Book Summary: You. Are. The. One. by Kute Blackson
Have you ever set a big goal, achieved it, and felt disappointed? You’re not alone. We all set standards for ourselves and they have value, but they are not what makes us happy.
Kute Blackson works with clients who struggle to find fulfillment, despite worldly success. He takes them on two-week trips to India to shake them out of their conditioning and get them in touch with their true selves. To connect with who you really are, skip the plane ride and check out these seven key ideas from Kute’s book, You. Are. The. One.: A Bold Adventure in Finding Purpose, Discovering the Real You, and Loving Fully.
And to see my full interview with Kute Blackson, check out the YouTube video embedded below.
1. We Try to Fit In. Kute explains that throughout life, we make adjustments, “To fit in, in order to be accepted, in order to survive.” All of these adjustments are made in response to a question with a noble aim, “Who do I need to be in order to be loved?” The problem is that if you make enough of these adjustments you will mold yourself into someone you are not. If you are loved, it is for a role that you play, not your true self.
2. Our Molds Harden Up. If you try hard enough and long enough to fit in, eventually the adjustments become a mold around you. You spend your life contorting into a shape that fits a life that you are not cut out for. It is sad and ironic that when you conform to other people’s expectations you can actually deny them the opportunity to really get to know you. Kute cites an example of a man called Clark. He played the role of the shy guy all of his life. When Clark went to India with Kute, Clark explained that he was molested as a boy. Since then, he hid himself from the world behind an identity as, “The shy guy.”
3. The Start of Freedom. Breaking out of the persona that you play starts with self-awareness. You need to see a problem to fix it. Same with emotional crutches and self-deception. For Kute’s clients, he has them write an entire autobiography on the 24-hour plane ride to India. This gets adults to address the conditioning they experienced as children.
4. Be Compassionate with Yourself. If you wrote an autobiography for 24 hours non-stop, you might recognize events that shaped you into playing a role. Acknowledge it. Then accept that it’s OK. Most of the roles that people play come from the desire for good things like love, attention, and happiness.
5. Right or Free? Be honest. You have personas. You deceive yourself to get along in the world. It’s not just your parents fault. And letting go of the blame can be a struggle. Kute writes about a young woman who wants to take responsibility for the way she acts, but she can not let go of blaming her parents. They made mistakes and she wants to hold them accountable for how their parenting influenced her and her self-destructive behavior. Her belief is that if she struggles it proves that she had bad parents. If she succeeds, her parents are off the hook. Eventually, the woman decides to let go of the feeling of power over her parents to embrace a feeling of freedom instead. When you challenge yourself to be honest about the roles you play, the question is simple. Would you rather be right or free?
6. Feel and Grieve. Kute writes, “Feelings are simply a signal that you need to pay attention to something within yourself. And as Brene Brown explains in her excellent book, Dare to Lead, we call emotions “feelings” because we can actually feel them in our bodies. Dan Doty and I discuss the power of.somatic awareness of our feelings in the YouTube video embedded below
7. Forgive. If you struggle to forgive someone because you don’t think they deserve forgiveness, remember that it’s not for them. Kute explains, “Forgiveness is something you do for you.”
To learn more about getting in touch with your true self, check out our full interview here.