Hi, and welcome to another blog post where I try to get my thoughts “on paper” in the digital sense of the word.
Sometimes I wonder how I come across to people. Not in an insecure kind of way, but in a curiosity kind of way. I saw something a while back on Facebook that talked about how there are literally multiple versions of you, and none of them are the “you” that you think you are.
Does that make sense? The person you think you are, the person you see in the mirror, that person only exists to you. Others see “you” in their own way, and that may not line up with who you see in the mirror.
Multiple times in my own life, I have had people look at me and say, “I wish you could see yourself how I see you.”
While I’m still not there, it did bring up a couple of things:
- It made me think of the saying “What others think of me is none of my business.”
- It made me think about authenticity – another subject I talk about regularly on here.
Damn, I use the word “think” a lot on here. Anyway…
For me to be authentic, I have to live by and act on my core principles and values. How that is perceived by others is not really my business. I think? (Did it again.)
That got me to thinking about an article I read a while back called “How to Grow the Fuck Up” by Mark Manson. In that article, he talks about three stages of life: child, adolescent, adult.
Basically, as a child, we do things for pleasure. As an adolescent, things are transactional; we develop principles and values, but we also try to make sure that we get pleasure at the end. We’ll do something to get something in return. (If you’re thinking that you know adults like that, he does argue in the article that many people never get past this stage their whole lives.)
Then we have the adult stage where we do things based on our principles without regard to pleasure. We do something simply because it’s right.
Now how does all this tie together? Good question. All this stuff floats around in my brain, and trying to make it all intersect into a post that makes sense can be daunting at times. But here goes:
I think principles are important. I care about people. I don’t show that I care in order to get something in return. It’s not transactional. I just care. When I think or know that someone is struggling or hurting, I try to check on them. Not for any reward, but because I care. I don’t want or expect anything in return. (And I’m not religious, so I’m not concerned about some post-earth reward either.)
But… I don’t always know how that comes across. Do some people think that I want something in return? Do they think that I have some ulterior motive? Do they think I’m being transactional instead of principled?
In the end, however, if I don’t do what I’m supposed to do (principles), then I’m not being the authentic version of myself that I think I am (that person I see in the mirror.)
Hopefully that made sense. [Insert shrug emoji here.]
Anyway, this year has been a shit year for a whole lot of people, and this time of year can exacerbate that with holidays, stress, seasonal affective disorder, oh, and this whole fucking pandemic that JUST. WON’T. STOP. So check on your people. Spread some love. Live by your principles and be your authentic self.
Thanks for reading. Subscribe, connect, follow, all that kind of stuff. Much love.