2 Things I'm No Longer Sure AboutMISCELLANEOUS WRITINGS | 2014 EDITION | VOLUME 44

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“Your presence is enough”, Iyanla Vanzant likes to say. Your presence, is enough.

And you know you're in great company when no further clamor is necessary...in a mobile first, cloud first and humanity last world that won't sit still. Or take time to appreciate, reflect, take stock and understand why things work they way they do, or simply, where others are coming from.

Barely two months after a long-time albeit very fickle Sichuan friend” claiming to love me just the day before abruptly wrote me off and disappeared — because she wanted photos of me and in fairness to her, she'd sent me several over the years including a voluntary USB dump onto one of my computers seven years ago, and meanwhile all she'd been able get in return was see mine every time she saw me — a new Guangdong friend blew me away by not only voluntarily giving me complete access to her photos but also abruptly gave me complete unfettered QQ account information and password access, insisting she just wanted to force me to communicate on QQ, which hitherto, I'd avoided.

Her response to the exact same reasoning cited to the Sichuan lady for my cautiousness, which mind you, she never solicited? A simple:

It's OK.

One China, two completely different attitudes, worldviews vis-à-vis giving to receive vs. unconditional love, and level of education (to be explained in Teaching Done Right Part 3). But assuming you can't wait and wondering “how possible? The perfect albeit seemingly complex explanation is buried in the wordsMark Twain put it slightly differently: “Never tell the truth to those who are not worthy of it.” And that brings us to two things I'm no longer sure about:

As I grow older, I'm discovering with great consistency that simply “looking in the same direction” — in business or (intimate) human relations, isn't enough. Shared values DO matter.

That is why so many clamor and force marriages on people they were never equipped to be with in the first place. And why I'm not so sure “opposites attract” either.

In the absence of natural compatibility, where opposites may attract and manage to stick together simply because one — not necessarily both — possesses/brings an intense desire to improve self; capability to adapt, and crucially, the resilience to make it work whatever the
odds or perceived reward(s), the glue that holds it all together is shared values like the powerful life skill of asking questions (notice the Sichuan lady never attempted to understand) and placing a high premium on communication and human skills, done right.

Otherwise, the mediocre who goes after the purpose-driven finds he or she bit way more than they could chew. The anti-intellectual who went after the ambitious and goal-driven intellectual finds themselves frustrated if not perennially insecure and probably like all others like herself, eventually turns into a hater who thinks the ambitious is full of themselves.

I've found that it often works best when sex addict, goes after sex addict. Drug addict after drug addict. Party animal after party animal. Rancor lovers, sadists and/or psychopaths with like. Mobile phone or internet addicts with like. Impatient after, and in perfect harmony with, similarly impatient types. When lazy sticks with, or goes after a similarly lazy person, news junkie after news junkie, and so on. Because in the right company, not much needs further explanation. And “nagging” or whining is unlikely. Or at least, given a different, more endearing name.

There are a lot of things that aren't love. And if you've ever had the misfortune of being around people who require so much explanation with hutzpah like nobody's business, you'll do well to remember simply that Your presence IS enough.

Nothing more to answer to.

Ask yourself what do you want your normal to be? In my case, it is centered around core life principles that tell me whether I'm on a path to instability or stability not. And without exception, every time I've seen the writing on the wall and yet veered off course, I have deservedly opened up myself up to be destabilized by people who don't share my values.

Whether in a business or personal context, the next time you genuinely find yourself having to reject someone, people, a prospect or even, clients who won't take time to understand what your vision, mission and/or purpose is all about, take a deep breath. Because two-dimensional thinking doesn't scale. Once, in England, a fellow PhD student from Germany who confessed to being infatuated with me the moment she met me (and told me right when and where we met) later called that afternoon saying something to the effect of: “Sorry. I know how this all ends. Because my last boyfriend was just as intense, interesting and charming as you.” It was the best rejection ever! 

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