For the past 14 years, the Internet has been my News network. I avoid watching News on TV because they are too dark. They are like The X-Files chronicles. Rest assured, I keep myself informed on daily basis with what is happening in the world we live in, locally and internationally, as I choose not to be ignorant, in spite of the busyness of life.
Yesterday, I was over a friend’s home, visiting her and her family. We are at the table, eating dinner, and meanwhile their little 5-year-old daughter is running around the table, while the TV is on playing the News. At first we hear the most recent reforms in politics and Madonna’s Billboard Woman of the Year Award Speech, and suddenly we hear something extremely brutal— just something very sad and cruel that is happening around the world.
My hope and wish is that one day the News will be divided in two: one segment with News such as changes within the system, politics, and public events, and second area speaking of dark chronicles for those who want to watch the trauma people cause on each other on daily basis, physically, emotionally, and intellectually to each other. And, in spite of this, I still haven’t lost faith in humanity and the hope for people to change with the right formula — a topic for discussion at another time.
Once, I was on the road driving with a friend of mine who began to tell me a horrifying story of a family friend. Soon after the beginning of the story, I sensed which way things were going and I asked her to stop. She looked at me very surprised and asked: “But, honey, wouldn’t you want to know? These are facts of life? Isn’t it better to get used to them and to hear them?” I told her: “Yes, you’re absolutely right. Accidents happen on daily basis, but that doesn’t mean that I like to watch them. I have seen several in front of my eyes, with tragic outcomes because of people’s reckless actions.”
And for this reason I choose not to watch the News on TV and to inform myself via the Internet, social networks, family and friends about the tragedies that happen on daily basis in our local and international world.
When the movie “The Wolf of Wall Street,” was playing, several years ago, I saw a Facebook post that said: “10 things we can learn from Wolf of Wall Street” and one of the points listed was something along the lines:
“The poor think that there’s something specific you need to do to become rich. But in fact, to be rich, you need not to do anything, but to become the right type of person.”
Of course, the two things are connected, but the main thing is to become the “right” type of person. If you are a shy individual and between you and the wealth you want to create stands a rich man whom you must impress, will you be able to connect with him/her? In my opinion, you wouldn’t be. It would be difficult for you to impress others, if you are shy, closed off and no one notices you. In this sense, the above quote would mean that your main obstacle to becoming a rich man is not something you haven’t been able to do, but that generally you do not have the “right” type of personality (Obviously, exceptions happen all the time, someone is at the right time, at the right place, around the right person who has already accumulated the wealth and the miracle happens for him/her — a topic for more discussion at another time as well).
Of course, the two things are connected, but the main thing is to become the “right” type of person. If you are currently the shyest person in the world and if between you and your fortune stand a rich man who you must impress, can you do it? In my opinion, you wouldn’t be able to.
In this case, I chose the word of someone being “shy,” but if you insist, you could use words such as: “too aggressive,” “shabby,” “too vain,” “uncertain,” too confident,” and so on.
Does this mean that one who is not shy, or too vain, or self-confident person cannot be rich? Not necessarily.
But if anything ever stopped you from achieving your goals, take a look in the mirror.
Abbie (a fictitious name) wants to be a model. She stands in the hallway of her apartment, leaves her hair down, takes her phone out and takes several selfies. She writes a short biography and quickly sends it to five modeling agencies.
No one replies to her.
Abbie begins to wonder why no one responds to her and shares the problem with two of her best friends. One of her friends is a hairstylist and soon as he sees the selfies Abbie had sent out, he quickly tells her that the problem is in her hair. Her other friend is an Assistant at a Human Resources Management company. She tells her that the problem is in the poorly written biography.
Abbie’s friends help her — one helps her get her hair done and the other one writes a new biography for her. Happy and hopeful, Abbie sends the new documents to three out of the five agencies she had initially contacted.
Once again, no one replies back to her.
Finally, Abbie pays a consultant who is a professional for modeling agencies. He tells her that besides her hair and the new biography, she needs to choose a suitable outfit, makeup, shoes, and do a professional photo session with a photographer.
Abbie reserves a photo session with a photographer and the night before she decides to stay out late at a club to hang out with friends. Next morning she’s barely able to pull herself together and ends up being late for the photo session. She’s tired, irritable and not listening to the photographer’s advice during the session.
