As human beings, we talk a lot. About who we are, about what we like, about what keeps us up at night, about what motivates us.
I think the talk can also be an interesting peek into the soul. Our talk can be recalling things from the past that we’ve actually done, or it can be about things that are upcoming. Many times, however, our talk is just that – talk. Talk to make ourselves seem like more powerful movers and shakers, talk that makes others think, “Wow, they’re really together.” Talk can be dangerous.
I think back to networking events, happy hour conversations with colleagues, and if they’re fueled by making connections as opposed to chatting with those you already know, a lot of the talk is simply fiction. They’re little white lies about the places we want to go but aren’t actively seeking out, and about the knowledge we claim to have in order to pad our resume.
We say we’re pursuing X, Y and Z because the truth might hurt; nobody wants to call themselves out in a group of people as someone who’s unemployed, who’s not happy or who isn’t content with the road they’ve gone so far down while they chased the almighty dollar instead of personal fulfillment.
The Happy Hour Doer can be someone who isn’t really doing anything at all, other than comparing himself to everyone else around him – and to others who are probably doing the same thing: talking.
It’s a phenomenon that can be motivational if we allow it – we can talk so that we put it out there to the universe and treat it as something we will ultimately be accountable for. It no longer exists solely in our head, therefore someone may ask about it in the future. Talk might just spur us into action.
It’s also a phenomenon that can be paralyzing. We’re all talking, all “doing,” all going places. Or so we think. Then one person measures himself against someone else, and the dream is gone. The motivation is dissolved. The ability feels like it has died. All because the perception is that someone else did, while we sit there idling.
The Happy Hour Doer is a dangerous creature; talk is a dangerous thing. Today I am thankful that regardless of what other people have accomplished, and regardless of what others measure themselves against, the great equalizer will always be the word “try.” Without trying, there’s no chance of going anywhere, and nobody ever set out in a direction absolutely knowing they’ll succeed. They only figured, “Why not give it a shot?”
Here’s to less talk and more try in 2013.