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The Curious Case Of The Big Bad Wolf

Why Be Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf

Impressions.

Most people swear and live by them. In fact, that is the framework of our social media presence. You wear the nicest outfits, sport the widest smiles and jump  the highest in your Instagram posts. You say the wittiest, funniest and most inspirational things in your Facebook posts. In fact, you prime up the best things in your social media accounts, because it is meant to serve a purpose.

Make an impression. The more compelling the impression, the deeper the connection.

Which brings me to a thought. What if the Big Bad Wolf, in that fabled tale  of the Three Little Pigs, had a social media account? What do you think would he have posted? Him, playing with kittens? Or perhaps picking flowers?

We grew up with that simple story. About how three pigs, tried to thwart the hungry advances of a wolf. We noted in glee, as we celebrated the demise of the wolf, when he went down the chimney of the last pig’s house and got burned alive, after failing to blow his bricked house.

We were told that the big bad wolf, was always hungry, scheming and preying on weak, innocent and helpless victims like the pigs. That story got imprinted in our childhood memories. It was a subtle indication that the strong, powerful and hungry were always on the extreme side of evil.

Think about the evil witch in Snow White. Think about Ursula in the Little Mermaid. Heck, even Captain Cook is deemed evil.

So, do these stories truly define the characters? Why did we tag the traits, “bad” to a wolf? “Evil” to an old lady . Just because they decided to pursue an intent at whatever costs.

Being real and authentic is hard these days. Do you seriously expect to hear a story about a wolf munching down on  a plate of salads? Wolves are meat eaters. They eat sheep, pigs and maybe chicken. Why will we wanna even judge a primal need of a character as evil? Yet, we are so guilty of forming impressions on the superficial levels.

So think about it. Are we truly that keen on labeling people and forming impressions just by the look of things. There is always more to a person, that just the things he posts, says or does. If you have to form an impression , form one that is real. Regardless of criticisms or skepticism. If there is one piece of advise I can share, from the perspective of Mr Wolf, is this.

Just be you.

It’s okay if you are being judged for being yourself.

Cause the way I see it, people should not be afraid of people who are being themselves. People should be afraid of those who pretend to be someone else.

The 3 Attributes You Should Love About Authentic People

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Remember the guy or girl who seemed to say yes to everything? Yups, neither do I. These figures are probably forgettable in your life, for the fact that nothing interesting or engaging will be revolving around their own lives. They are the perennial followers. Always awaiting for the opportunity to suck up to somebody influential, or to just be part of  the pack.

Are you like that? If you are, stop being one. If you are not, stop someone from being one.

It’s hard to find authentic people these days. So what does an authentic person looks or acts like?

Speaks Their Mind

You want honest people on your team. The more brutally honest they are, the better. Keep a look out for people who genuinely care about you and your affairs, and will not shy away from telling you exactly what you need to know. Not what you want to hear. Authentic individuals speak their mind, in a way that is not overwhelmingly critical. They will share their thoughts, constructively, without the need to whitewash details. Authentic people express. They are not that bothered about wanting to impress.

Credibility Via Experience

The thing that you are trying to do, is what authentic people should have done. Why are authentic people important? Because they are the action takers. The walkers. Not the talkers. If they speak their mind, it is only because the know more than half the stuffs about what they are saying. Authentic people are people who have climbed that mountain, fell flat on their faces, stood up and climbed again. You want to get ahead fast in life? Leverage on authentic people. They are credible.

Opinions Of A Sheep Do Not Bother The Wolf

People crave for validations and feedback. That is why you have the “Like” button on Facebook. But here’s the problem. You tend to be trying too hard to be liked. Such that you will probably try to stay on the safe zone of things, most of the time. You will not want to criticize or give an opinion that is contrarian to the crowd. Cause you fear the opinions of the ‘sheep-les” will be less favorable for you. Fortunately, authentic people cannot be bothered with opinions of people that do not matter or add value to his/her cause. They are not contrarians without reasons. They have too much self belief and conviction in their own opinions. It gives authentic people the room to be emotionally detached to perspectives. Twenty sheep will never intimidate one hungry wolf.

 

 

 

My $30 Lesson On Authenticity

Authenticity

When I started out in my career as a financial planner, I was clueless about brand names or goods. To me, a pen was a pen. It did not matter to me if it was embossed with a Mont Blanc motif or the initial of a Parker. As long as it served its basic function, it was great enough.

Which brings me to a story. I bought a great looking brown belt when I was in Bangkok. This was when I was in my second year as a rookie planner. The buckle of the belt bore the initial H. I loved it, cause it was the letter of my name. It also struck a familiar chord with me as I was crazy on the movie Hitch (starring Will Smith). In that movie, I saw that he wore such a belt. Thus I was so elated when I got my hands on one. It cost me less than $30.

Wearing that belt, when I got back home and work, proved to be a revelation. Colleagues started looking at me, from waist down. Careless whispers were flying around, when I walked past. The office secretary seemed to treat me nicer. I started pondering if it was just the aura I was exuding, or was it the belt.

It became funnier when I encountered a stranger in the office elevator. He looked at me, and with a wry smile, commented, “Great belt! Must have costed a bomb”. I laughed heartily and said “Yeah balls. For $30!” He guffawed loudly. “You could have fooled me there mate,”he quipped.

I was intrigued. Why was everyone so “into” my belt. I did a quick Google the next day, and found to my amazement, that the belt I was wearing, was a replica of a brand name called Hermes. And it turned out that an original Hermes belt would have pushed my budget back to say, $300 – $400. “Wow…” I thought to myself.

An overwhelming sense of embarrassment came to me. Seemed that I was carrying a replica branded belt on my waist all the time. A blatant case of worldly ignorance.

Nevertheless, thinking back on that anecdote these days, makes me wonder, if I would have carried of a different personality, should I had known that I was wearing a replica.

The point is this. External enhancements may give people a different impression perception about you. You may be perceived differently, should you be wearing something that carries a great namesake.

Which gives rise to that old maxim, “Fake it till you make it”. To be honest, I do not really subscribe to this adage. Cause in my scenario for instance, I was definitely not faking the idea that I was wearing something expensive on me. The ignorance on my part, just kinda made it sounded more like , “Be it till people believe it”. In my mind, it was just another affordable belt on my waist. Which was true by the way.

So in summary, do understand that while expensive things may make you look “upgraded”, it still boils down to the level of confidence you have in carrying it off. You do not necessarily have to be crazy about authentic branded goods. Just work on being an authentic you.