At last, Abbie somehow manages to arrange an interview with an agency for models and after two interviews she begins to work there. Soon, however, she’s fired, although she had prepared herself for the job — she has the right hairstyle, suitable clothes, professional photos — she ends up not being the right candidate, after all. Abbie ends up complaining and being irritable around others and doesn’t listen to any of the advices coming from the professionals at the agency.
After being fired from the agency, Abbie connects again with her two best friends and complains to them about what had happened. She cannot understand what the problem is. She is young, pretty, tall, and fit. Her too friends look at her and don’t say a word.
Her friends know that the real problem is within Abbie and her character. They know that she’s never on time and never follows up on anything. They also know she doesn’t like to listen to anyone, she’s way too stubborn and complains all the time.
Several days later, Abbie meets her friends again and accidentally says to them: “The problem might be within myself…I must be missing something.”
One of her friends takes the plunge and says:
“Well, Abbie, you’re somewhat of a complex person.”
“What do you mean?” Abbie asks.
“Well, you know, you always think that if it’s not your way, it’s the highway…,” her friend laughs to make the conversation less awkward.
“Well, what do you mean? Doesn’t everyone like to follow his goals and dreams?”
“Yes, but sometimes…well…sometimes it’s good for people to open up to compromises and see situations with different perspectives and take advice from others who are more experienced.”
“Yes, yes, you’re right. The ones that are too high up in the air don’t ever reach anything.” Abbie says and ends the topic.
By dropping the conversation, Abbie misses a rare opportunity to receive great feedback from the people that care about her. A fact and an opportunity of authenticity and honesty from close friends that happen very rarely amongst people. Oftentimes your friends would never tell you about the shortcomings they see in you, for fear of offending you. Even if you ask about them, they most likely will still not tell you. Yet, our friends love us unconditionally with all of our flaws and quirks and they wouldn’t be our friends, if they didn’t.
In the story of Abbie, what’s the main problem? Is it the selfies in the hallway, the lack of her hair not being done, or the lack of certain personality traits? Abbie did all the right things — fixed her hair, had professional pictures taken, and finally obtained the opportunity she wanted. But she failed to hold it. Even with the right external image, Abbie did not become the “right” type of person.
Now imagine Bob (another fictitious name). Bob wants to be rich. He is young, confident, and energetic. Ever since his college years, he’s been dressing in expensive suits and driving new cars, although he hasn’t been able to afford it. He thinks the path to success begins with the proper vision on the outside that would allow him to make an impression on the right people who will help him become rich.
Bob, like most people is confident that this is the way to the top and that his way is the best and most accurate. When this path ends up not working for him, he begins to think that there must be something that he hasn’t done. He begins to do more — he begins to buy more and more expensive suits, new, more expensive cars, begins to meet with people at more expensive restaurants, and begins to take even more expensive courses for improvement. But, in fact, Bob continues to do more of the same that he has already done when he has to do something completely different.
In fact, the main problem of Bob is that he’s all words and no actions. He has no real skills for anything. He has no money because he’s paying off money he has borrowed, the new cars he had purchased and most importantly he talks too.
Friends of Bob see everything very well. When Bob presents his new plan to them about his next plan “for success,” they only sigh at him. Bob wants to become wealthy financially, but he’s not ready to make personal changes. Why does he have to change? The world isn’t fair. The world must change for him.
Do you think Bob’s friends needed to tell him to come back down to the Planet Earth and bring his ego down? That the road to success does not only pass through the first impression? That to become rich, you must first become the “right” type of person, to be able to defend yourself and who you are as a person, to not think that you are anything less or more compared to others, to be determined rather than stubborn, to be curious rather than inert and to be hardworking rather than lazy?
We are all human. No one likes being criticized. No one likes having to change. But fortunately exactly what is most difficult for you to change, this is where your biggest brake in life happens.
Enjoyed reading? Please share. We are in this world to help one another. All of us grow faster when we support each other. I encourage others to add value to the world, so we can make compounding ripples of improvement for everyone.
About The Author
Dr. Mila is an internationally known Change Catalyst. She teaches individuals and organizations about awareness, connection, and the need for change – personally, socially, and professionally.