Step 5: Statement
When I think about my story, I shared with you already a little bit, around my peak experience of my... My peak experience in the sky, that beautiful view from that JW Marriott in Hong Kong, and my role in it being really a willingness to not do what was expected of me, and the instigator being the conversation that I had with my grandfather in the living room where he asked me, "Why would you ever wanna leave this place?" And me really grappling with that question and recognizing that what I really wanted was to live a life of adventure. And 25 years later, I feel like I'm doing that. I do feel like I'm doing that. Whether it's an internal adventure or a geographic adventure, things that feel adventurous to me is the thing that I pursue. And it's a lot of what I do with my clients, when I think about it. A big part of stepping into a coaching is to hold my client's hand and go on an adventure together, and to see what works, to see where that sweet spot is for them. To help play in th...
eir own world of their purpose platform. To understand and unpack what they want in terms of impact. To put them on the path of mastery and explore different versions of themselves. That's all adventure. It's just inside, usually inside of a building, and not from airport to airport. So when I look back and I think about my purpose platform, I think of sort of two things. And the statement that we're looking for here is something that sounds like, "I'm here to." What is it I'm really here to do? No matter where I am, what do I end up doing? And the impact, so that what can happen? So I am here, I am here to live a life of adventure so that others can too. It's just that simple. I know that's my role in the room, I know that's my role with my clients, I know that even in that example earlier about the moderation I might do for that panel that's very formal is still taking the room, taking the conversation on an adventure. That's what I'm supposed to be doing. When I think about a purpose platform, it's gonna have these two elements. What is the thing, the thing that I do, so that what can happen? Now that can come in two different formats. I'm offering two, not to confuse you, but to give you some choice. One, it can be, like I mentioned for me, I am here to, and you can complete that sentence. I am here, Dia, I am here to live a life of adventure so that others can too. Or we can use a metaphor. Metaphor can be a really powerful tool in helping identify your purpose platform. So I'd said earlier the word earthquake. And that is kind of... That's a metaphor that is very resonant for me. And it is often the role I need to step into with my clients. So when I really embrace that and I am on purpose with that, I do my best work. So I think about, I am the earthquake. I'm an earthquake. That's my quiet, small, little thing, or earth-shattering. You know, earthquakes come in lots of different forms, lots of different scales. I am an earthquake. To destabilize things, that's what I wanna do with that. Shake things up a little bit so that, so that my clients, the people that I work with, can see themselves differently. You know, when you destabilize the earth a little bit, like once it's settled down, things are a little bit different. Maybe that picture is hanging a little bit crooked on the wall, but you kinda like it like that. So I'm thinking in terms of both... You can do both if they're useful to you. "I'm here to," fill in the blank, "so that," fill in the blank. Or, "I am the," or a, "I am the earthquake," for me, "that destabilizes so that others "can see themselves a little bit differently." So whichever one might be resonant or useful to you, go to that one first. At the bottom of your sheet you'll see two examples. So I've got written here, for those of you at home, I've got written here, "Now you can look at your answers "from the earlier exercises. "Let them swirl around just a little bit and listen to the tone of them, "the pictures they might give you in your mind, "and the feeling they might give you in your gut, "and you can find a purpose platform "by identifying these two things. "A purpose or a metaphor, and an impact for each of those." So what I'd like to do right now... This is me living a live life of adventure right now. I'm gonna ask for a volunteer in just a minute, and I'll have you come on up and share with me the earlier prompts in your purpose platform worksheet. Those of you at home can listen along and get a sense of what people are sharing. And we're gonna co-create some version of a purpose platform. Just to see what we can find. And this is gonna be a conversation. Remember, the idea is not that we come away with something that is perfect, that is hardened, that you'll use forever. But some version that might be useful to you, that you can play with. So who'd like to go? Cool, so tell everyone your name.
Hi guys, I'm Riva.
This is Riva. So thanks for coming, and volunteering, going first. So tell me a little bit about the peak experiences that you identified in your purpose platform worksheet.
