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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Self awareness, AKA The emperor has no clothes...

...AKA, it's good to have good people close to you.

Michael Jackson died of an overdose of propofol, because his doctor didn't have the stones to tell him no. At the time of his death, he had become a freak of nature, surrounded by sycophants who sucked the money and common sense right out of him.

Likewise, Elvis Presley. In my opinion, he was ruined because he was surrounded by people who had no motivation to tell him when he was being ridiculous. They were making too much money off of him to ever stop him short and tell him a few truths (I'd have told him not to put on that white jumpsuit, for one thing!)


I was talking to a friend on Thursday about self awareness. My point being that all of us of believe that we are self aware, but are we really? If you don't have someone who cares about you enough to jerk a knot in your tail, you may start to believe your own press and forget that not all of your decisions are good ones, and that you may not actually appear to the world the same way you appear in your mind.

A sibling can really help to keep you grounded. A typical brother or sister isn't going to listen to self aggrandizement without snorting at your silliness and telling you to get over yourself. Also, I think that one of the hallmarks of a good marriage is when a spouse is not afraid to (nicely and lovingly) point out that the other is wrong, or on the wrong track - ultimately, the correction will make the person being corrected a better, more stable person.

Now in my opinion, and referring back up to the top to the Michael Jackson paragraph, Michael's family don't appear to have served him very well at all.  Somewhere down the line, people - his family included from what I've seen - stopped saying "You're an idiot".  Idunno, maybe because they were all making a ton of money off of his very large amount of talent?

This really could have been nipped in the bud, couldn't it?

I own a teeny-tiny accounting firm right here in beautiful downtown Cleveland, Tennessee.  I am the only CPA in the firm - Luckily, I have a good network of other CPAs of whom I can ask questions.  I also depend on, and ask the opinions of, my staff.  I may have more technical knowledge of accounting (doesn't that phrase just send a sexy shiver down your spine?  No?  Huh.), but I hope that I have enough of their respect to where they will give me their honest opinions about a business decision I might make.  I may not take their advice, but I do listen.

I believe that it is the process of listening to others advice and gentle (hopefully) corrections that they make, that enable a person to have a glimmer of self awareness. I have no illusions that I am self-aware, but I hope that the knowledge that I'm not, makes me be...just a little.  Know what I mean?

By the way, do these jeans make my butt look big?


  1. This is so awesome. I just had a conversation with a very good friend. I told him that I have enough ass-kissers in my life. What I expect from him is to get in my face and tell me when I'm wrong.
    People are afraid of doing that. We owe it to each other. There are ways of doing it without hurting someone's feelings.

    When I was growing up, my BFF's dad was a Pastor. He always told the BEST stories. The one that I always remember was this one. (Pardon the Christian overtones if are not).
    "If you are heading down the wrong path, God will tickle you with a feather. If you ignore it, he'll hit you with a brick."

    It's the same for my close friends. Tell me, but if I don't listen, throw the brick.

  2. The Pastor is correct. And yes, to your point, it can be done without hurting someones feelings - if done early enough. I'm not sure how you could have nicely told Elvis not to have that 14th peanut butter and 'nanner sammich.