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What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Good morning and welcome to EA Every Tuesday. We’re back!

Thank goodness that perfection is not a human goal; although so many us strive so very hard to achieve it. Despite the continual identification and publicizing of man’s shortcomings, our society still (generally) seeks the picture perfect human being. One without fault or blemish. We judge these people, we’ve found to be less than perfect, so harshly. We so easily look past our own faulty decisions, harsh words we say to hurt, lies we’ve told and outright bad decisions that we narrowly escaped the consequences of to condemn our fellow man for falling down. We do this in a time where he or she needs to be lifted up, encouraged to do better and told that they can resume the “right” path and that we know this because we too have fallen and gotten back up. There is something wrong with this picture.

There are those who hold to the look of picture of perfection so tightly, like a morsel of food in times of famine. It’s the look they’re going for not the content. They say all the right things, drive the right car, have a “good” job, smile all the time, answer “great” every time you ask how they are doing, and suppress every urge to share a shortcoming that might actually free them and you. They live in “The Land of Make Believe”. I know a lot about these types of people. Several years ago I was one. I am, in no way, suggesting that people stop and tell strangers on the street their every whim or burn up the ear of every relative, friend or significant other who asks “how are you?” This is called a complainer; they are time suckers and ungrateful people. (Sorry, yes I just made a judgement call, but that is a hot button for me :) ). I am, however, suggesting that we share a bit more, about where are in the moment, with those we care about and who care about us. The purpose is not just to have someone to listen (although that is sometimes helpful), but rather to begin to work through this space and time to get to a better place. The interesting thing is that talking it through is usually not only good for the person going through, but therapeutic for the person helping them through.

The other side of this coin. I’ve been doing brand and communications work long enough to know that situations are rarely picture perfect; although sometimes very, very close. The thing is, we are the ones who get to define what the “picture perfect” life is for us. We sometimes project our own insecurities on to others thinking how we might feel in their situation; when really they are happy doing it their way. Some people need to see the shortcomings, insecurities and faults of others to feel good about themselves. They complain that certain people’s situation seems to perfect and the thought that “it” (whatever it is; marriage, job, family, etc.) is, makes them feel insecure. Let me just say for the record that, that is about YOU. Stop looking around so much and work towards you’re own happy life. 

So the question is not “what’s wrong with this picture?” as we look on to see how others are doing, it’s “where am I right now?”

The Depth of Character

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Please forgive the delay of this blog post. I was on hold for a while since my website was being recreated. We are back to EA Every Tuesday. Thank you so much for your comments thus far. I will begin responding tomorrow. I so appreciate your honest feedback; the good the bad and the ugly. It’s the only way I can grow.

Today’s blog (EA Every Tuesday on Wednesday) is dealing with the depth of our character. There is a scripture in the Bible that talks about knowing a tree by its fruit. I liken that to people. I’m not big on talk, but the actions of others. One can say that they are a hardworking, considerate and compassionate person. Well, watching them take a break every chance they get at work, blast their music and shun a homeless person is enough for me to make my own decision.

There are lots of fast talkers in the world. Many look good on paper. How do we know who is real? Their fruit, or the depth of their character. People show you the real them over time an under the right circumstances. Being congruent is one of the most respectable spaces a person can be in for me. Your thoughts, words and actions all match. There isn’t much guess work and they have a high level of integrity when it comes to acting out who they are on the inside.

It’s easy to take the low road, to dismiss a service person, to walk past an ederly person in need of assistance, to join the gossip at the office, etc. It takes depth of character to become the person you are in your mind. I’ve never heard a person describe themselves as someone who never keeps their word, untrustworthy, a breaker of confidences, inconsiderate, etc. Most people describe themselves in a positive light. There is a constant want to be and do better. It takes depth to be better.

The next time you are faced with the choice to dive deep into your character or take the easy way out, pause, line up your thoughts, (words if applicable) and actions and act according the person you want to be.