Yeah, so my peak experience was resigning from my residency. So I was in a preventative medicine residency thinking that that would be the way to be able to really help people heal holistically, but it just never really resonated with me at the core. And so coming from a family of a lot of physicians, it was very hard to face my fear saying, "I don't want to do this." It wasn't that I didn't wanna do medicine, but I knew I was called to function in a different role.
So I'm just gonna jump in here. So we're gonna kind of workshop this like I might in a coaching session, to give you a sense of the things you might be looking for and the places you might be curious about when you look at your own purpose platform, kind of reflecting back on that. So what's interesting to me, what I'm very curious about, is that your peak experience was a personal decision to say no to something.
It's like, you think of a peak experience as like, what am I saying yes to? But it doesn't have to be that. In this moment... I know that was dramatic. But in this moment, yeah, the notion that you... That you stepped forward by saying no to something is very interesting. And then you said something about follow your, what'd you say?
Follow my gut. Follow the intuition. I couldn't explain it. It was just a knowing that I had that didn't make sense to me, but I was like, I am dying on the inside if I stay on this path.
Sure. And so can you tell me what were some of the instigators, what do you think? Or what role you played maybe in that decision? And then we'll do instigators, that's right.
So letting go was a big role I had to... 'Cause you know I had, since I was a little girl said, "I'm gonna be a doctor like mommy and daddy." And so it was letting go of a piece of my identity.
And how long did you spend letting go before you were like, "This is the day"? I'm curious.
So probably about a year and a half. 'Cause when I graduated from med school I was like, "Oh, guess I'm going to residence now." And then I made it through that first year and just numbed my feelings by partying, lived in New York.
As you do.
Yes. And so I was like, alright, well I guess the next step is to go into this other residency, and so I made it about two months before I was like...
You started to notice, this is not resonant for me. This residency is not resonant for me. So great. So you started saying no for about a year and a half and then you finally said that's it.
Okay so what was the instigator for that?
So it was meeting my husband, as I mentioned earlier, and knowing that I could have more in other areas of my life.
In what way? How was that an instigator? 'Cause my brain goes like, is it because of the love relationship aspect of that, was he a model for you, did he push you over the edge? What happened?
It was finding joy and feeling alive in a way that I hadn't felt in a long time.
Right, So there was like a waking up that was... Like, "Oh yeah, this is what it feels like, "to do something that is totally what I want."
Ah, right, so it was... Yeah so when I hear that I think about, alright, fine, it was your husband, but actually it was an opportunity to reconnect with something that felt super alive for you that I can imagine is a bridge to go like, "No, this is what it means to live in alignment with myself, "and now I get to transfer it over there."
You put it together so well.
What kind of work do you do now? I do this for a living, for crying out loud. I better. I charge people for this.
That's why I ran up here. For free.
So tell me a little bit about the work you do now.
So now I work as a functional medicine physician.
What does that mean?
So I love sharing, 'cause not many people know, but it's much more about a root cause approach. Working very proactively, seeing people as a whole organism, instead of little symptoms and pieces that you treat. So we bring you back into wellbeing by creating a lifestyle around wellness.
Okay and when do you work with people? What's happening that they come to you?
So a big thing is weight loss. People see my own personal fitness journey and they're attracted to I guess that initial, "Oh, you're in good shape." But then that's the initial attraction and then it's... Okay, we get to dive deeper. Where is the weight coming from?
So are they coming to you often because they've had enough, and they haven't had help anywhere else?
Right. And they're frustrated.
Sort of like in your residency, when you're like, "I've had enough and I'm frustrated."
That's very interesting. So when they come to you, do they know that they're gonna be working in a super holistic way, or is it just because they're like, "I've tried everything else, you're very interesting to me, "I've had it with this, "I'm ready to do something different"?
Probably both. So some people know my background and my story. Some people don't and just see, "Oh wow, you're in good shape. "Tell me what you do."
