To continue on my 2015 theme of “Be More Weird” I would like to highlight a great habit to get into if you wish to level up on your journey of being the unique person you are.
Quick—who are you trying to impress?
Dad? Friends? A girl?
I want you to literally make a list of five people you are trying to impress.
It is my belief that these people should have no part of your life. The reason why you are trying to impress them is because THEY ARE NOT WEIRD LIKE YOU.
To continue on my YEAR OF WEIRD, I propose that we shed trying to impress anyone.
Just stop it.
One day, when I was in Junior High, I shaved off my eyebrows.
No, this was not an attempt to be counter-culture. Back then I was still playing with My Little Ponies. This was an attempt to impress people.
The Universe doesn’t like it when you try to impress people.
You remember the universe! The super evil mass of space and dust that attempts to destroy our lives if we get too lame.
Here’s how it happened.
I was perusing a catalog filled with greeting cards. This was the era where this type of image was really popular:
I saw a painting of an Native American maiden that was so beautiful I almost couldn’t breathe. I studied the picture “Why, oh why is she so beautiful?”
Then I figured it out! She had eyebrows that were very, very close to her eyeballs.
“I must have these eyebrows!” I declared. “Then, surely, I will impress people.”
The problem was, my eyebrows were not furniture and I could not move them. So I tried to furrow them. It only made me look terribly worried.
Finally, I figured out the solution (all that furrowing does eventually pay off!) I had to but shave them off and then redraw them!
Amanda Palmer, anyone?
Well, I couldn’t quite pull it off in Amanda Palmer style. I frankly, looked like a bald seal. I did not look like a beautiful, majestic Native American woman.
I panicked. I ran around the house. WHAT HAD I DONE!?
To cover my embarrassing gaff, I lied about it. Repeatedly.
“See, I fell asleep in gym class and some chucksters totally took the razor from the shower, see cause we were in gym class, and shaved my eyebrows and I didn’t even wake up because when you are in gym class, you fall asleep and its really hard to wake up, so . . .”
After this, I stopped trying to impress people. Because that makes Native American’s cry.
End Anecdotal Interlude
Reasons you should stop trying to impress people
1. It Requires Massive Amounts of Energy
People rarely think of things they embark on in terms of energy expended. To totally remake yourself for just one person? That can be seriously nap-inducing stuff. As a human being with finite energy resources, you have to carefully manage how you wish to spend your energy. Do you really want to waste it on people who do not find you superawesomefantastic right away?
2. It Reveals on Off-Balance Sense of Self
Cultivating a strong sense of self is one of the most important things you can do with your life. A strong sense of self recognizes where you stop and others begin. Humans are not chameleons and if we change for people, we can end up compromising who we really are. This can lead to a confused state called “fence sitting” where you are on neither side of the fence and must try to balance the middle. That balance takes away from everything else in your life and can even cause depression.
3. Some People Are Never Going to be Impressed
Will Smith said “Don’t Chase People.” This is a great mantra for happiness. Chances are pretty good that if you are trying hard to impress someone, you are chasing them. But we have to face the cold, hard facts of life: some people will never, ever like you. It doesn’t matter how many cookies you bring, how many smiles you give, how many compliments, presents and ponies. They will never, ever give you what you want.
But there is an entire world full of people who could and will. And you don’t have to chase them, they come to you!
4. You Have More Important Things To Do
Sometimes trying to impress people is just an activity that masks the activity you desperately know you must do instead. It is a form of Resistance on a large scale. That energy you are expending can be better spent on being your weird self!
Have a story about trying to impress others? Share it in the comments below!
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