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Don’t Tell Me You’re Funny, Make Me Laugh

There’s no need to shout about who you are. Just be yourself, fully. I was once asked how one recognises aware people. Initially, I answered that they are the quiet ones, but that is not particularly helpful because not all quiet people are aware, and there may be some aware people who are not quiet. I added that there is no need to look for them. Focus on yourself, and when the time is right, they will find you.

Last weekend I spoke with a man who works hard, but keeps it to himself. He and I discussed how admirable it is to maintain a silence about the extra effort he is making, but that sometimes we all just want people to notice the work we are putting in. I said that if he embodies everything he does and every quality he has, people will see how good he is, and those who understand will know how hard he works.

For that to happen, of course, there has to be a level of self-awareness about how good we are and ownership of what we do. Only by becoming aware of (but not attached to) our qualities, our behaviour and our contribution, are we able to live them completely. When that happens, there is no need to go around telling everyone, because those who need to know will notice.

Similarly, a client once reported that a colleague was taking credit for work he had done. Again, I talked to him about being fully aware of the contribution he makes. When you have thorough knowledge of your own abilities and the work you do, they emerge naturally and with a clarity which can make even the ignorant pay attention. As a result, he deepened his awareness and began having more constructive conversations. His colleague is still inclined to take false credit, but in time that too will become more noticeable.

That same client also recounted a lovely story, which was the opposite of a co-worker’s dishonesty. He told me how he had helped a junior colleague whose appreciation extended to thanking him twice in an acceptance speech to senior management, even though he wasn’t in the room to hear it himself. It touches on a previous post, ‘To Serve’, about how the epitome of serving someone is to give everything, yet remain invisible. His name is now in the minds of the people who count, and all he did was support someone.

Don’t expect people to notice what you have done. Don’t look for gratitude or recognition. Just know yourself completely and be yourself fully. Do that and you will automatically make the most of the opportunities – which will come your way – to make the impression your character and contribution deserve. It will all happen naturally because of your awareness. So don’t tell me you’re funny, make me laugh.

Related post: Own How Good You Are

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