It’s amazing how many different kinds of people there are in the world, even my little world, and it’s even more amazing how many different ways those people react to the way the world responds to their talents, qualities, and demonstrated abilities. I watch for these things, because there are some things that have made me aware of the differences. I’ve spent some time around some pretty big egos, and it is interesting to observe how people handle the success they have. Sometimes, there are cases of “how far the mighty have fallen” and how those folks handle it, as well. Why do this as an exercise? I like to just kick back and observe, pick out what I like, and hopefully apply it in my own life.
Though I’ve never been “mighty” I’ve had some less than successful experiences in my life. I come from pretty humble beginnings, and that’s allowed me to appreciate what I have been able to achieve – or rather, WE because nothing that has been achieved could have been done without the Mother Superior (known to the rest of the world as Mom, or Pam). As one of those egos once said of her “Now there’s a lady with a presence”. It’s that “presence” that interests me most.
I’ve spent alot of time in public service, mostly small potatoes stuff, but met alot of people – smart people who know a lot of good stuff. Same with my insurance career, working with and for a couple of former Governors of the State of Wisconsin, not to mention the company officers, a few of whom I had a close relationship with for many years, and remain in contact with ten years after my departure from “the company”. I’ve had some pretty impressive clients, too, and by treating them like regular people, was able to learn a great deal. So what’s the takeaway?
I want to keep meeting new people and renewing old friendships. It is so great to reconnect with old friends who – just maybe, you should have been better friends with back in “the day”. Some – not so much. I really have a hard time with false humility, self deprecation bores me: People who have a hard time handling compliments for real accomplishments, and try to pretend it’s nothing. Same with people who accomplish pretty average things and make like it’s a big deal. I’m looking for some quiet confidence. Maybe we could call it confident humility. I want to find people who have set goals for themselves, worked hard to achieve them, and are content to celebrate alone with a fist pump and/or just a big YES! and a grin. Not to go out looking for praise, but when it comes, the ability to take it straight up, and just say thank you. It’s best when the accomplishments are planned and hard won; the praise genuinely unexpected. Thank you – a couple of my favorite words.