First off, I wanted to apologize for the long spells between posts recently. I've began training to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in about two months. So on top of trying to get in as much running as my body can handle and still having to manage a full time job and family life, my new little blogging venture has been suffering. But I had set a goal to post at least once a week and I've still been able to maintain that goal even though I would like to be doing more.
With the apologies out of the way let us move onto the topic of the week here on Band of Savers.
The other day I was speaking the president of the division of the company that I work at. Through a long line of coincidences I happen to be from the same tiny town that his wife is from (I had never met her but she was very close friends with some of my oldest sisters and we happened to end up living near each other, about 2,000 miles from where we grew up) and we go to the same church, so he has helped me out quite a bit with my career so far. During the last conversation I had with him at a church activity he gave me a piece of advice that I had never thought about before, but think is quite profound career advice even though it might sound simple.
I was mentioning to him that I am very timid and reserved by nature. I typically keep to myself and listen to others without adding much to the conversation. I feel nervous if I have to talk to a supervisor and usually do it as little as possible.
He then went on to explain that, no matter what we are hired to do for a company, we are all just professional actors. Once we walk through the doors at work we are paid to act against our natural tendencies and be the person that we were hired to be, as long as we are acting in an honest and legal manner obviously.
My most profound responsibility is to provide for my family in an honest manner. If I am a poor actor and my supervisors realize how shy and reserved I am then raises, bonuses, and possibly even my job could be put in jeopardy. Therefore, we are all paid in accordance to our ability to act. And this whole time I thought that I was just a financial analyst.
In thinking about this I was reminded of a quote by Leonard Cohen. He said "Act the way you'd like to be and soon you'll be the way you act."
I am not shy because I want to be, or enjoy the anxiety that comes from thinking about having to talk to people. I would like to get to the point that I don’t have to pretend to be open and outgoing. But first I have to begin somewhere so that I will be able to become the way I would like to be.
How is this suppose to help you in your financial journey? I want to challenge you to look for one shortcoming in your professional life and start practicing your acting skills. Pretend that you have no issues with it and see how long it takes you to overcome the shortcoming.
For those that take this challenge please let us know how things go. What characteristic did you act like you have? What were the reactions of those around you? Have you been able to see it pay off at all, and how?