Living in the Awkward

“My new favorite word is ‘awkward.’…The reason we need to be in search of awkward is that awkward is the barrier between us and excellence, between where we are and the remarkable. If it were easy, everyone would have done it already, and it wouldn’t be worth the effort. — Seth Godin

Awkward is a funny word when two 4 year olds use it in conversation.  Like when one yells,”you’re responsible for the zombie apocalypse!” The new, and seemingly natural, response for the other one is, “awkward.”  So kid number one says in return, “yeah, awkward.  That was awkward guys.  Wasn’t that awkward?”  This is obviously his first encounter with the word and he couldn’t love it more.

But when you grow up, sometimes awkward doesn’t seem so entertaining.  … I’m lying.  To me the awkward moments are always the most entertaining.  I’ve always been the person who says the wrong thing at the wrong time and I’ve always embraced that.   This is because awkward makes people uncomfortable and when people are uncomfortable they question the situation they’re in.  Generally they try to get out of that situation and into a more comfortable one.

People do this in two main ways.   They either, one, run from the situation and revert back to the norm.  Or, two, they move onto a situation that’s better.  In other words, if they don’t run, they grow.

I’ve always known that when I’m uncomfortable I’m doing something right.  I’m putting myself into a situation that allows, or even forces me, to grow.  Seth Godin, who writes business and marketing books, was right when he said, “awkward is a barrier between us and excellence… If it were easy, everyone would have done is already.”  If you want to become great, or in some cases start the zombie apocalypse, you can’t run from the uncomfortable moments in life.  You have to live in the awkward.


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