clothes, conformed to the status quo, and kept my mouth shut, leaving people to believe whatever they wanted.
With my stroke began the re-emergence of my individual and colourful being, my out-of-the-box thinking, and my desire to courageously share the truth instead of hiding under the falseness of saying nothing. As a result, though I am getting older, the youth in me is re-emerging.
I just bought pairs of red, orange and yellow pants – and if I may so myself, they are rocking! I am loving introducing more and more previously intimated people to doing meetings and training via Webex. Finally, I now have the voice to share my faith and tell people if I believe what they are doing or saying is hurtful to themselves or others.
So what do you think? Are you able to do things your way in all aspect of your life? What is the impact?
Here is Sinatra singing “My Way.” Reflect on the words, again or for the first time.