TUESDAY, JUNE 14, 2011
I’ve been told I have a big ego.
Although outwardly I often react by denying it, shuffling my feet in some imaginary sand and offering a trite reply such as “Aw Shucks no I don’t ma’am” or some other lame retort.
Facts are facts – I’ve got a big ego.
What do you expect? I’m a sales guy – and although I’ve been in management for the better part of the last 13 or so years it’s all still sales. Ego plays a key role in successful salespeople and I’m no different. On a good day I could sell a refrigerator to an Eskimo and convince them that they really needed it. Ego can do that.
Although it’s been a bit bruised and battered over the first half of what’s turned out to be a somewhat difficult year, that ego does still come through. A bit more frequently in the past week or so as I work my way into my next stage. That old ego bared it’s claws in a recent discussion I was involved in regarding marketing expertise.
With prototypical bravado I indicated to my colleague that I indeed had probably forgotten more about our chosen field than he could ever hope to know.
Yup. I can be a real prick sometimes.
In all honesty it was said more or less in jest as we were really just ribbing each other, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel there was at least a morsel of truth to my statement.
On the way back home I gave some thought to the statement. Not a look inward to how I perceive myself, but rather I spent some time trying to think about all that I have forgotten. After a rather lengthy ride I came to the conclusion that I actually remember more than I thought, and that in itself was somewhat satisfying, realizing it hasn’t all been clouded over with bong resin and demon rum.
Thinking back I could clearly recall when I actually thought a big house was a sign of success. Along with the type of car you drove meaning more than simply having transportation to where you needed to go.
I remembered when I didn’t need to keep a pair of glasses in every room of the house just to be able to read whatever might land in front of me. Like a menu at a fine steakhouse for example. I remember thinking once that the size of the tab you picked up said something about you. I recall never being able to imagine that a nice burger and beer at the local pub could ever be more satisfying.
I remember wanting stuff, after all that’s why I needed a big house. To keep all of that shit in. I don’t recall ever thinking that all this shit might actually become a burden some day.
I remembered all the efforts I used to make just to try and appear a part of the popular crowd. Back then, never thinking that ultimately all I wanted to do was be surrounded by the few trusted friends and loved ones who accept me exactly as I am. With that realization I remembered that I learned being true to yourself is the easiest way to earn respect, and upon learning that, the crowd soon followed me.
I remembered drinking coffee all day long just to maintain a drive to work harder. I still work pretty hard, but I’ve cut back on the coffee. I like to think that these days I work smarter instead of harder too.
I remembered working in the media when there was still room for creativity and innovation.
Then I realized something that I had actually forgotten; that creativity and innovation comes from within.
Sure we all can sit back and complain that things aren’t the way they used to be, and that the economy sucks and we’re all headed down that slippery slope to oblivion and that there’s nothing anyone can do to change it.
Have you heard anything like that recently? Maybe you said something like that. Maybe you thought it.
It all sucks. We’re all doomed. We’re all fucked and there’s not one fucking thing anyone can do about it.
OH! Now I remember what I wanted to tell you…all of that is TRUE!
Yup! Might as well give up now because we’ve all spent and gorged ourselves into near extinction. As a species the human race is toast. All of our politicians are crooks and thieves. Bullshit is the glue that’s holding society together and that’s about to break…
Remember who you are. Remember what YOUR world is really all about, that’s what you have to look inward for. We all live in our own head, that’s our world.
If you think about it hard enough, and long enough you can find that world which satisfies all you want.
For most of us – I think that realization comes a little too late. I remembered the things I used to regret when I was younger; not getting the better seats at the show, or not sleeping with the groupies. Meaningless in the long run but in my world, once somewhat important. These days the only regret I find that I have is having wasted time over my life thinking about things I didn’t have or wanted. Trivial, meaningless crap.
Look, life is hard, the world outside is harder and the problems usually seem insurmountable. We can sit and worry ourselves to death. But that’s simply confirming the basic futility of the human existence. Simplify, and release the burdens of restraint that cause us all to forget the ability to find peace within ourselves. Learn what’s really important to you and make that your world. Forget all the extraneous bullshit – you’ll soon learn it’s not important. We’re the only ones who have the ability to do that.
Sometimes we all forget that.