Learning Presence Purpose Reflection Self awareness

Are you a myth?

In a rapidly changing world,
images are fragile and can change very quickly.

What do you want to be known for?

That’s how I ended my previous post, which addressed the legacy of the late Queen of England.

I argued that it’s worthwhile to think through how you come across it.

The Queen was known for never elaborating on the conversations she was having with all sorts of influential people around the world.

It made her a bit of a myth. 

We knew she loved her dogs, her horses, and her family. I guess I got the order wrong there, but one never knows.

But we never knew her political preference, although I would be stunned if she didn’t vote conservative. We never knew her opinion about specific global issues, for example, global warming or armed conflicts.

She served her country, that was her primary purpose, and she did so with the highest level of integrity.

So, what do you want to be known for?

Do you also want to be a myth?

Have you been able to think through this question in detail and align your goals and actions accordingly?

You may never have done so because it never mattered that much in the past.

But with the world becoming ever more transparent and our profiles being near open books, it’s worthwhile to think this through.

Don’t shut this conversation down, thinking, “I am who I am.”

Yes, you are, but…

In a rapidly changing world, images are fragile and can change very quickly.

Plus, people around you change and adapt, which can also impact how they perceive you.

Why would you not want to be in control of how others perceive you, and why would you not want to experiment a little to see whether you can influence this?

If anything, it’s a fun exercise that will result in personal learning.

Finally, I will get to the most critical question you need to answer. A question you can best answer once you know what you want to be known for?

Are you the person you want to be right now?

When was the last time you paused and reflected on who you wanted to be for yourself and others?

When was the last time you asked people who know you what impact you have on them?

What if their answers don’t match what you believe they think about you?

From our ego, and we all have an ego, it’s easy to go through the motions day in and day out without ever asking ourselves these questions.

Perhaps because we’re happy with who we (think we) are. Perhaps because we don’t have the time to ask ourselves these questions. Or, maybe, because we’re afraid of the answers.

All these might be why you are the person you want to be now.

But if you care about the impact on others, even when you go through life with the best intentions, it will pay off to pause, think, ask, and then do something with what you’ve learned.

Your turn: Are you the person you want to be right now?

Do more of what makes you happy!


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Erikjan Lantink
Business & Leadership Coach

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