Bashful

When it comes to selling my ideas, I’m incredibly bashful. I love to write and share my thoughts with others, but I’m always apprehensive to don my hustle (that word) hat because it doesn’t feel like the real me. It lacks authenticity. Instead of having the feeling of really sharing my personality with the world, I feel like a manuscript.

Instead of changing this, I’ve decided to embrace it. I’ve always had an affinity for the blurry, operator character in movies. The guy who everyone knows, but nobody really knows. They’re respected, but on a subterranean level. One of my favorite scenes comes from Oceans 11, a film about a group of professional thieves who organize the robbery of a casino during a boxing match.

The owner of the casino, Terry Benedict is being introduced to one of the thieves posing as his alter ego: Lyman Zerga. Benedict is pulled aside by the manager of the casino just before their introduction:

Manager: Mr. Lyman Zerga. Third position. Wants to talk to you privately.

Benedict: Who is he?

Manager: Businessman of some kind, from Europe. Very vague. I asked around. Word is, he deals primarlly in arms. One of the biggest.

Benedict: Zerga. Never heard of him.

Manager: That’s why I don’t doubt it.

I like that. One of my favorite feelings is when you discover a brilliant mind for the first time. They were there all along, but they lacked the showiness that would have brought them to you sooner. It took a certain person writing about them or someone mentioning them in conversation before you even knew who they were. In a way, their lack of visibility bolsters their opinion before you’ve even heard it.

It doesn’t seem wrong for someone to hang back a bit. To let their ideas speak for themselves and not have to constantly push their image with their real ideas in tow. This ultimately begets a longer timeline from an idea existing until its adoption (presumably), but that’s kind of nice isn’t it? A loose analogy might be that to a piece of fruit. I want to find it when it’s ripe, not virgin to the vine. I can still eat it, but it’s just not as good.

I hated college. The bulk of it seemed like a waste of time. Yet, one of my favorite ideals came out of it. I don’t recall the context of the lecture, but a professor was speaking about building a thesis and remarked “the best foods are slow cooked. The same applies to ideas. You have to let them simmer to bring out their flavor.” This changed my course in a profound way. It taught me to consider the alternative approach when everyone is rushing and pushing toward a similar result.

There’s value in taking your time; in developing. The breakneck pace of the world isn’t getting us anywhere. If it were, humanity would be far beyond where it is today. In reality, there’s no rush except for the one that we put on ourselves. I’d rather take my time and come out the other side with my personality intact and my ideas bulletproof.