100 Things About Me

I can’t say I thought of this on my own. I came across a blog post that Holly Jahangiri, who I interviewed at the link on her name, wrote back in 2008 titled 100 Good Things About Me. On that post she said she felt it would be easy to write 100 things about herself but wanted to see if she could go the “good” route. She’s actually added to it and thus is now at 102 things.


I don’t think it’s all that easy. Well, let me rephrase that to say I don’t think it’s all that easy for most people to do. One of the hardest things for people to do is introspection, which is the process of looking into one’s self to see what you’re made of. In my case, I decided I wanted to chronicle 100 things that, when I was done, would give a picture as to how I became the person I am today.

Frankly it’s a scary process in a way because it takes going back to that thing about vulnerability that I mentioned and had the video to in my dreams post. There’s the phrase out there that says “you can’t know where you’re going until you know where you came from.”

Well, that’s not totally true because there are some people who work hard to forget their past that make it. Most successful people will tell you that there was something in their past that drove them to be better, to become successful and rich and all that other stuff. Almost on one said “my past didn’t influence me at all; I just happened to become rich by happenstance.” Some people have become successful by luck, by being in the right place at the right time, but it’s rare.

I’ve never been afraid to examine who I am or my background. I have some regrets in my life but very few. I like to think that when all is said and done I’ve always tried to do my best, to treat people right, to tell them up front what I was thinking and doing, and never intentionally set out to hurt anyone’s feelings unless they deserved it. Perfection; it ain’t me.

So I sat down and came up with 100 things about myself, and much of it is in chronological order. I was truthful with myself because, well, why lie to myself right? And I decided to share it with you.

But not quite in this post. See, when I was done with it, the sucker came in at almost 5,000 words; ouch! Now, if you’re someone who cares to read it, then you can read the list here, which is on a hidden page that I’m sharing with you. Most of my friends don’t know this stuff; well, not a significant portion of it anyway. At some point I’ll pop the link onto Facebook for my friends and give them the chance to learn more about me, but my belief is that they won’t care, and that most of you won’t care.

That’s not the overall point. The point is twofold. One, do you have the guts to look at your life and chronicle what’s made you what you are today, and will you like it? Two, are you willing to be vulnerable yourself and think about sharing it in some fashion? I doubt it; I double dog dare you! 🙂

I know Marcus Sheridan says we shouldn’t write about ourselves all that much because no one really cares about us as individuals. Well, who says he’s always right? 🙂 Someone go tell him I said this; he’ll get a kick out of it.

And onward we go.
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Mitch Mitchell

How Well Do We Know Ourselves?

Here’s how the conversation went:

@JustKissie When people tell you you’ve changed, it’s only because you stopped acting the way they want you to act. #BidTheeFarewell

@Mitch_M Or the way they got used to you acting; just sayin’… 🙂

@JustKissie Either way. They could be who they really are … but we never know the entirety of anyone … so how can we say they changed?

@Mitch_M I think if we know people well enough we know when it’s either them or us; have to really know people though.

@JustKissie Do I smell a blog post coming? Do we even know ourselves?

@Mitch_M Possibly; you writing it? 🙂

@JustKissie WE will write it. You know I write quarterly … if that.

Since I knew the “we” was me, I guess I’m writing it, and it’s this post. To start with, how many of you remember a post I wrote last year titled What Makes People Change? If you didn’t read it, you might want to check it out before going further with this one for some back story.

Anyway, Friday I went to visit my mother for Easter. Yeah, I know Easter was on Sunday, but we knew the crowds would be murder on Sunday so we always do our get together on the Friday before whenever possible.

While there, she’d called and asked the lady who lives across the street from her to come over because Mom had bought a gift for her little girl. So they came over, Mom gave her the gift, and the little girl loved the gift.

We sat and started talking about property values in the area and how they’d dropped since representatives had started trying to sell the house of the man who’d killed his wife, which was right next door to this woman. As we kept talking, we weaved through a history that each of us had with this man and it seems that my mother and I, for the most part, had a very different history and knowledge of this man than Mom’s neighbor did. The only thing I knew that was confirmed by this neighbor is that this man was doing cocaine; that was the easy part.

It seems this man actually had a very violent history, all while living across the street from Mom. He’d actually physically hurt all 4 of his wives (I only knew of 2, Mom knew of 3) and that one of his wives actually had to do one of those midnight special moves when he was out of town to get her and her daughter away from him and go into hiding; shocking stuff.

While it was shocking to see just how little my mother and I knew about some of the demons of this man, the conversation above with Miss Kissie made me start to think about just how little most of us know about ourselves, or are willing to accept about ourselves. Would we become different people if we were suddenly rich or poor? Would our behavior change drastically if suddenly we were famous or powerful? What about our behavior would change if one of our friends suddenly had some of these things and we weren’t as much a part of their lives anymore? Would we be jealous; would we be happy?

I guess overall I’m kind of lucky because I’ve spent a lot of time being introspective. I have no jealousy or envy of others, no matter what they do. I might want to emulate success, but I don’t begrudge anyone their good fortune, whether I believe they deserve it or not.

I almost never think anyone owes me anything unless I’m accused of not doing enough when I feel I’ve done all I’ve needed to do. If people never acknowledge that I’ve done something good for them, I’m okay with it, although it would be nice.

Could I kill? Well now, that’s the interesting question to respond to isn’t it? I have to answer it this way; I probably could depending on the circumstances. If I had to kill to save my life or the lives of those I love, yes. For any other reason I believe I can say no, but that’s after I learned to control some aspects of my younger behavior that I wasn’t overly proud of. Hopefully there are negative aspects of our childhood that we change as we get older. If those are the attributes that people look at and say we’ve changed, I think most of us would be happy with it.

One final thing, addressing my friend Kissie’s question as to whether we can say people have changed if we don’t know their entirety. My response would be of course we can. I knew a musician friend of mine had changed many years ago when he started doing cocaine, even though I only saw him every few weeks. I didn’t need to know his entirety to notice that.

I’ve known people I’ve worked with who were timid and quiet that, over time, became a lot more vocal and stood up for themselves. I don’t need to know their entirety, to know if that’s how they were in their real life to know they’ve changed at work.

It takes perception to notice changes in others. It takes bravery to notice changes in yourself. My longest friends will probably tell you that I’m the same as I was in my late teens. In some ways yes, but in some ways I’m not even close. I sometimes think we’re harder on ourselves than others are on us. Sometimes that’s not such a bad thing if it propels us to try for great things.
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Mitch Mitchell