Be Awesome

When I say “be awesome” to people or as a closing to an email, it isn’t something I say lightly. I say it because I want people to inspire awe in others. Our world needs more awe.

Here are some six random ideas on how I think you can be awesome:

  1. Be really passionate about something meaningful for the world (beyond your own needs). Learn the most you can about it. Practice it. Commit to get better and better and better at it.

  2. Find someone that inspires awe in you. Talk with them about how they inspire that awe. Ask them questions about their talents and the things they have learned along the way from successes and moments of painful learning. Mentorship is super cool.

  3. Make even better mistakes tomorrow. It is inspiring to watch brave attempts rather than the ho-hum of planned mediocrity and failed nothingness.

  4. Be your own person. Conformity does not inspire awe. What is amazing is someone with honed critical thinking skills that doesn’t come across as a dick or a know it all. What is amazing is someone that has come to peace with who they are – all the way around. What is amazing is someone that continues to evolve the more they learn about who they are and experiment with their talents and personality in different settings. For some this is quiet reflection and well-chosen moments to speak and a lifetime of active listening. For others this is boisterous rallying of the masses. People that are their own people come off as legit in a range of settings that play to their talents.

  5. Always try to be worthy of the highest esteem of others. Some examples that come to mind: Standing up in front of a group of people to talk about an important issue? Do it with integrity and honesty and commitment to do your best possible. Have to convince politicians of a new way of doing things or a unique way of thinking about a complex social issue? Do it with intelligence and passion. Need to provide advice or direction to others? Do it with sincerity and sufficient explanation.

  6. Have the fortitude to stand up to injustice – always – because it is a characteristic of awesomeness. These are people that don’t just do it when it is convenient. These are people that do it with each living breath. It is amazing and truly awe inspiring to watch stigma, prejudice, inequality, sexism, racism – and the like – tackled head on, with panache and grace.

Be awesome. It is our greatest responsibility – to leave our mark on the world and each other in the most incredible way we possibly can.

About Iain De Jong

Iain is a playful nerd, hellbent on ending homelessness, increasing affordable housing, creating vibrant communities, and expanding the knowledge amongst leaders that influence social issues. Having held senior management and professional positions in government, non-profits, and the private sector, Iain has a wealth of experience and has garnered dozens of awards for his work across Canada and internationally. His work has taken him across Canada, the United States, and to Australia. In 2009, Iain joined OrgCode as its President & CEO, and in 2014 assumed full ownership of the firm. In addition to his work with OrgCode, Iain holds a part-time faculty position in the Graduate Urban Planning Programme at York University.


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