I was looking into buying the domain of RawAbility dot com. I went to the online website store to check it out. It wasn’t available. Actually, it was available for a fee. So I am still thinking about that. A funny thing happened on the way to the checkout stand. Since the domain wasn’t available for immediate use the website I was on provides a service. They provide optional names that you might consider for your site. There were a few names that could work, but the best one was – uncookedability.com. I chuckled. I thought (in the sarcastic little voice in my head), “Oh that’ll work…uncookedability!?” Those that know me would probably say that sarcastic voice is more than just in my head.
I cannot stop thinking about UNCOOKED thoughts, an UNCOOKED life or UNCOOKED directions and plans. I use the word raw for several reasons. The word came to me at first because it is really my initials. There I said it. I’m out. My initials spell RAW. I like my name. I like my whole name…I have never really liked that my initials spell raw. In high school I told everyone my niddle name was Bernard. Then my mom heard someone use that name and she told them the truth. Thanks mom. So I was trying to think of a blog name that would be mine, and get to the points I was trying to make. Using my initials would secretly make it mine.
But, it isn’t about me.
I never really planned to ever tell anyone that part of the meaning. The primary reason I like the word raw and ability is the concept that we all have raw abilities within us. We have innate strengths, gifts, and talents. We have a certain way of thinking and behaving. We all bring something to every situation that we enter. That is our raw-ness. When our strengths blend with our ability then we’re cooking…I might as well keep this food theme moving along eh? Ability is the power or capacity to do something. It is putting our skills to work.
Let’s think about this for a minute – Uncooked. This could work.
Uncooked is raw.
But maybe uncooked is more than just raw.
A recipe has a number of ingredients and steps to transform the combination, most of which is raw, into something different. Something bigger. Something with more flavor. Most of the time there is some process of cooking that adds a pressure or heat element. There is a little tension or adversity that adds to the combination of ingredients, steps, and heat that creates the final dish. This unseen transformation is chemistry and a process of doneness. There is the mystery of cause and effect that come into play. We set something into motion (cause) and then enjoy the yield (effect). The uncooked is the blank page. The uncooked are the relationships we have yet to build. Many times the recipe has a larger yield and can serve more people.
Let’s go back to the uncooked. I think the uncooked abilities are the secret ingredient…the secret sauce. They are secrets in a few ways. In some cases, they are secret superpowers we don’t even realize we can access. They are secrets we are afraid to explore because it is too risky. They are secrets because we know about them, but we haven’t let them fully develop. They are stuck in the marinade. This uncooked could be the things we always wanted to do but haven’t found the time or the energy.
Mix it up
I love the reality show The Voice. When you watch the show there are the backstories for all of the contestants. The cool part about the show is the developmental aspect of working with a coach to develop a dream for all of these singers. While they are in the blind auditions their family and friends are watching and supporting just off stage. Even when the contestant is not chosen they are encouraged to work on their raw abilities and return to the show. The returners are in a much different place, you can see/hear the improvement. The show is about more than the question –got talent? It is about developing the contestants’ raw ability, their talents, their strengths, their passion. Maybe the reality show Chopped would fit my theme better…but I don’t watch that one.
In SGI Buddhism there is a concept of human revolution. This concept is about the process of each person attaining their full potential. It is about living the life you want to live. It is about moving into the fullest manifestation of you that you can be, that is enlightenment. Moving from a sense of the lesser self into the greater self. It’s about finding our voice and using it. (J see what I did there? Voice, The Voice, use your voice.) When we do this for and with other people, in addition to what we are working on for ourselves, we increase the yield of our recipe. Propagating this sense of fulfillment and happiness for all is so important.
Leadership is about the relationships we have with others. Look at the general theme of the many definitions we can find about leadership. A key component, if not the key component, is the notion of working WITH others. We are better able to work with others if we strive to understand what is uncooked within our abilities – strengths, gifts, talents…capacity – and apply that to our work with others. The yield from our recipe results in more for everyone. Coach Lou Holtz said, “Everyone goes through adversity in life, but what matters most is how you learn from it.” The metaphor of the heat, pressure, “being in the kitchen” is about taking the risk to step into what is uncooked and make it happen. Bring the recipe together and go for it. Then share it with others at the buffet, smorgasbord, or potluck.
Raw+Ability. What are those uncooked abilities you have been keeping a secret? What uncooked dream is smoldering in there for you? How will you see your support waiting in the wings and show them your ability?
NOW we are coookin’!