I spent a lot of my yesterday wondering what to say today and unfortunately, just realized I should have spent some time observing the giant goof I made in not taking a second look at my previous title. See, I can spell International, I already have, twice today. So let's see what I learned yesterday.
I get inputs into my life - and a lot of pure junk, from my faithful computer. I have gone out of my way to make friends with people who obviously, love to write as I do and they are a daily blessing to me, but this morning I got more than I was prepared to receive. Typical of my life these days. So after reading the article (Note the title above) that was forwarded by the good folks at Entrepreneur magazine, I decided this was a good place to start, Steve Tobak was the contributor and I have no idea of who he is, but I am indebted to him for his thoughts on - "10 Behaviors of Genuine People." I could spend days writing about just these three words - behavior, genuine and people.
Most of you who know me best probably believe that I have spend most of my latter days trying to be genuine, after years of being far less than. But what was is no longer. What has been is in the past.
I have often referred to my past by starting with to the fact I was not born into a genuine family. I was blessed, however, to have been sent to live with the most genuine folks (my grandparents) I have ever know in all of my many years, but that did not ease the pain of a reality that they did not seem to understand. Their thoughts seemed to be, I was a child to be loved and they went out of their way to love me as they had with their own four children. So, I did what would become a pattern for my life for far too many years, I ran away. And I became good at that.
Being genuine was a quality that escaped me for a long, long time. For example, Steve's first thought on folks being genuine escaped me for decades. "They don't seek attention." So, what did I do? I joined the Air Force and learned that if you do not seek attention, no one will ever notice you. It took me a couple of years to learn that fact of life in the military, but I learned it well and was amply rewarded - I thought. When I came home to be with my family, I cannot recall anyone with any interest in my experiences, even though I had spent four years in the Far East and I ached to tell others of the wonderful world I had discovered, just beyond our shores. Steve is right, I was developing an ego that needed constant reinforcement. I had yet to learn that genuine people are filled with self-confidence - AND, self-awareness. I was as he suggests, "wasting my brain".
"They are not concerned with being liked." In my early years, I was overwhelmed with the idea that being "liked" could be accomplished merely by an ability to overwhelm others, especially the opposite sex. Having girlfriends became my idea of success at my age. Then, I met a truly genuine girl who had the kindest way of showing me how much I had to learn. I was stationed on the Gulf Shores and she returned from a visit with her folks to tell me how much she loved me. I was overwhelmed. She took an apartment on the beach and spent her days, waiting for me to get back to her. One day I was delayed because an important person had arrived from the Pentagon and was there to examine a proposal my group had sent to his office. I was four hours late in getting to the beach and when I asked her apartment manager where she might be, I was told they had taken her to the hospital in Pensacola. They had discovered her unconscious on her blanket after taking in those deadly rays. They were that day. She was DOA when she arrived at the hospital.
"Being liked" was no longer possible. I hated myself and took on a attitude that others should share in my assessment. Narcissism was not my problem, self-hatred took hold of my life and thoughts of relationships went out of the window,
"They can tell when others are full of it". I was not just naive, I was living in a world of my own - where only fools dared to tread. My last assignment in the USAF was under a Colonel who I had come to greatly admire when we were stationed together in Japan. Six months later, I detested almost everything I knew about him and the die was cast, I had better move on. I had discovered that I was the one who was full of it.
I was definitely not "comfortable in my own skin" as Steve offered as the next attribute of genuine people and it was't going to get any better. I headed for Georgia and college in Atlanta where my mother lived and little I did realize at the time, the attitudes I held about her love for her son rose anew. I began to realize I was not "comfortable in my own skin" and I did not consider that I was my problem. I had served seven years in the military and I knew it was my "duty" to move on, plow ahead, always assuming I was in charge of my own life, all others take notice. Steve quotes Thoreau's famous dictum, "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." The first time I had read that was as I was preparing for a college exam and there were tears in my eyes.
I graduated from college with high honors, had been married along the way - as a way of getting away from my mother and her boyfriend, and it seemed that I had recovered from my past. The only problem was that I was violating Steve's next thought about genuine people. "They do what they say and say what they mean". I don't even know whether others were onto me, but I was doing just the opposite. I was doing what was best for me and meaning was not a factor in my life. Commitments? That was for others to believe and for me to ignore.
Well, I am about halfway through an excellent article that I wished others would take to heart as I am committed to do. There's that word, commitment! OK, I have given you no reason to read on, but please do. I have a miracle to share with you, tomorrow. I promise, the "real" me, promises!