(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)


Sometimes it’s fun to be dazzled. It has an energy, a zip to it that seems so cool. Dazzle catches our eye and appears to be meaningful. But the essence of dazzle is hollow, all flash and no substance. As is said in Texas, “All hat and no cattle.”

Even you, as highly evolved as you are, may occasionally want to dazzle others because, well, it satisfies some of your needs. After all who doesn’t enjoy being thought of as clever, admired, sharp, or with it? Nice as that feels, there is something beyond being the dazzling flavor of the week. It’s being someone who illuminates.

To illuminate is to see and share something of substance — a core principle, a different perspective, a previously unseen possibility, a way for someone to make a step up. Substance has staying power. Dazzle is quickly replaced by the next flash in the pan.

It’s the catchy tune you heard a few weeks ago and now seems tiresome versus a piece of music you heard years ago and still touches you at a deep and emotional level. It’s the actor who always amazes you with the nuances they bring to a new role versus the actor who’s once-entertaining mannerisms are now transparent and irritating. It’s a way to manage people which engages their highest value versus implementing ‘The Amazing New 5 Steps to Business Success!’

All it takes to illuminate is to want to. When you have that intention you will move past the dazzling into a richer and more rewarding world. For you and for us.


Coaching Point: Would you rather be a flashlight and permanently illuminate the path or be a flashbulb and momentarily dazzling?


Copyright 2014 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.