Just Be Yourself

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I don’t spend a lot of time on LinkedIn. I’m not even sure why I got an account in the first place but it is a way to keep up with some of the people who’ve passed through your life. Although it kind of feels like a contest – he who dies with the most connections wins.

I think I mentioned that I did a little post about my job being eliminated. The first and only time I’ve used LinkedIN for something like that. Figured it was a way of letting people know. Funny thing is that stupid post has been read over 6500 times. Not sure who and why but it has also generated a lot of nice messages of support. Guess because of the volume of view, I got offered a free trial for LinkedIN Premium for being an “Active Member”. One post and I’m an active member. Sweet.

The downside is that it has made me check the site more often. I suppose this is a good strategy but there are a handful of people who seem to “like” a great deal of stuff and it all shows up in my feed. And these are not personal posts because that’s not what this is for but business articles and updates. I suppose it is possible to be inspired that many times in a day but, to me, it kind of seems a bit sad where the “like” is just a “NOTICE ME” cry. Also, if you have that much time to read and like articles, then maybe you should get back to work. Just saying.

It really feels like a sea of phoniness to me. So many “thought leaders” endorsing the latest trends and buzzwords and the minions dutifully liking each post. They kind of seem like remoras attaching themselves to the biggest shark they can find and hoping to survive on the crumbs. And this past paragraph is yet another clue that I don’t belong in the corporate world and probably never did.

The worst part about it is the number of articles that start or contain the phrase “What successful people do”. As if there is a true cause and effect. Oh, if only I communicated like these successful people, then I would know success. OK, let me get on it and see what I can do. No, just don’t. Never be a pale shadow of someone else. Be yourself. The world needs more individuals and less herd followers.

Of course, I’m a individualist. It kind of comes with the territory when you are an INFP. We don’t like following crowds so I hate to think of all the people out there reading articles like that and thinking they’ve found the key to all kinds of success. Then trying to implement and still not really improving things. Then, finding a new article with another list of things that successful people do and chasing that like a dog chasing their tail. It my be fun but it never really gets you anywhere.

But I can hear the doubters now. How can you talk. You weren’t successful. And herein lies the problem. (I don’t know why I used that word, sometimes I just like to throw in fancy words like herein). What is considered “successful”? Usually the lists are people who’ve been successful in some field of endeavor and are rich. As if that is the single most important measuring stick for success. I mean until all the Me Too stuff came out, Harvey Weinstein would have be considered successful. You really want to take tips on how to live your life from that?

And that isn’t to say you can’t learn from others. As long as you accept that everyone has flaws. We are all a mix of good and bad stuff. It comes with the territory. Too many times, these lists present only the good stuff and make it seem like you should be emulating these people. I just think you make it harder on yourself trying to find success by being a copy of someone else. Copies are not going to be better than the original. Better to be the best version of yourself than a shadow version of someone else.

Its thoughts like this that have kept me from spending a lot of time on LinkedIn. And I think I’ll pass on that free trial of the Premium version.

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