Monday, 4 April 2011

Don't let it get in your way.

Who still believes in the motto "fake it till you make it"? Promoting the image without any real substance to back it up, in fact - lying to create momentum and opportunities and get ahead in a career, community or simply among a circle of friends.
There were times in the past when taking such a risk has really paid off, but nowadays the balance in the substance vs. image debate has taken a remarkable swing towards the latter. If everyone wastes times appear more than they really are then won't we be losing more precious time that could be spent in being productive, in trying to prove to others that we've somehow made it?

I think that in this image conscious society the way we appear, the ideas we give to others about our skills and success, and the value we place on gossip and rumour about us and the number of times our name has been published/pronounced in public has become way too important.
I'm not saying we should disregard appearance - if you walk into a bank dressed and smelling like a deadbeat it is very unlikely someone is gonna ever consider giving you a loan for your innovative unique business idea.

Human beings that live in a society need to feel accepted, recognized and respected - that is a given. But already decades ago the psychologist Maslow put those kind of esteem needs below what he considered the most important for a living person: the so-called 'self-actualizing' needs, those of fulfilling one's own potential without caring much about others' opinions.
Not only could this extreme search for social consent put at risk one's gradual build up of professional or private persona, it's also getting on the way of genuine happiness. Caring too much about approval, reputation and appearance is a big distraction from what actually matters: substance.

We often hear it from people who had the guts to go an unorthodox way in order to follow a dream: they were told at the very beginning - it will never work, that's isn't for you, you won't make it - guess what they did? They didn't try to second guess people's opinions. And they made it.

The star financier Warren Buffett says that people have an Inner and an Outer Scorecard - "if the world couldn't see your results, would you rather be thought as the world's greatest investor but in reality have the world's worst record? Or be thought as the worst and you were actually the best?". You should put the emphasis on your inner valuation of yourself, and that should be the source of your satisfaction.

From a purely commercial point of view you can't sale hot air forever, production must come first, sales and marketing has to be the last step of the chain.
In a more spiritual, oriental approach: why not just quietly be? Forget all the noise around you, focus on the here and now, and go your own way.



  1. Hello,

    This post is interesting as far as I can judge and I agree with it :) but I wonder if it is not in contradiction with your top model job which is based on appearance and I could even say virtual image because we know that the pics we see in the magazines are "tuned"?

    Best regards,

  2. If you can fake it perhaps you're half way to having made it; pretend a little and may be it will come true.

  3. Mais voila un blog pas trop mal. Et un article intéressant, ça devient assez rare bravo ;D

    J'aime surtout le ''Forget all the noise around you, focus on the here and now, and go your own way.'', la phrase est bonne, mais pas respectée à son juste titre par le 99% des gens!

    J'espère vraiment que tu penses ce que tu écris, à+

    Simon Denervaud

  4. Great piece of writing...I loved how you related your point to an economic point-of-view on the same subject.

    -Josh Sabra

  5. Bellissimo articolo. Nice to read such beautiful words. that's music for my ears... :)

    I completely agree with you.

    About waisting time... there is a russian "fairytale" (don't like the english word I prefear the italian word "favola" that simply means "telling") that I heard when I was about 6 years old and now after reading your article, I remember about it.
    Never heard about the adventures of Wanja? He was a lazy young guy that passed most time watching the sun and laying in the grass. :)
    But one day in the woods a blind old man telled him about his great feauture and that he will be crownd one day as czar. But to get so far he has to eat only sunflowerseeds, laying on his mantel (caminetto) for six years without speaking to noone just until he will be strong enough to pull up the roof of his fathers house to see the stars and the moon. After that he has to leave home and get on the other side of the mountains where he will live some adventures. It's strange that to get a men and be king he has to be "passive" for such a long time... where normally people are asked to doo something that will bring them to maturity, of curse after that he has to make some efforts but considering the time it takes him to get strong it's nearly nothing. Its a nice story for children but I never found one only parent that take it serious and really understand it.
    I dont find an english or italian translation. But there is a german version on youtube (die abenteuer des starken Wanja) of curse there are some books.
    Don't know if it can -still- beeing of some interest for you...
    I have to say russian farytales are full of wisdom and hidden significances!! :)

    Le favole sono una fonte di saggezza e di cultura diversa... possono essere veramente molto interessanti e profonde anche se a volte difficili da capire quasi più di un trattato filosofico(almeno per me). :)
    True wisdom and faith is a rare thing nowadays.