Seth Godin (hall of fame marketer, best-selling author) once said something along the lines of: “I may not be the smartest in the room, but I decided that I’d always be the one who was on time, I’d be the type of person who…”
I remember this train of thought having a profound effect on me, the idea that we could reject certain expectations on ourselves (both inward and outward) and be liberated by that freedom.
It would allow us to recreate our own rules to live by. Our own principles.
If we are not X or Y, then who are we? What are we going to be?
We get to decide from scratch, and when we do, perhaps we’re more likely to stick to it, because we don’t have anything else to fall back on.
It takes some serious consideration, but I promise you its worth it.
I decided long ago that I was ok at not being the best at one particular thing: a ‘specialist’. Instead, I promised myself that I’d be the best combination of the things that matter most to me, what’s now termed a ‘specialised generalist’.
I also decided that whilst I may not enjoy every aspect of work that I do, I wouldn't do any work that I hated, so long that I had the mind, body and circumstances to fight for something better.
It’s so easy to fall into ‘expectation traps’, and the plight of its ever-evolving nature means it's inescapable unless we cut loose. Creating a personal code to live by is how we can set ourselves free.
Suddenly, it's ok to not be the smartest in the room, because we’ve decided that we’ll be the hardest working instead. We may not be wealthy, but we’ll be dependable. And even if they don’t care about us, we’ll still be the most caring, because that’s the code we decided on. Our identity.
What we aren’t is just as important as what we are.
Liberation, before reinvention.