Hey friends! I’ve recorded a screen video! To many of you this may seem no big deal. But it’s a huge milestone for Luddite me, and who knows when I ever would have tried it if not for Ozan Varol! Readers of this blog know how much I admire Ozan, a rocket scientist, law professor, all-around benevolent contrarian, and generous sharer of his platform. …And now you can get a tour of his Inner Circle site from yours truly!
I first found Ozan on my Facebook feed when he wrote about changing people’s minds. It resonated with me immediately. So of course I downloaded his free e-book, signed up for the Weekly Contrarian newsletter, and binge-listened to his Famous Failures podcast. Ozan pointed me to some of my favorite books of 2019, such as Insight by Tasha Eurich and Sex At Dawn by Chris Ryan and Cacilda Jetha.
Throughout 2019 Ozan grew and connected his community of readers. Christina, Renu, Judith and I participated in the first ever Idea Lab (as they are now known), where three of us each shared a project and we all coached one another through ideas, process, and execution. Ozan launched the Inner Circle maybe a year ago. Here readers (I consider us all impending friends) connect around more ideas, projects, challenges, and common interests. Ozan floats concepts for future blogs, shares resources that spark his curiosity, and generally stimulates thoughtful and wide-ranging collaboration from all over the world. And oh, my gosh, the people I’m meeting!!
Tony Coretto, an apparent modern-day Renaissance man, writes about building the life you want, and he has built quite a life, from what I can tell.
What I appreciate the most about Ozan is how he leads by example. He grounds his questions in curiosity and openness. His comments encourage, and also challenge us to broaden our perspectives, as he broadens his own by inviting diverse viewpoints with respect and non-judgment. There is no shortage of nonconforming views on any given community forum thread. And yet I never feel animosity or confrontation, not even close. Opinions are offered, not espoused. IC folks come to learn, share, commune, and grow, because we see Ozan doing it right along with us.
When Ozan invited me to record the Inner Circle walkthrough video, I had no idea how to do it. I asked my Facebook friends, and Don came through with Screencast-o-matic. So user friendly, even I could figure it out in a morning! It took only three tries, and voila, a viable, extemporaneous tour of a site I love! And now I have a fun new skill—my horizon is widened and I seek new ventures in which to practice and grow. Ozan gave such a kind shout out to me and this blog in the walkthrough invitation email. And now I’m invited to host a community call around a topic of my choice. Holy cow! I am so humbled and grateful for it all.
I have a mentor at work, who supports me similarly. So often he has introduced me to other organizational leaders, setting up calls and meetings to share ideas and initiatives. His introduction affords me some instant ‘street cred’ with people who would not otherwise care to know me. I don’t take this lightly, and I am beyond appreciative.
How can I make the most of these most generous opportunities? How can I be worthy of the possibilities? It’s not that I feel unworthy; I understand that Ozan and my mentor see real potential in me and want to help me develop it. I just don’t want to waste a shred of these openhanded gifts. They lift me. How can I pay it forward?
What do you do when someone elevates you like this?
In these intensely surreal and existentially trying times, people all around me express helplessness. How can any of us, individually, exert any meaningful agency to change anything for the better when everything everywhere is so colossally out of control?
I believe we can always help. Each of us occupies a sphere of influence; our attitudes and actions ripple out indirectly many layers beyond. So, one way I can elevate more people is by sharing my own platform, small as it is (yet). I used to feel sheepish when much of any post was someone else’s words. Not so anymore. When I find pieces that speak to me, that resonate and integrate with my core values and my cause, why not amplify widely?
Maybe I have some valuable street cred to share, too.