The Answer: 6×9=42?
A good friend of mine sent me his ideas on something that is wholly unrelated to this blog. The details of what he wrote are not relevant. The premise is moderately relevant, but it is equally unimportant. Actually, what I thought in reading his writing is sort of relevant. It may even be pivotal, but that would be a digression from the purpose of my blogging.
It is relevant is that this friend, Docc Hilford, is someone I trust, since we are lifelong friends; his insight is incredible. We have a connection that predates any of the thoughts I now write.
Well, I am off a little. I should probably clear up that saying we are lifelong friends is probably an exaggeration. We certainly did not bond as infants.
So, what is relevant? It is relevant that I received an email from Docc with some of his thoughts about performing on stage whilst I was waiting to go on stage. When the email arrived, it inadvertently interrupted my transient thoughts as I was pondering the writings of Douglas Adams. In The Original Hitchhiker Radio Scripts, Adams said:
There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.
Maybe it did. Maybe it did not. What is important is that everything in the universe has a purpose and we must be wary of the universe we are in at the moment.
The world around us is fluid. People change; moods change; needs change. But, there are always constants. We must find the needs of those we seek to influence.
Whether it is how we relate to people, whether we bond with them or whether we choose to run away, we act with purpose. We just do not always understand why things are happening to and around us. Therefore, we look for meaning. That means that the people you are addressing are looking to you for meaning. Give it to them.
This old friend, Docc, who is not even really a friend from childhood, but a friend from later years, discussed in his writing the propensity of some people to oversell a point, thus losing sight of their purpose.
These people are so worried about pointing out facts, and hanging all value on logic, they forget who they are and what the listener needs. Accordingly, they run from their own fears; they run from a universe that they have created in their own minds. When this person runs from their own fears- and away from the listener’s world – everyone except their mother and dog will grow bored, wary and skeptical.
Much like when Docc and I first met years ago, we were able to connect as we were on the same page. We understood a skill that made us feel a connection.
Adams also wrote in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, that
“To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.”
That is a purpose at our core that drove Docc and I as humans and as performers. Therefore, when Docc and I first met each other months ago, we realized that we both knew that over selling and exaggerating meant nothing if you are not believed. The first and foremost superpower we possess in influencing others is our character; that which Aristotle calls ethos.
Your listener, your audience, your spouse and your friends will all judge you by who you are.
They do not judge you based upon a repetitious litany of facts. Everyone knows facts can be manipulated. Your essence cannot. It will grow and change as you learn, but it will never be manipulated. With certainty, I assure you that attempts to fake character will remain transparent and superficial.
You can have all the mad skills and talents to be an expert in any field, but unless you are real, all you do will be for naught.
Yes, your connection to people will – if you give it a chance – predate any of the thoughts you now think. At our first meeting two weeks ago (true story, dude), Docc and I realized that it all came down to what was in your soul.
Be yourself. Find the common thread. The universe will inexplicably tilt in your favor.