My vulnerability is my greatest strength.

I made this statement yesterday in a matter-of-fact of fact sort of way.

And then I just looked at it.

I thought I knew what I meant when I said it, but the more I looked at it, the more I saw alternate meanings in the same sentence.

Sometimes I feel as if when I allow people to see the more sensitive side of who I am, I am opening up a vulnerability in which I could be judged as less than what I would like to be judged as. Choosing to write about topics like this would be a prime example.

But that necessitates the need to always feel as if others view you as strong and impenetrable from a defensive posture in life.

Is it possible that we are even more strong by being capable of showing an obvious vulnerability? If in the act of demonstrating that we are comfortable admitting to having vulnerabilities, we become stronger in the process, then is that vulnerable or strategic?

In many circumstances, I have seen people try to negotiate with me who perceive that my vulnerability is a weakness. I am often times surprised that they would make such an inaccurate presumption. The two have really have nothing to do with one another. The more they try to exploit it as a weakness, the more they encounter the second degree black belt who will not allow any behavior of the sort.

In the movies from the 40’s and 50’s, the hero would always demand a scene where they stopped to pet a dog or any other similar behavior, because that endeared them to the audience. Why is that? When we see someone stop to pet an animal we can relate, because we all appreciate animals, and that behavior endears the hero to us because we feel the same desire.

Does the need to pet the dog make the hero vulnerable? To a small extent, yes. Because if you think of a lot of hero oriented movies, the filmmaker gives you a moment to see the hero’s vulnerability. Usually that is their children or their spouse. Once we see them, we know that at some point, the antagonist is going to put those family members in jeopardy because that is where the hero is vulnerable.

Given that formula, why then, did I come to the conclusion that my vulnerability is my greatest strength? I would respond that in knowing that I have vulnerabilities and that I am very comfortable with them, that they actually empower me to accelerate into the worlds of chaos and uncertainty that I navigate on a daily basis. Just as the hero always prevails by saving their loved ones, in real life, we leverage our vulnerable side to maintain our humanity so that we do not lose it in the course of navigating our journeys in life.

The two are inextricably intertwined. Each building and feeding off one another. If you have trouble hugging another person, or expressing how much they mean to you or any other behavior that gives you pause to express or act out, I would invite you to really think about this concept. Perhaps all of this stems from growing up watch David Carradine in the show Kung Fu, when I was a child. He was a Kung Fu master, walking through the old west. He wished to live a life of peace and tranquility and was always most gentle and giving to others. But Heaven help those who would mistake his gentle nature for being passive. Those characters would quickly discover the Kung Fu master that would leave them on the ground, in pain, contemplating their misperceptions about this gentle man.

Happy Wednesday!

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Written by Brian Weiner
When I was 5 years old, I discovered that the lemon tree in the backyard + dixie cups + water and sugar and I was in business. I have been hooked on that ever since. In 1979, I borrowed $14,000 to create a brand new product... photographic greeting cards with no text on the inside, called Paradise Photography. That was the start of The Illusion Factory. Since then, The Illusion Factory has been entrusted by all of the major studios and broadcasters with the advertising and marketing of over $7 billion in filmed, live, broadcast, gaming, AR, VR and regulated gaming forms of entertainment, generating more than $100 Billion in revenue and 265 awards for creativity and technology for our clients. When I took a break from film school at UCLA to move to Hawaii, my mother did not lecture me. Instead, she took 150 of her favorite aphorisms and in her beautiful calligraphy, wrote them artistically throughout a blank journal. That is the origin of the Lessons from the Mountain series. Since then, on my journeys to the top of a mountain to watch the sunrise, I have spent countless hours contemplating words of wisdom from the sages of all races, genders and political persuasions, constantly accumulating the thoughts to guide me on my life path. I hope you enjoy my books. Please let me know your thoughts, as I highly value your feedback!