How are you?
How often did you hear that phrase today? What did you answer? “Good”? “Not bad”? “I am fine”? “Doing all right”? Something like that is the standard answer.
We all know that the question and the answer aren’t genuine. They are more like a social ritual.
Two and a half years ago we introduced the question “How are you?” to our weekly Monday kick-off. We just made one small but important change.
The question now became: How are you, really? And that small change makes all the difference.
It shows two things:
- The person asking shows that she truly cares.
- The person answering knows that she has the chance to give a more real and authentic answer and that she will be heard.
So let me ask you this question and – for a short moment – please reflect on your response: How are you, really?
This is a simple question that – at least for me – isn’t always that easy to answer. It’s hard to find an answer with all the busyness and the noise that’s constantly around us.
To really know how we are, we need to turn inwards. We need a moment of reflection, of stillness. We need to be aware of our body, mind and soul. Is our body healthy? Are we cold, hungry, tired? Do we feel pleasant, angry, fearful, sad, joyful?
This requires the ability to be aware and connect with ourselves. Connecting to ourselves is not always easy. But there are various ways that can help.
One of which is music. Because music has the power to open hearts. I want to invite you to a small experiment. For the next two minutes I invite you to listen, to feel, to be aware. To just be in this moment.
How did this make you feel? What happened inside of you? How are you, really?
Why am I talking about this? Well, since the beginning we wanted to create meaningful connections at PIRATE Summit. You cannot connect with others and with yourself if you are not authentic. It’s actually very simple.
That’s why we value authenticity and integrity. That’s why our second house rule is: No BS.
We don’t want to be a conference where everybody is just pretending. Where life is always “great” and business is always “amazing”. That would be the real life version of Instagram. It would be terrible.
We all know that life as an entrepreneur is a constant rollercoaster. It’s freaking hard. Stop pretending it isn’t. We also know that as entrepreneurs at times we have to play a role. Sometimes we have to wear a mask. There is some use to “fake it till you make it”. We have all been there.
But we need a place where we can truly connect. And PIRATE Summit wants to be that place.
Integrity means that who you are, what you think, say and act are aligned. If they aren’t we are headed for trouble. Every time there is a misalignment we add a drop in the bucket of shame. Because we are out of sync with our true self.
From Brené Brown we know that shame is fear of disconnection. It’s the feeling of not being good enough. Not being worthy of connection. We all know that feeling.
That feeling pushes us away from being our truest self. It leads us to pretend something that we aren’t.
Eventually we play our role and hide behind a mask just because we believe that is the way to not lose connection. The way to get attention. To be liked. To be loved.
However, this can only last for so long. Either the emptiness of not being our truest self will corrode us from inside, or the connection that we desperately tried to keep alive will have to go through a full reset.
We currently have an epidemic of disconnection. An epidemic of shame. An epidemic of not being good enough.
Authenticity is the antidote. It’s the only way to truly connect with ourselves and others. And the good part: Authenticity has a multiplying effect.
Just like kindness begets kindness, authenticity begets authenticity. When you start to open up, usually others will be relieved and do the same. I want to invite you to be real. To take the leap of faith. To be yourself.
How are you, really?
You are the captain of your life. Life is a possibility. It is what you make of it. That’s why this year at PIRATE Summit the theme is #RaiseYourself. And PIRATE Summit is a place to be yourself.
Like every PIRATE Summit we are igniting a fire this evening. Fire is a symbol for rebirth, hope, and purification. Let these flames be a symbol for everything that holds you back from connecting with your true self.
Let everything burn. Take of your masks. Stop pretending. Let all layers go. Be you.
And when you look into these flames, be ready to answer from the bottom of your heart:
How are you, really?
Let it burn!