May 29, 2018
The goal of being the same person everywhere you go
When I got my first big corporate job, at age 28, I remember thinking that I had a decision to make. That is, would there be a "corporate me" and a "real me"? And that's when I decided that it would be too much work to keep track of, and decided that there would be only one me. People who met me while I was wearing a shirt and tie would meet the same Brad on the golf course, or anywhere. I would be stuffy enough on the job to be respectable, but still have my sense of humor. I decided to split the difference.
Nowadays, of course, people are facing the same question as they present themselves on places like Facebook. The internet is a tempting place to create an illusion, also called an "alter ego", and a lot of people do it, only to find that it gets very difficult to keep up the illusion.
My feeling on this is to always try to present your best face out in public, but don't overdo it. Speaking for myself, I'll sit at my computer, working on projects and writing stuff in the same clothes that I wear in bed, but if I go outside, even just to check for the mail, I'll run a comb through my hair and put on enough clothes that I wouldn't be embarrassed if someone took a photo of me.
In my corporate days I always went to the special events, and if often startled people a bit to see me in casual clothes. And yes, I owned tee-shirts, and shorts, and all of that kind of stuff. They weren't stained and wrinkled, but they were still casual. If someone visited me at home, under a car, or in the garden, they'd see me wearing stained and wrinkled clothes, but I didn't go to picnics like that.
Look at yourself, and ask who you are? You may not be able to live up to some fake image created on the internet, but who cares? Hiding behind a fake image makes people afraid to be "caught", as if they had some kind of secret identity. But I'm guessing that you're not Batman. And while it's all well and good to continue with self-improvement, you're probably pretty darned cool right now, exactly who you are.
Put your best face forward, and make it real. People will love you for it, and it will be a whole lot easier for you to maintain.
Image at the top of this post: It's just me.
Posted by Brad Hall