1. Behavior is the broadcaster of attitude. Don’t bother announcing to people what kind of attitude you strive to maintain. Anyone who’s even (somewhat) perceptive can already tell. And here’s why: Bodies override mouths, verbs outweigh nouns and actions embody mindsets.
Whatever you feel, people can spot. Whatever you harbor, people can smell. And whatever you deny, people can detect. They might not admit it, but deep down, they know something’s going on. Christ, even the DOG is onto you. So, you may as well tell the truth about how you feel. Is your behavior consistent with your stated values, even when no one is watching?
2. Humor is the height of communication. It’s also the only universal language and the great catchall of communication. For example: Funny means listening. Funny means approval. Funny means trust. Funny means attention. Funny means memorable. Funny means engaging. Funny means emotional. Funny means credible. Funny means learning. And funny means influential.
Nothing else in the world covers more ground than humor. And the good news is, everybody is funny. Everybody has endless humor in his life. And anyone can excavate the constant and inherent hilariousness of his daily experiences to improve his communication with others. You don’t need ventriloquize other people’s humor and pawn it off as your own original material.
Learn to leverage you brain’s creative process. Learn to observe ALL your experiences as being humorous. And learn to record them in an easily accessible, organized place. You’ll be the funniest person you know. How strong is your funny bone?
3. Imperfection is the insignia of inspiration. In a 2009 issue of Rolling Stone, Madonna shared the following insight:
“Justin Timberlake is really good-looking and laid back. He’s sort of a Cary Grant. I love him. I love working with him. But I don’t recognize myself IN him. But I can see myself in Lady Gaga. At her concert, she didn’t have a lot of money for her production, she had holes in her fishnets and there were mistakes everywhere. Kind of a mess. And it was nice to see that at a raw stage.”
Lesson learned: Followers and fans can’t see a reflection of themselves in monuments of flawlessness. Are you too perfect?
4. Inauthenticity is the forecaster of failure. Eventually, people are going to find out who you really are. It’s only a matter of time. And while certain people might be able to keep the show going longer than others, putting on an act IS exhausting. Just ask any professional comedian. Everyone (eventually) runs out of steam. And that’s when their truth is revealed.
The question is: How will the people you serve respond to it? And how wide will the gap be between your Truth and their memory? After all, it doesn’t matter what YOU think – it matters what THEY remember. All I’m saying is, it might be easier (and cheaper) to start walking your Truth TODAY. What’s the difference between your onstage performance and backstage reality?
5. Overseriousness is the fountainhead of mediocrity. The only thing worth being serious about is play. Now, understand that there are two components to this philosophy. First: Play as Attitude. This is about approaching everything you do in a playful way. Experiencing the world as a curious child would. Second: Play as Action.
As my mentor and occasional therapist, Richard Avdoian taught me, “Being playful isn’t the same thing as PLAYING.” One is a philosophy, the other is an event – and both are required. So, “playing” is something you do deliberately that has nothing to do with work whatsoever.
Think of it as a mini vacation. Going to a ballgame. Riding a Slip and Slide. Watching a mind-numbing action movie. Walking your ferret. Whatever. Anything that helps you escape from work. Remember: Be playful AND let yourself play. Is your life a playground or a corporate park?
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
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