Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Paradoxes of Our Lives - When We Don't Take Ourselves Seriously, Others Do

I met a couple of people who have 'arrived' in life recently. I am surrounded by those - its almost like they all took the train, went and came back and I am still here, Anyway, I was intrigued by the one life lesson that they seemed to have imbibed right on top - 'I don't take myself seriously' (which is not the same as I don't take my work seriously!)

The paradox is that when we don't take ourselves too seriously others do. When we take ourselves too seriously, others don't take us seriously.

It's human nature perhaps to think that a person who is showing you his palms actually has something more hidden away someplace else. Hence we stay with this mysterious, intriguing and interesting person, wanting to sort out the mystery. But the mystery is that there is none - as in Kung Fu Panda. There is no secret sauce. You just believe that you have it.

The flip side then is what happens to most strivers and tryers - the rest of us on the platform - we try too hard to please. We take ourselves too seriously and it infects the air. It suffocates the others. Its like calling out to everyone and saying, look how hard I am trying. Notice me.

Don't. Because they won't notice you. Actually what you must communicate is that you don't give  damn if they notice you or not. Because you're too good anyway.

The difference is subtle. When we don't take ourselves too seriously it shows an innate security about ourselves, our work. It puts the other person at ease and they want to know what makes you so secure. They are drawn to you. You don't have to try to be anything else - anything extra. You have to be simple, transparent and not take yourself too seriously.

On the other hand we are trying too hard and that makes the other person insecure. Like they say the best salespeople hardly speak about the product or the sale. They are selling themselves - building the trust, the interest.

Easy on you. Easy on others. Adds the X factor.

Life is easy. 


Rajendra said...

I like the premise.

Harimohan said...

Yes Raja. Firstly, we should not take this seriously. :)