Shine on, you crazy diamond


Diamonds (Photo credit: qthomasbower)

Most people want to shine like a diamond.  We want to be highly valued.  We want to be unique.  We want to be admired.  We want to be seen as beautiful.

Diamonds are formed at the Earth’s mantle.  90 miles from the Earth’s surface.  Carbon is transformed to diamonds.  Under great pressure, at temperatures around 2000 degrees,  molecular structure is changed.

Volcanic eruptions hurl diamonds to the surface.  The diamonds are mined (found), cut and polished.  A diamond goes through a lot before it winds up on someones hand to be admired.  There’s a lot of pressure, heat and luck.

Somewhere in each of us is a piece that wants to be valued like a precious diamond.  This is why American Idol, The Voice, The Biggest Loser, etc. are so popular.  This is why people live vicariously through celebrities and athletes.

We all have that part of us that wants to be thinner, smarter, funnier, more popular, richer, cooler, a winner.  When I yearn to be something-ier, I ignore everything someone had to do to become that.

The singer who spent years on the road touring in cargo van.  The athlete who wakes at 5am to workout for 2 hours.  And then practices with their team.  And then visits with a personal coach to practice for another 2 hours – 5 days a week.  The author who’s published 5 best sellers who started writing at 4:30 in the morning for 90 minutes before heading to the day job, then got rejected by 37 publishers before gaining some interest in what they were doing … and they still write every day of the week.  The person in the yoga class in the perfect flying crow pose who has been at the studio at least once a day for six days a week for the last 4 years.  The PhD who worked full time, raised a family and wrote their dissertation while the others slept.

It’s easy to say, “I want to be a diamond.”  A gem.  A rare and precious jewel.  It’s hard to become one.

It requires exposing yourself to forces and pressure that reshapes you.  It will hurt.  You will sacrifice.  You will miss out on other things.  You will be tired.  You will be afraid.  You will doubt.  People will tell you you are crazy.  Despite that, you will persevere.  Or you will fail.

You might decide it’s not worth it.  That’s ok.  Just stop lying to yourself – stop telling yourself you want to become something you’re not committed to.  Stop the guilt, the shame, the insecurity, the envy, the second guessing.  That hurts more than the sacrifice you’d make to become the diamond.

Have you tried to come to terms with where and who you are?  And it keeps coming back.  The nagging that there’s something more.  The weight of remorse and regret.  The knowledge that you’re living short of your legacy?

Maybe it’s time to give up the pain of regretting not doing something  –  the exhausting, gnawing pain that comes from clinging to the fear of “What if”.  Maybe it’s time to take up the pain of progress – exposing yourself to ridiculous challenges and opportunities, experiencing the exhilaration that comes from knowing that you are responsible, that you chose to leap, and you’re not quite sure where you’ll land.

Are you ready to wake up earlier, or go to sleep later … are you willing to paint, sing, run, code, write, practice, network, read, take action day-in-day out?

Are you ready to change?  Will you decide to do what you’ve committed to do – especially when you don’t feel like it?

What are you waiting for?  What’s your commitment?  What’s the next step.  Take it.

Shine on, you crazy diamond.

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