"Phew, we're both human!"

Starting at 14 months, babies become fascinated with body parts. Especially, belly buttons. You’ll see toddlers lift their shirt, rub their bellies, then poke their belly button and giggle. Be careful not to get too close, or they’ll point at you. As you can see in the picture above, it is common courtesy to show yours too.

Why’s this important? Because we have them! This functionless feature distinguishes us from inferior, artificially created creatures and mass-produced objects.

It’s a souvenir from mom… a reminder that we all came from somewhere — from someone. That’s where the umbilical cord was. And that was attached to mom, in our life pod for 9 months, where we exploded into existence from only two cells.

Many people foolishly eradicate personality and human elements from their businesses, thinking “no one wants to know about that”, or “we need to look professional”… but that is a mistake. In a world overrun by mass-production, the human elements become increasingly rare. And that’s what makes them more valuable.

If you strip the human elements away, you squander your rarest, most unique and most valuable assets. Without them, you are left with nothing but features and benefits: an interchangeable and replaceable widget.

But beware. In an attempt to “add personality”, most people confuse “being interesting” or “being attractive” with going through a 21-point checklist of tactics, dyeing their hair blue, telling canned jokes or doing magic tricks. That’s what machines do to appear human. We don’t have to fake being human — we are human and we can do better. We are already attractive. We just have to look within.

Here’s a fact: all your ancestors— every man and woman directly between you and Adam and Eve —has successfully attracted and mated with someone. This chain of successful sex leading to you has been unbroken for tens of thousands of years. Unless you’re going to be an anomaly that ends the chain, you can count on having a natural ability to attract some people (and repel some others) — it’s in your blood.

But, in order to attract, you have to first give people something to be attracted to.

Where’s a good place to start? Your belly button, figuratively speaking (although for some people, literally). Then, trace backward. We live life in a sequence of stories and who we are today is the sum of our stories. For people to get to know you and trust you, you must tell your stories.

This can be an introspective challenge, especially since the life-grinder mashes away our humanity. Luckily, you have a secret advantage. Do you remember what it is?

Yes. Your Spark — The source of your courage and driving force for change. Something or someone you love or care about deeply. If you haven’t found it, just stop right here. Nothing beyond this will make any sense to you and you have no choice but to keep pretending to be “interesting” or “attractive”.

But if you have found it, your Spark is one of your greatest assets. It cannot be faked. It cannot be copied. It gives you a strong affinity to what you do and why you do it. It helps people understand why you care. It will be your guiding light and the foundation of your rich personal narrative that will invite people to relate with you, trust you, and enter a relationship with you.

Every journey has a beginning: so tell me your Origin Story. And be human in every way: It doesn’t mean being perfect. It means being fascinatingly flawed.

Where’s your belly button?