So what are you? Are you a metaphor? Are you a metaphor? What are you attracted to?
I'm struggling with that. I kind of feel like a... A bridge of sorts. Because there's this kind of duality to me of... I'm the medical person but I'm also very much like connect to the spiritual side of yourself to bring that wholeness into being. So I've struggled a lot with finding that purpose statement that sums--
Is there something for you about... So it's funny. I think it's really easy for me to wanna go to like, "Oh it's about what you do." You do mind-body health triangle, that's a great metaphor to think about... But I don't know... That's sort of like how you execute it, but what are you actually doing... So I would say, right off the bat, something about, this could be totally wrong, I'm just gonna make an offer. I'm just gonna make an offer and then I'm gonna let go. The origin of this to me sounds a lot about how you let go of a part of a desire that you had, you know, compartmentalize it, like you weren't very whole, and then after your instigation moment, you were like, "No, no, no, wholeness is a thing. "I'm gonna actually stand up for my whole self, "professional, personal, spiritual, health-wise, "and say yes to a new life and no to an old one." I'm wondering if this is sort of the purpose that you serve for your... In the world. That you help, that you address your own whole self so that you could help others address their own whole self.
Does that feel close?
Yeah, absolutely. A lot of what I do is share the things that I'm doing for myself.
My coaching is very much like personal.
Do you do nutrition? You do some nutrition addressing, you do some physical stuff, you have all that. So what I like about this as a potential for you to start... And I know it's like, your purpose platform and your "so that" are the same. I address my whole self so that others can address their whole self is redundant, right? Sounds redundant. That's okay. We're not gonna make a judgment about that. If it feels resonant... What do we say, if it's true and resonant for you, that's a thing to try on. What I also like about this as a potential purpose platform for you, is it's agnostic to your activity. In one moment you may be coaching. In another moment you may be speaking at a conference. At another moment you may be doing a nutrition plan for someone. In another moment you might be doing a virtual coaching session. In another moment you might be facilitating a course. In another moment you might be partnering with somebody who does similar work to you. It doesn't matter. And it sounds like it sort of has been a theme for you all the time, because you weren't getting it in the medical practice you started in early on.
So can I invite you to try on, "I address my whole self. "I am the woman who addresses her whole self "so others can address their whole selves"?
I love that. Yeah.
See that smile? So what do you notice when I say that to you?
I mean, it's almost as if I've been saying it to myself the whole time. But I didn't know I was. It was just like there in the recesses of my mind.
Does it feel big enough for you?
I feel like I can still grow more into it, but it's a solid foundation to grow from.
Great. Start there and see what happens. Thank you very much.
Thank you so much.
Have a seat. Good work. Good work. (audience applauding) So I love this, because it's big enough as a platform. That's why we call it a platform, right? It's a big enough of a platform to stand on, and again, it's agnostic to the activities that you might do underneath it. And I hope that it would be true enough that as you might even change your practice, it's still real, it's still resonant. It might just be manifesting in a new and different way. So let's... I just wanna step onto this really quick and say, "Okay great, I have this purpose platform." What does that mean, in terms of crucial communications moments? 'Cause we're kinda going over here into your personal world, and we wanna link it to what matters to me in my practice around helping you have more impact at crucial communications moments. So let's imagine that she gets invited to give a talk at a conference, at a fitness conference. It's not necessarily a functional medicine conference, not necessarily a nutrition conference, but it's very specific to fitness. Well she's gonna use this platform. If my whole world is about addressing the whole self and they really only want me to talk about the role of the keto diet in building muscle mass, how am I gonna get to talk about that from this platform, from this perspective that is still me, but still serve the need of the conference, right? Help the producers of that conference bring to life the strategies and the thing they wanna make happen in the world. You're not abandoning that to only talk about your thing, but how do you bring your platform to that so that you're bringing to life that strategy in a way that is uniquely yours. Does that help? 'Cause I wanna connect that for you. 'Cause this is a class about communications. Yeah. So if I were coaching you and we sat down to write that talk, I'd ask like... We'd work on your perfect platform and then we'd ask those very questions. Okay so we know they asked you to talk about the keto diet. Is that a thing? The keto diet and building muscle mass. I do a few squat cleans here and there, just so you know. We're gonna figure out, what's the right calibrated... How much of that versus this? How do you talk about this from your perspective? What kind of examples do we draw on? Helps us choose content. What kind of examples might we draw on when we think about... 'Cause when I think about keto, it's not very whole, it's this very super narrow, specific thing. Okay. So, fine. What examples might we use... How do we talk about it in a way that serves both? So you get to be your authentic self and speak from a place of purpose and make other people's strategies successful through doing that. 'Cause you get to show up awesome, and not faking it 'til you make it. Really good. Let's do one more. This is my life of adventure, 'cause it could not work or it could, so come on up. Come on up, great. Great. Okay. So tell everyone who's watching at home your name.
