@postaday 308; #postaday2011.
There are young people in my life, mostly I know them through my work, but I also know quite a few of them through social media, and then there are those who are friends’ and family spawn. They are 20-something, the are 30-something, they are ambitious, powerful, young, and hungry. They take chances, they are edgy, they challenge themselves, they inspire others. They inspire me.
More than sometimes I think wistfully about the 20- to 40-year-old me and about the many missed opportunities or regrettable actions, and you know where all that goes. Ugh. But of course all that crap delivered me to the here and now, so it’s OK. And you know what else is OK? That there are amazingly bright shining stars in my universe, who have cracked the code of coolness. What’s it like to be them? I wonder what it’s like to be someone who knew Lady Gaga when she was little Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, just a few years ago. I’m amazed at what someone so young has achieved.
I love watching as people within my sphere take the steps to be someone. I know how hard it is. I have all this power within me, all this knowledge, but my delivery is all wrong. When I was in the U.S. Air Force, I was up for airman of the quarter. I had passed all the tests, my work was exemplary, I was well liked, I was polite, I knew what I needed to know. But I cracked when I walked into a war room where my First Sergeant, commander, and other upper-stratum Edwards AFB leaders waited to interview me. I knew each of them. And yet… My mouth dried up so much, I couldn’t like my lips. I knew the answers, all of the answers, but I couldn’t even speak. Plus, there was no coolness. There would be no F-15 flight for me.
That was an eye-opening experience. Public speaking frightens me. I wish I could do it. I wish I could go up, say my piece without stuttering, without forgetting, without awkward pauses. I’d like it to be well received, and I’d like to sit back down without falling. That coolness can only come with practice, with real training, with the help of a mentor or a coach who can coax the seedling of talent that yearns to grow.
It’s a good thing we’re not all wired the same way. When my friends who are powerful and successful assess what they’re about in this world, I hope they realize that those of us who seem so diminished, may tower over them in other realms. What kind of world would we have if that were not the case?
Good luck! Succeed! Make the world a better place.