“Above all, do not appear to others as you are not.” (Robert E. Lee)


I just finished reading an article by Dorie Clark on Harvard Business Review. Dorie is one of my favorite contributors because she writes about things that all of us experience and she makes the effort to respond to those of us who like to add our comments. This particular article was titled, “You’re probably wrong about how others see you.” The link to the complete article is at the bottom of this post. She made the point that most of us are not good at self-perception. She offered some great advice on how to improve that ability, if we can stand the truth about ourselves. Which brings me to today’s topic, the truth about Guy.

I always thought I had a pretty realistic opinion of myself. I’ve never been outstanding at much of anything but above average, maybe a B-, would be a fair grade for my lifetime achievements. My GPA from college is nothing to brag about but I feel like I learned a lot and grew exponentially during those four years. I had a long and mostly successful career as the owner of Horst Graphics. Like a lot of entrepreneurs, I learned by failing and trying again. Back in the 80’s, I developed a reputation for my industrial photography that was well-earned. I spent years buried in the basement darkroom experimenting with film, cameras, and film processors. When the computerization of publishing came about, I took that leap and survived another ten years before printing in general began its decline. I can honestly say I enjoyed every minute of the 25 years I owned the company. It was the greatest learning experience of my life and every day was a new challenge.

It’s now ten years later and I’m still looking for my next great challenge. I took up writing this blog in 2009 because I desperately needed an outlet for my unlimited mental capacity. That’s not bragging. I believe we all have more brainpower than we bother to use. My mind just has no off button and writing is a great way to burn up mental calories but I still need to be pushed to the limit of my abilities again. To that end, I keep looking for a better opportunity. I need to make a difference and sure, working with foster children is meaningful but it doesn’t really test anything but my patience. I’m only 59 years old and I would like to work till I’m 70 or dead, whichever comes first. There has to be someone who needs my experience and my ridiculous work ethic. I love working long hours and being the one who takes charge. When I put my name on my work it means everything to me and it’s a responsibility I readily accept.

In Dorie’s article, she talks about the need to use the internet to search out information about ourselves because that’s the first place people will look. In my case, Linkedin and this blog are the only digital footprints I have created and since there’s only one Guy Horst on the whole planet, I’m pretty easy to find. That realization was monumental because I had to face the fact that some of these blog posts might make people uneasy and if that happened would it make me more or less qualified as a candidate? Now the truth hurts. What if I am my own worst enemy and my honesty is getting in my way? Just consider for a minute, what if the only thing anybody knew about me was the last post before this one, “I would believe only in a God who could dance.” I can only imagine how that one would go over but is finding a new job and putting my best foot forward more important than writing from my heart?

I believe the real problem here is the internet itself and the way we get our information. I think the internet is like a giant smorgasbord of food with everything you ever wanted to eat, from all the best chefs everywhere. All the food is set out and everyone is given a spoon but we can only have one taste from each dish because we only get fifteen minutes to find what we like. How likely are we to find the one we like the best? What if the one we picked had too much paprika for our taste or it was too runny? What if our fifteen minutes ran out before we even got to see half of the items available to us? Did we get enough information to make a good choice?

In my particular case, out of nearly 160 posts, I can assure you there are some you might hate and others you will love. If I start worrying about how I look to everybody, everywhere then I’m not being true to my craft as a writer or as the person I really am. I’m not perfect and I’m not going to waste my time on earth trying to be something I’m not. I work hard at writing and everything else I do. I don’t have a lower gear. At this stage of my life, I want to teach the next generation the meaning of work and how to make a difference for others with the work we do. I need to be used for guidance, clarification and a sense of purpose that binds the group together and makes everyone more productive. I don’t need a title or validation that somehow my every word is precious. I just need to be part of the process of making things better for everybody.

If you really want to know more about Guy R. Horst, you’re going to have to read every last post on this blog. You can’t pick out one or two and expect a clear answer. On the other hand, you could just ask me yourself in person. If I can’t make myself known in less than an hour then I’m probably not going to fit in anyway and frankly I’m okay with that. No job will ever define my existence for eternity. I’ve already spent my whole life doing that and every day that I wake up again I get to keep trying. That’s all I could ever hope for. Now you know the truth about me.

http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/04/youre_probably_wrong_about_how_others_really_see_you.html?referral=00563&cm_mmc=email-_-newsletter-_-daily_alert-_-alert_date&utm_source=newsletter_daily_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=alert_date

©Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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