Hi my name is Yiying Lu.
Great. And talk a little bit about your peak experiences. How many have you had? One, two, three?
It's countless? Lucky you. Okay fantastic. Well isn't your life grand?
Not gonna lie.
Tell us one that isn't maybe the story you always tell.
Okay. I was at a kind of like a workshop last weekend, just three days ago, four days ago. And I was sitting across this lady. She's Thai-American, and she asked me, she was like, "What do you do?" And I say, "What do I do? "Well, I create art." And she's like, "What kinda art?"
Did she say it like that, "What kinda art?" That was good.
She said, "What kinda art?" And I said, "Like iconic artworks." And she's like, "Oh what do you mean by iconic artworks?" I said, "Do you use Twitter? "Have you seen like the..." She's like, "Oh the Twitter fail whale!" I was like, "Oh, you're like OG Twitter user. "You even know the nickname." So it's very interesting, 10 years ago or 12 years ago I created this iconic artwork which later on being used as the 404 page or 503 page, every single time Twitter is down, people see that. And then later on it became this almost like a cultural phenomenon. There are people making tattoos or making legos, making street art and all kinds of different inspirational, creative... Their own creative work that is coming out of it. And to me, it's just such a joy and honor to see, to feel relate to people when people come to me and said, "Hey, I've seen your work."
So why was that a peak experience? Because somebody recognized it?
They feel resonate. I think it's the resonate. It's not necessarily about me. It's about them, I think. For example, this morning we were chatting. Also they say, "So what other things do you do?" I said, "Oh do you use emoji? "You know the dumpling emoji in your phone, "I actually create the artwork for it." And things like this they're like, "Oh that's great, I was just using it." And it's not necessarily about the artist themself. It's what people feel relate of the functionality and also the fun of it. And so I'm gradually seeing this. Because when people say to me, this is 10 years ago, they say, "Oh your work is very iconic." I was like, "Really? "Me?"
So we'll go to the next question which is, what's your role, beyond what's obvious? What's obvious is, "I made the art." But that's a little, that's almost so on the nose it's not usable for me, as I'm listening to you. 'Cause that's really obvious, right?
Yes, yes. And the other peak moment is just recently. I auctioned the art, first time in my life. I've never done an auction before. No PR whatsoever. And it was auctioned, the artwork, the piece was auctioned for 12 grand. And we donated the money for the Art and Blockchain Foundation to support artists to learn about blockchain technology.
That's bridging art and technology right there in unlikely ways.
And also charity. This is the moment that I saw, "Oh wait, there's more to it." It's not just art and tech.
So let's go back to this idea of your role. So what was your role in all of this? You made the art for sure.
Yes I made the art.
But how did you get iconic art in the way of technology so that it could be delightful to people that otherwise wouldn't see it? Like what did you have to do to make that happen?
Well I think number one...
And I'm not, just to be really clear, I'm not talking about like, "Well I had to get a licensing agreement, and I had to..." But what happened that you were able to get that in the way of the things that it needed to be in the way of?
