Is something you should definitely try to avoid!
When Nicki Minaj made her appearance during the Super Bowl halftime show Sunday night, I was reminded of something that unintentionally intrigued me during her performance at “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest.” As I watched her dancers giving it their best during the annual show, my subconscious became so confused that questions interrupted my consciousness. “Why are they so short and stocky?” “Aren’t those dancers hired for their looks –why aren’t they curvier, ‘hotter’?” Then it hit me! “Aha, they’re built just like Nicki, except slightly less attractive” (not that any of them were unattractive, my subconscious just has high standards for media due to its previous input regarding the ‘ideal’ sexy dancer). “How interesting, and narcissistic” I thought. I was tempted to look down on Ms Minaj for not being secure enough to hire dancers who were “prettier” (at least by current societal norms) than her. But from an aesthetic standpoint it did make sense, and she probably pays people to figure all that stuff out for her anyway I reasoned. I let her off the hook. But, I thought, “what about me?” And what about you?
Let’s take physical appearance out of the equation since this is largely something we can’t change about us, but what about say intellect? Do we make sure we’re the smartest one at the dinner table? Or worse yet, in the office amongst our staff? Or are we comfortable being the least knowledgeable person at the dinner party and the lowest IQ holder amongst our hired staff? If we’d like to improve ourselves at all (not to mention any larger collective effort such as in an organization) I suggest we get comfortable with being inferior by comparison.
While chatting with one of our new pilots on a layover Texas yesterday, he started relaying some recent information he’d heard from some personal trainer to the stars (who’s name I can’t remember). He (the pilot) and I are both into physical fitness, which is a great point of camaraderie, so he was explaining how important the trainer said this was. He explained that essentially the trainer’s advice was to avoid spending a lot of time with those who don’t care about health/nutrition but rather find time to spend with those who do. That made sense to me and started my mind on a tangent as to how I could find more of such people. And then I went back to my earlier Nicki Minaj related musings; actually, it would be best to surround myself with people better than me in the area of health/nutrition.
I’ve pretty much decided to get a proper road bike this Spring, and then latch on to some groups that ride locally, even do some events. Now I know I’ll likely be the worst in the group, which will definitely be embarrassing (I’m not competitive at all ), but that’s a price I’m willing to pay to improve, to push myself. I mean, I could go find a senior citizen’s riding group and be the healthiest and fastest rider (actually they may also be faster) but whom would I learn from? Who could I look up to or set goals from their accomplishment?
A friend recently shared the following quote:
How strange that the nature of life is change, yet the nature of human beings is to resist change. And how ironic that the difficult times we fear might ruin us are the very ones that can break us open and help us blossom into who we were meant to be –Elizabeth Lesser “Being Open”
We do tend to resist change (and growth for that matter) and instead choose a counterfeit to true improvement by surrounding ourselves with those who are a bit worse off to make our current status quo look a little less ‘status quo’, or so we think. But the “difficult times” to which Lesser refers could very well be those times in which we allow ourselves to be the most inferior tennis player, scientist, computer programmer, etc, in the room; that “difficult time” where we are forced to deal with embarrassment over our inferiority. But if we allow, and even seek out such scenarios, I believe we can “break… open” our potential and break off the tired status quo monkey on our back.
And this is why I think we should avoid being the best and the brightest in the room whenever we can.