I’ve noticed something. A correlation. A connection. I meet a lot of people – and I hear a lot of people talk about other people. And occasionally I’ll hear people say “Oh, that person? They’re amazing. Remarkable.” And yesterday I started to wonder – what makes someone remarkable in someone else’s eyes? And what makes someone less than remarkable?
When I think back to when I worked in an office, I have to admit that there were times when I thought of many people as unremarkable. I’m sure you know what I mean – the kind of person you interact with who you don’t feel adds any value to anything. They don’t have a strong opinion or perspective on anything much. They aren’t go-getters, decision makers, leaders. They’re just workers, working away at unremarkable stuff. They just go along with the flow that others create.
But a strange thing happened. In the lead-up to my departure I started talking to people and honestly telling them what I’m going to be doing professionally. And when I shared that, they would usually share something that they were interested in – something totally outside of work that I had no idea they were into.
And that’s where, for me, unremarkable people started to become remarkable.
People told me about amazing things they were into. Incredible projects outside of work that I had no idea about – and had never taken the time to be interested in. Working with the homeless. Designing a machine in their garage to help farmers put fenceposts in. Working with crystals. Writing a book. Foster parenting. Being in a band. Caring for sick parents. Animal rescue. Teaching yoga. The list goes on…
And in each one of those interactions, I walked away with a changed perspective about that person. They went from unremarkable to remarkable to me, just because we both removed a layer of crap that was getting in the way of me seeing it.
So the connection I made was this: Everyone is remarkable, but when you’re authentic, people can actually see your remarkability. When you take on layers of inauthenticity because you feel you have to, then this obscures your naturally remarkable nature and people can’t see it.
So I’ve decided from now on, when I engage with people, to not disengage until I’ve found their remarkability. I’m just going to keep peeling back layers until I find it. Because I know it’s there – with everyone. It’s just a matter of exposing it. This is me creating the reality I prefer – and it’s my preference to see the remarkability in everyone.