I do not relish talking about myself. Of all the things that was instilled in me during my upbringing, one of the most important is that it is impolite to talk about yourself and your accomplishments. This was considered gloating and bragging, and was not encouraged. When it was done, it was often met with sharp comments and ad hominem put-downs to make you feel foolish, like a grade-A bonehead for even considering speaking of your achievements. The biggest challenge I have found with this personality foible I have is that others don’t just volunteer to walk around and tell everyone about how awesome I am, and sitting in the corner brooding with a mysterious air, whiskey in hand looking like I should be writing angry letters to a college newspaper does not lead people to believe that I am awesome. If I want to be successful I must be pleasant, professional, polite, outgoing, and advertise my accomplishments, as others won’t. The previously mentioned qualities are not my strong suit, I work on these personality traits every single day to become better, not just for myself, but for my family, freinds, and clients that depend on me and my abilities to prosper.
Getting over the mental hurdle of loathing self-promotion, and all the anxiety and emotions attached to it has been difficult. Being taught to be ashamed of talking about yourself has an insidious consequence… if you don’t think about it, or talk about it, it becomes hard to define yourself and what you are good at. The simple act of talking about your accomplishments helps you define yourself and what you offer. For many, this is only really done during that moment of reflection when we must find a job – in other words, during the act of creating a resume and with luck during interviews. I have never thought of myself as an expert of any special field. I have never really defined myself as anything beyond “student” due to being in university for such a long time, or perhaps “fool” as I always feel out of place, foolish and a bit silly. However, it was recently pointed out to me by me wife that I am, in fact, a Polymath – a person with an encyclopedic knowledge base. After learning more about the term, I have decided that it makes sense. In addition to this being an excellent word, it just sounds really cool to say! More people in this world should strive to be Polymaths! I firmly believe that a broad and varied education is the key to acceptance, inclusivity, happiness, peace, and prosperity.
It is the education and skills that I have acquired over my 34 years of life that have gotten me where I am today, and I feel like it should be celebrated! So over the next year, I am going to be working on a series of articles that will journey through one of the biggest projects of my career to date, and my first truly international one. To do the job effectively, and to be personally confident that I have done the job to the absolute best of my abilities, I will have to travel the globe, live in foreign countries, give public talks, organize projects, work with a broad range of stakeholders from all walks of life, and still manage to find more work for my business, feed my cat and build my relationship with my wife.
I am confident that it will end up with all being prosperous! I hope you enjoy my journey.