It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be – Paul Arden

May 10, 2014 § Leave a comment

One day, in the not too distant past, my sifu-of-sorts, said to me, “You’re the reserved kind, aren’t you?” I thought about it, and said, “Yeah, a little.” His response was funny. “That’s the understatement of the century!”

It was really funny to me at the time, but I’ve had time to digest his statement, and the following reaction, and perhaps there’s some truth to his words. I’m not super-reclusive, but to say that I can talk to anyone about anything under the sun is a complete exaggeration by any standards. He may be right—I am quite a reserved person.

That’s not to say that I don’t know the importance of exerting myself during times of necessity. I know how the world works—and it’s not in favour of the introverts who prefer to keep to themselves. Gone are the times when you could stay completely behind-the-scenes and still make something of yourself. Today, it’s showbiz through and through.

This Paul Arden book is a good reminder to me of that fact of today’s life. It’s about advertising yourself, and how to do it without being tacky. It’s about how you can’t care if it’s tacky. It’s about how you know it’s tacky, but you do it anyway because that’s how good you want to be.

It’s a painful reminder, to be frank. I don’t like networking, and I don’t like telling people about the things I’ve done, or plan to do. I’ve always been uncomfortable about the fact that I have to let people know how good I am, when I’m not quite sure of that myself. Just how good am I anyway? And am I even such a good judge of my own character? Am I the best person to ask?

I like working in the shadows. It doesn’t mean I don’t want appreciation—of course I do. Everyone likes being appreciated every once in a while. But it would appear that these days, to gain appreciation and recognition, one needs to work in the light, under the gaze of others.

Show your skills. Flaunt your talent. Tell the world.

It’s really not about how good you are. It’s all about how good you want to be.

Do you want to be just good enough? Or do you want to be so good, you’ll make your future self proud?

The book is not just about tooting your own horn. There are tons of other advice—good ones—on how to be better at what you do. But one thing has remained in my head: it’s about how others perceive you.

Does that spell doom for me? Maybe, maybe not.

It’s never too late to learn. The question is, do I want to?

How good do I want to be?


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