WordFood - how we feed or starve our realtionships

- Julia Hubbel

Julia’s ability to get this group of type-A executives to engage in true networking was incredible. She is truly skilled at motivating the group to engage and interact with each other, and her openness and honesty really come through.

— Shelley Stewart, Jr.,
Senior Vice President of Operational Excellence and Chief Procurement Officer, Tyco

June 9, 2015

WordFood of Limitations

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Julia Hubbel @ 7:14 pm

“It’s going to take you five hours.”

“Huh. Why?”

“Because you’re a woman and you’re old.”

“Really. Huh.”

We kept driving. My driver, Zaw, is 44. He’s Burmese, a very nice man. However, he has just pronounced me unfit and too old to make a serious hike to see Golden Rock Pagoda, one of the sights we’re driving to see southeast of Yangon, once Rangoon. It’s 108 degrees, at least 98% humidity. I smile at him.

“You should take the truck up the mountain.”

I smile at him again.

We check into my hotel and the hotelier says the same thing. “You should take the truck,” he says. “It’s going to take you at least four and a half, five hours. at least.”

I say to them both, “Three hours. No more.” They both laugh.

Zaw drops me off a few minutes later at the starting point. I have a backpack, water and snacks. It’s a quarter of eleven. I take a photo of my watch right under the starting sign. And head up.

The way is straight up and across a couple of mountains. You walk up a zillion old and rotting stairs, rocks that double as stairs, washed out walkways, through people’s houses where they hawk water and food. It’s hot season. Yeah. It’s hot. My pants flap against my legs, I think my water bottle is leaking. I stop and check. Not leaking. Pure sweat. I sweat oceans. Rivers. Lakes. The sun is brutal.

On the way I pass, and stop to talk, to two guys from Seattle who are gassed out. We play with a puppy. I lose about fifteen minutes. Motor on.

About two hours later I see a Golden Rock on a hill off to my right. There’s a sign in Burmese. Is this it? There’s a monk tending a garden. I hike up. Take pictures. It’s epic, takes me a while. On the way down the monk stops, looks at me and says, with a smile, “You first person do that.” I’ve been punked. That’s funny. Lost another thirty minutes. Thanks a rock.

Scenery changes and views are gorgeous. Moving in and out of shade. Hot doesn’t describe this.

The last two miles are intensely steep concrete road, with incredibly steep hairpin turns I(this is the truck road for the ride down later). It is worse than the mountains. Soon I’m at the gate.

It’s a quarter of two. I photograph my watch with the gates in the background. Three hours on on the nose, notwithstanding two guys from Seattle, the puppy and the Fake Golden Rock. The pace was a two and a half hour pace.

I get down the mountain after enjoying the nice views and breezes. Call my driver at 4 pm, who doesn’t believe me when I tell him I’m already back. The hotel staff validates.

When Zaw and I drove back the next day I told him that it’s not about ego. And it isn’t. People are very happy to lay their version of what you’re capable of on your punkin head. Often based on their limitations. Zaw said he couldn’t do it, so he assumed I couldn’t since I was older and a woman. Now that’s his problem. However, if I am willing to accept that limited ceiling on what I can achieve in life, and assume that this is all I can ever be and do, then shame on me. I love doing things like this if for no other reason than it forces people to rethink their version of reality. And it allows for a gentle discussion about why we set such limitations on others in the first place- or accept them for ourselves.

Next time you hear a limitation being placed on you based on anything, anything at all, challenge it. Where does that come from? Why should I accept it? Is that based on fact or opinion? So often it can be toxic WordFood that we need to discard immediately. Write your own version of yourself, not someone else’s.

Never give someone else permission to limit your possibilities, your greatness, your achievements. You write your version of you.

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