Social Mirrors

I've just come across a few more great quotes to add to my list.

1) "Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is; treat a man as he can and should be, and he will become as he can and should be." - Goethe
2) "Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least." - Goethe

No I haven't been reading Goethe's Greatest Hits. I've been reading a book by Stephen Covey called "Principle-Centered Leadership." In it, Covey talks about how people project a "social mirror" on us. Basically what other people think about us can affect how we see ourselves and therefore how we act.

This has gotten me to thinking a)what do people think of me or see me as and b) what do I think people see me as? Some people don't like me and I have no idea why. Others like me even though we have absolutely nothing in common. My hope is that every person has a different image of me. I feel that I have so many different aspects of who I am that I can't possibly have ONE image that I project to people. But the brutal (to me) reality is that if you asked the majority of people who know me, they'd all use similar adjectives to describe me.

I feel that I'm such an enigma that people should have a positive image of me but not be able to describe me in words. "Indescribable" would be a great adjective that I could be satisfied with. Part of the reason this appeals to me is that I feel that I've changed so much in my 35 years. I'm gained so much intellect and maturity. I've also learned that I can't wear white socks with loafers (or really wear loafers at all anymore) and orange is not really my best color. So you can see why I get a bit offended when I see someone from High School or that I haven't seen in a while and they tell me "Wow! You haven't changed a bit!". I'd rather they say, "Wow! You've changed so much - for the better!"

So as I try to acheive my daily goals 1) have fun 2) learn something 3) respect myself and others, I hope that I'm breaking the social mirror of what others say I am or should be. Maybe that's the way to do it - if you define who you are others can't do it for you. And if I'm learning something new everyday, then I'm constantly re-defining who I am based on what I learn and therefore I should acheive "indescribable" status. (at least I can hope!)

Until Everyone Hears,
Dr. K

Comments

Turff said…
I can't remember where the quote comes from, but someone famous said: "We are what we repeatedly do". Whoever said it followed up with something about excellence being a habit.

You comments at the beginning of this also remind me of "The Method" for acting, in which there is a cycle where you think like someone/thing, which means your actions will follow, which means your thoughts will follow, and so on ad nauseum.

Interesting what this has to say about us "pretending" to be something we aren't. It kinda says, you may be pretending now, but keep it up for long and you will become it.

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