We are not who we think we are. We are not who we think other people think we are. We ARE who other people think we are. (You might have to read it again or twice) In essence, we sometimes think we have a good idea how others perceive us. The truth is that the perception others have about us is usually much more accurate than we think about ourselves. For example, have you ever met someone who thinks they are really funny, but truthfully they are rather obnoxious? As a student of behavior, I have always been fascinated by watching other people….how they interact with others. Many people (I would say most, but don’t want to overstate) really have no clue how they are perceived by others. For us to be the best we can for others and for ourselves, it is important to become really conscious and aware of how our words and actions impact how we are seen. In The Principle of the Path, Andy Stanley, pastor of North Point Community Church outside of Atlanta, states “Our direction, not our intention, determines our destination.” It is not what we think about doing, but what we actually do. A good exercise is to list what we confirm is most important to us in our life on one side of the ledger and then list those things that take our attention, time, money and energy. Are we pursuing those activities that reflect what is most important? I came across something recently that is most relevant to this topic entitled “Truths For Living” by William Arthur Ward, one of America’s most quoted writers of inspirational maxims.
The more generous we are, the more joyous we become.
The more cooperative we are, the more valuable we become.
The more enthusiastic we are, the more productive we become.
The more serving we are, the more prosperous we become.
The more outgoing we are, the more helpful we become.
The more curious we are, the more creative we become.
The more patient we are, the more understanding we become.
The more persistent we are, the more successful we become.
Worthwhile words to help direct fruitful and happy lives.
Richard Davis, SHRM-SCP, SPHR
McClain Group, LLC