I think it's the... Number one, if you just talking about the craftsmanship... No, okay you're shaking head. Okay. What is it? The understanding. I think it's the understanding. From a human perspective. Because technology alone is not enough. This is what Steve Jobs said, not me. I think this is one of my favorite moments. I literally cry when I hear that. Steve Jobs said, "It's in Apple's DNA "that technology alone is not enough. "It's technology married with humanity, "married with liberal arts that yields the results "that makes our hearts sing."
So your role in that was to champion art in technology? To be that voice for art in technology? I still think it's very vague, like when I say that.
I mean I can imagine, without getting a big description, I can imagine you're that person that says, "No this, put that in there. "No this, this has a role in technology. "No, no, no, excuse me." You're putting your hand up for the art world to go, "Excuse me, this is a place where this could go," where other people might not see it. They might just see the numbers 404 and that's enough. Just utility. But finding placements for art in people's everyday experience in technology is I think partly what I can imagine your role as being. "Put my hand in the air."
Again, I think it's more to it. It's the magic that coming from injecting personality into business. So another example, I do branding. I do a lot of branding projects.
Sure. Sure. And I wanna hold a stake for having things be really concrete.
Exactly. I'm having a huge challenge.
So yes, magic is around. All those things are present. The beauty in the art, the delight in the art, the fun in the art, the humanity in the art. But all that stuff could be locked in a closet somewhere if you weren't the person to say, "No, no, no, put it there. "Right here this belongs. "Art belongs in technology. "Art belongs in everyday experience." I imagine that that's a big part... Mostly what... You were in two classes with us yesterday, and most of what I hear you talk about is where art belongs.
Right. Where is the placement of art.
To make it from just a thing we appreciate to iconic.
Yeah. So it's... So art has its placement to make things magical.
That's right. It's like the magic is the outcome, but that can't happen unless the placement is in the right spot. So I think your role, I'm just gonna say it. You can... These are the things that we're looking for. That your role is to be a champion for art in technology. Like, period.
How do you define champion?
I think about it as... Anybody else have a...? How do you think about a champion? What does that mean to you? (audience member mumbles) Yeah, like an advocate. Maybe advocate, is that a better word for you?
Feels soft to me. Champion feels a little bit more charging.
Again, I try to kind of check with my gut. Am I feeling it?
What's a word that is like champion or like advocate?
The word pioneer is coming to mind, but we'd have to rework the rest of it. Pioneering the importance of art in technology.
Or the... I think importance is kind of abstract. I'm trying to think of more usability. It's actually the function.
Sure. And there's a lot of it though. Because I hear you talk about okay, "I had a piece that sold for 12 grand, "we donated it for artists to understand blockchain."
But it's also helping the ecosystem.
Absolutely. Like our earlier example, we have to be sort of agnostic to how it actually manifests. 'Cause it's gonna manifest this way today, this way tomorrow, and another way another day.
So no matter what you're doing, whether you're developing a workshop for artists and technologists, whether you're selling your art, whether you're licensing your art, whether you're teaching other people how to build art, whether you're... No matter, whether you're making art yourself, you are in fact, I love that, pioneering the role of art in technology. I love that. So I wanna skip right to it. To say her perfect platform is to be a pioneer. And that's sort of a metaphor, right? To be a pioneer for art in technology. And here's the 17,000 different ways I do it.
Try that one on.
Okay, thank you so much.
Nice work. You can take that with you. So we heard some of these, and I think these... The example I gave earlier about if you were to actually put this into practice, how do you actually turn this into something usable for you? Our example earlier about giving a talk at a fitness conference might be really valuable. If you're gonna be thinking about being invited into an artists' community to talk about the role of art in technology, if you know you're a pioneer for art in technology, how might you show up? What might you share? What kind of ask might you make of the room at the end of your workshop, that brings more people into the world of marrying art in technology, if you know that that's sort of your role in the world, right? Your purpose in the world.