Tuesday, September 18, 2007

66 Tips For Better Networking - #35

Route 66 - The Journey Toward Success

Beyond Image

When I was a youth my dad once told me that a person is not fully grown-up when they turn eighteen. Sure, you can vote, go to war, illegally drink beer, get married, and all that other "adult stuff", but one is not grown until they know who they are in their heart...and are comfortable with that realization.

He said this happens sometimes between the ages of 35 and 40.

At the time I thought this was ridiculous. I probably rolled my eyes and thought "yeah, whatever". As a cocky teenager I believed that the image of being an adult was all that mattered. The law said 18 was the demarcation line, thus it must be fact. But like most things that my elders told me in my early years, he was right on the money.

As I have passed the BIG 4-0 I have become much more at ease with my personal strengths and my weaknesses. I am no longer ashamed of the things I do not do well (I am a lame-o in most sports), and I am not as braggadocios about my talents. I am at peace with who Thom Singer is as a person, and happy with my place in the world. The image is no longer holding the same level of important.

Mistakes? Oh, yes, I have made a lot of them. I will continue to make them. But they are just threads that make up the tapestry of my me-ness. I have some regrets and some areas I strive to improve....but for the most part, to quote that great sage, Popeye The Sailor Man, "I am what I am".

I think this is important to grasp in our personal and professional lives. I meet a lot of young people (mid-twenties) who are very focused on proving themselves to the world. They love the image of success, without really understanding how it is attained. They buy BMW's on extended credit and act like they are hot stuff. I smile, because I walked that path, too (minus the BMW). I wonder if they are lucky enough to have a good dad who told them the "truth" so they will recognize their real soul when them meet themselves at age 40.

As I sat having lunch at Whole Foods Market the other day I watched a young couple arguing about their finances. (Yes, I was eavesdropping, but they were also talking loud!) She complained that his car payment was too much and he should sell the sports car and buy a Honda. He belittled his wife's comment by telling her that she needed to understood that "image trumps money any day". He was not kidding. I wonder if he will feel the same way in 15 years? I silently laughed. My guess is one day he will have a second wife who will understand all about image!

Ignore the image you have created and live as the person you are. Let you business associates see the real you, and you will create more powerful long-lasting relationships. Allow yourself to pursue your heart's desire. Embrace each day as the next step to attaining your goals. And be true to that voice inside that is showing you the way to success.

Have A Great Day.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

GREAT post! I have come to the same place in my life and it is such a freeing place to be!!!