Today’s post is the featured article from the July 2007 issue of  The Front Porch Newsletter.  If you would like to automatically receive The Front Porch e-newsletter on the last Thursday of each month just click here to sign-up for your complimentary subscription.

blumbergface1Hollywood is interesting. There seems to be no place like it. I was in Hollywood, again recently, to speak for a national conference. I had a narrow window of time to spare after my presentation and before meeting some great friends for dinner. I was staying at the Renaissance Hotel. It is connected to the shopping mall that houses the Kodak Theatre … the home of the Academy Awards. I decided to do the 30-minute tour of the Kodak since I thought I had a better chance of getting a ticket for the tour than I would a ticket for the Academy Awards!

The theatre is beautiful and it stands as the crown jewel of the redevelopment plan for this Hollywood neighborhood. Our tour guide was informative. You could tell she loved Hollywood, the Kodak and being amongst the stars. And she was pretty forthright about the mode of Hollywood. She summed-up her version of the theme of Hollywood in just one line … it’s about “seeing and being seen.” If she told us this theme once, she told us twenty times. She would repeat … “remember in Hollywood, everything is about seeing and being seen.” After the tour, those words kept ringing in my heart and soul.

On the surface it seems kind of shallow … like a shallow mission. I am sure it would be easy to take pot-shots at the mode of Hollywood … seeing and being seen. But this theme also sounds like hard work. Seeing is one thing … being seen is another! I’m sure this takes intentional and strategic energy … and demands an enormous level of endurance and a passionate level of persistence. It is also a mode of operation that has a pull of gravity that can easily mess with your motives and your values. What is the cost of being seen? The cost isn’t likely paid-out in one check. More likely in installments … a gravity that can pull you ever so slowly … like a glacier leveling everything in its path. If not careful, you arrive at a place where “MUM’s the word!” When I was growing-up that meant … don’t tell anyone. Grown-up, I think it means “Messed-Up-Motives”.

But motives get messed-up way beyond Hollywood. They get messed-up in every arena of life. Rather than periodically checking our motives … we are likely to just hit the snooze and let our glacier just keep on moving. And the glacier levels everything in its path. When is the last time you did a motive check … seriously checking the core of the motives that are driving you? I trust that most people start out with some pure motives at work, at home and in their community. But I have also seen where motives get messed-up along the way. I have seen it several times … sometimes in my own mirror. Maybe we should apply a simple Hollywood mode to our motives … they are about seeing and being seen. It would do us good to stop and take a look at our motives … to see them for what they are. It is a good thing to do… because I can promise you that your motives are eventually revealed …being seen!

ACTION IDEA: Take a moment to think about the various arenas that are taking most of your time at this point in life … at work, at home and in your community. Take each arena and honestly analyze your real driving motives in that arena. If they are as pure as fresh fallen snow … then congratulations. But if MUM’s the word … if your motives are messed-up …take this opportunity to reanalyze and recast your motives. Stop the glacier. After all, if you chip away at your glacier … you might just create some fresh fallen snow!