Real Me Vs Fake Me - Start Having Meaningful Conversations
Have you ever been to that holiday party and been in a room full of people you haven't seen in years and find yourself having the same conversation over and over?
Them: Hey how you doing?
Me: Good how about you?
Them: What have you been up to?
Me: Oh just working what about you?
Them: Same thing
Me: So where you working at these days?
Them :Oh I'm still with XYZ how about you, where you working at these days?
Me: Oh you know, the same place
Them: So you guys got any kids?
Me: yea we have 4, what about you guys?
Them: 4 wow, you didn't figure out what caused that after 2, (snarky laugh)
Me: nope I must be crazy (fake laugh and eye roll)
Them: we should definitely get together sometime and hang out (about a sincere as my spam email folder)
Me: Yeah that would be great
Now multiply that times 100 people. While some people might enjoy the surface level conversations I myself am not one of them. I have participated in them thousands of times and found myself avoiding these events as time as passed. Since I've gotten older I realized how valuable time is and I have now made a definitive decision to be hundred percent real and authentic with people regardless if they don't like it.
What I've realized is that people will take advantage of you if they feel like they can dominate the situation or conversation with you because you're afraid to say something that might upset them or might say something that offends them. What you end up having is Groundhog's Day with Bill Murray over and over again everyday.
Then the time came that I realized that happiness and time were being wasted spent on such monotonous and useless conversations with people that could really care less about me. They just wanted to take advantage of some sort of situation that would better themselves.
Once I became sober (almost six years ago) I remember deciding that I would no longer go through this zombie-like Walking Dead mentality. I am going to live my life with a purpose and with real people who care about me and love me for who I am regardless of a job position or social status.
The Break Through Moment
Years ago I was working for a company where my daily routine was sitting in cubicles running reports. At first it was a great job and the people that worked there were kind and fun. It was a government job that was run by a private contractor. The contract was up and new companies could bid to win the contract. A new contractor won the bid and came in and totally changed the environment.
See the old company was about the people, there were company parties and people would genuinely be interested in one another. When the new company won the contract they came in and cut everything that actually meant something to the people. No cookouts, no incentives, no awards and no recognition. The conversations became fake and the only level of Interest was the initial icebreaker before they ultimately asked you to do something for them.
*DISCLOSURE*- Before I tell you about the events that happened next let me first tell you I am a very big movie guy. I like all kinds of movies and can recite lines from tons of movies and insert such verses when given the right situation in life. HAHA yes I am that guy!
BOOOM and that's when I had the moment of clarity very similar to the character named Scarface in the movie Half Baked (see clip below). The time had come where it was decision time, time to shit or get off the pot! I went to lunch with my wife and told her the situation and she agreed that the time had come and fully supported me in any walk of life that I was about to go on.
APPROVAL YESSSS! The warden gave me the ok to take that next step. Finally all of the fakeness that had been spewed all over me from the new company was about to be cleaned .
When I came back from lunch (which of course was purposely 45 minutes longer than allowed) I walked right in and started clearing out my desk started taking pictures down, clearing out my books and supplies. The people in cube city (that's what I called the area I worked in) started to take notice. For any of you that don't know about working in cubicles, just know there is more drama wrapped up in those half walls than in a middle school girl's locker room. So naturally I didn't say anything for the first 30 minutes of moving .
I'm pretty sure it's when I unplugged my mini fridge and walked out the door (to put it in my car) that got the attention of just about everybody. After I had loaded everything up without much disruption is when I walked back in and had my moment of clarity. The supervisor walked up and that's when it hit me.
Such a perfect opportunity I could not resist, the scene from Half Baked when Scarface quits his job popped in my head and I took a look around the room and without hesitation I let it fly in my version.
SCREW YOU (pointing to the gossip queen of the cubicles),
SCREW YOU (to her drama sidekick)
YOUR COOL (to my boy)
(then turn to the supervisor) SCREW YOU, I'M OUT."
*The above video has foul language
To say that moment was amazing would be an understatement. The look on their faces was priceless.
See this was when I was just figuring out who I was and on the road from dysfunctional Ryan to fully functional loving people grace filled Ryan of today
*DISCLOSURE *- Please don't go and do this if you do not have a back up plan and might need the referral for future employment. Real estate was going going well so I didn't need it.
In that moment (flawed or not) two things happened.
1) I grew up and took a stand for what I was going to tolerate and what I was not.
2) I decided that I wasn't to going to waste time with mundane conversations and worry about what people thought.
For those that know me know that I am extremely upbeat, motivated and love all the people that are close to me. I didn't need to try to become something I was not for others opinions. What I have in my life is enough and the people around me love me to the moon and back.
When we do things to please others and we don't do them to please ourselves we are constantly chasing acceptance and looking for praise for our own self-gratification.
We have to be happy with the way we are. Now I'm not saying to not strive for your best and become a nicer, smarter, healthier version as we get older. But let's truly enjoy the ride with the stuff we are given in the present time.
As I've gone through this journey it isn't the money, house or car that makes me happy. It's enjoying these moments with the people I love and having meaningful life-enhancing conversations. It's trying to enhance everyone else's life around me through meaningful words, a helpful hand and truly listening to their needs. Because if we don't stop talking and start listening then they'll be no more ears to hear us talk.
Stop being a zombie and say what you mean and say it with passion and don't be scared of what others think. If you talk to others with the intentions of love and grace then you can not go wrong.
Stay Humble -