I just caught a few moments of an interview by George Stroumboulopoulos with Susan Cain, author of “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking“. As I consider myself to be a total extrovert, I thought I’d take her quiz here . Go ahead and take it, and then come back…I’ll wait.
I’m an Extrovert. No surprise there.
However, as I read some of the description of the Introvert, I thought, hey!…that’s me too. I like my solitude, I listen well so I think thoughtfully before I speak (well, maybe not always:), and I definitely have an active “inner” life, where I’m happy to be with my thoughts and dreams, writing, painting, taking photos and just communing with nature. So I’m glad that at the end of the quiz, Susan quoted the words of Carl Jung:
“There is no such thing as a pure extrovert or a pure introvert. Such a man would be in the lunatic asylum.”
One of the key points that I caught on the fly with George’s interview with Susan was how much we used to value the “thinkers”, and how now we so value the “broadcasters”…the bigger-than-life, see-me people, whose mouths are like megaphones and competition for the “expert-guru-thought leader” podium position is rampant.
I caught the line “when no one is watching”, and it got me to thinking…how many times do we do something when no one is watching?
There are things we do to be noticed, and there are things we do to make a difference. They are not mutually exclusive, but what can you do today when no one is watching, and without the need for recognition? How can you pay-it-forward today without need of reward or recognition, save for the biggest reward…the joy you feel in your heart and soul for having done it.
It’s tough sometimes. In business we want customers. We want to make money. We want to be seen and heard, respected and…well, we want people to buy from us. And the marketplace now is so full of noise that sometimes we can get caught up into the screamfest, and forget:
It’s the small, meaningful gestures that make a big difference. Like sending a thank-you card, bringing a small token gift to a client just because you know they’ll like it.
Good deeds should be done simply because they’re good. Opening the door for someone. Picking up litter on the sidewalk. Helping someone with their packages out to their car.
Good manners mean something. Please. Thank you. I appreciate that. I’m grateful. Letting someone who has one item at the check-out go before you who has a cartload.
Knowing people’s names. Following up. Smiling. Answering the phone with a smile in your voice. Looking people in the eye when you’re having a conversation (not texting or looking over their shoulder for the next-best-thing)
These are all things that make a difference in the lives of the people we touch. And we never know if the person we just encountered isn’t our next potential client, customer or contact. And even if they’re not, does that mean we reserve our “Sunday best” only for those who can do something for us?
It gives me great pleasure each day to be able to do something that others might enjoy, learn from, be entertained by, be informed with, be inspired by and leave a little lighter, brighter, happier, healthier or wiser, whatever that may be.
I like that, because when we do things to “serve”, we really do make the world a better place.
I’ll share some words from a blog post I wrote recently, in which I shared my Mission and my Mantra:
My Mission: A simple 3 words – To spread joy
My Mantra: “If I have been of service, If I have glimpsed more of the nature and essence of ultimate good, If I am inspired to reach wider horizons of thought and action, If I am at peace with myself, it has been a successful day.” ~ Alex Noble
It’s my purpose, in business and in life, to be of service…whether someone is watching or not.
What can you do today, to be of service, without need of something in return?
Can you share a story of something you did when “no one was watching”, and how that made you feel?
Are you an Introvert, Extrovert or Ambivert? I’d love to know.