August 31st, 2020
I used to want to be cool and different and interesting and unique.
And I thought I could achieve this through external things, like my career or my material possessions, or what city I lived in, or how much I traveled.
One “unique” thing about me is where I’m from: I’m from a famous small town in Wyoming. Everyone has heard about it.
When I tell people where I’m from, sometimes I feel like this “tricks” people into thinking I’m more interesting than I actually am.
But this is obviously wrong. Sure, it might make me seem more interesting for a few minutes and give us some things to talk about, but once that’s over, I’m no more interesting than the next guy.
Where I’m from doesn’t have anything to do with me as a person.
When you sign up for Facebook, they ask a bunch of questions like:
- Where are you from?
- Where do you live?
- Where did you go to school?
- What do you do for a living?
- What religion do you follow?
- What’s your best photo?
When people visit your profile, it’s displayed in some widget like this:
I wonder what our profiles would look like if you stripped away all of these questions and answers.
Without it, are we still cool and unique and interesting?
I think too many people live their life for these line items on their profiles.
For example, some people cheat and pay their way to get into Ivy League schools. And some people work jobs because it will “look great on their resume”. Some people doctor their photos. The list goes on.
Instead of where I’m from, what school I went to, etc, I’m trying to answer more of these questions:
- Am I being a good person?
- Am I giving more than I’m taking?
- Am I being a good listener and being genuinely interested in others?
- Am I being supportive and compassionate and nice to my friends / family / SO?
- How am I going to help people today / this week / this year?
- Am I making the world a better place from my work?
^^ I want the answers to these questions to define me as unique and different, rather than my resume or my Twitter account.
These answers are so much more important than looking good.