Whistling in the wind

“The tragic mistake of demographics and media planning is that they overlook the single most important issue: is the person you’re talking to ready to listen?”  – Seth Godin, about a week ago.  As usual, he has a knack for getting straight to the crux of the biscuit.

All my talk about personal branding and knowing your own special gifts is actually for personal benefit and will impact others only if they’re ready to listen.  The teacher arrives only when the student is ready.  You make thrilling discoveries and want to share your good news with others, but you experience only glazed over eyes and polite, dismissive smiles.

Or maybe you blog with passion and dedication but you’re simultaneously aware that no one is listening.  The true power of blogs lies in the comments, and you know this, but no one’s talking.

I believe there are two benefits to this reality.  One, knowing that your discoveries may well not translate to anyone else keeps you humble.  Your discoveries add to your personal riches, but do not automatically add to your power in the world.  You may, for instance, broadcast the benefits of using drawing in business communications, but you must not expect that anyone will be able to hear you.  The lack of popular understanding should in no way diminish your momentum; you must still speak your truth.  Just don’t do so in the hope of instant admiration.

The other benefit to whistling in the wind, speaking to deaf ears, or blogging for no one is that the lack of a dependent audience relieves you of social responsibility.  You are not speaking or blogging for anyone’s benefit but your own.  This doesn’t make it easier, because you’re even more challenged to discover truth as opposed to artificiality.  If you can’t count on your fellow humans for feedback and understanding, you’ll be looking to the spirit for guidance, which is what we should all be doing anyway.  You’re alone with the Divine, not a bad place to be.

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