palvin model being real 20 yr old



Being yourself.


A tough topic <oddly enough because one would assume it would be a simple topic>.



I have always kind of lived my life to the beat of my own drum. Probably because I always in some way understood I would never be one of the cool kids.


But even with that personal desire for individuality … I realize <and realized> that the game changes when you get in the business world and it becomes about your career.



It’s kind of like getting moved into the pro ranks. Everything is faster. The “be yourself” choices get a lot tougher. The mistakes are bigger.


Early on in your career everyone is feeling this whole thing out. Inevitably in youth you seem to gravitate to one of the two extremes:




–          fuck the world I am who I am, or,fuck yourself



–          I am going to wear the same underwear as everyone else to show how well I fit in.



Of course … neither extreme is right if you want to be part of the team and make sure you can look at yourself in the mirror at night with some self esteem.


I was pretty fortunate relatively early in my career to not only get some great advice from some great bosses but I also got a glimpse of a world which kind of opened my eyes a little and made my own path a little clearer.



<here is some background on who taught me the lesson>

When I worked in Dallas I had a good friend Puff <Puff was a family nickname from her childhood>. Puff was extraordinarily attractive and really sharp mentally. She often disappeared for periods of time to do runway modeling in Europe. And she was outrageous personally. Funny. Expressive.


Just big in life.


She once made me exit a highway and go back around because she thought the guy driving the car broken down on the side of the highway was cute and she wanted to meet him <it was “misidentification” error on her part – her words – but we did end up getting him to a garage so he could get some help so all was not wasted>.you cannot run away from yourself


Next example.


She was tall and naturally thin <but was also athletic and liked to run>. We would always stop in Highland Park after a run and get ice cream.

Once – maybe in a hangover induced outrageous moment – she bought two ice cream cones and then proceeded to slap one immediately onto her thigh proclaiming to the crowded place … “What the heck. May as well get a head start. Its gonna end up there anyway”.


<side note: several boyfriends in attendance were resoundly smacked by their companions for looking a little too closely at the melting ice cream>



That was a glimpse of life with my friend Puff.


(here is the lesson stuff)




That was fun to relive but here is where I learned the lesson.


As her eternally single guy friend I also became her surrogate date for a variety of different functions she was invited to. I just went ahead and bought a tux we went to so many black tie events.


It was there I met my friend Puff in a non friend environment.




She was no longer outrageous.

She was demure.


She didn’t go off in a conversation about some random environment issue passionately <or any extreme smart opinion discussion path>.


see with your heartShe was quiet and choiceful.

I didn’t really know how she did it. It was kind of like a switch flipped.



To be clear. She never lied. She never compromised her beliefs or values.


She simply blended in <by choice>. Maybe in another world that stillness would have made her standout but in that calm ocean of branded cocktails and white capped waves of pearls surrounded by the black tie ships roaming sternly about <sorry … I kinda got into the poetic metaphor> she didn’t stand out.

She simply blended in as one of the beautiful people <… of course she could always count on the fishing trawler to swing by and dance with her every once in awhile so I helped her stand out on occasion>.


All that said.


It did make me look at my own workplace a little more closely.

And it did make me think about me in the workplace.


Did I make the right choice?


For myself … absolutely.

I know I can look back on my career and probably count on one hand the compromises I rue.


Career wise? Sure. It limited some windows of opportunity for me. Doesn’t mean I didn’t have windows open just that some others were shut.



Everything we do in life has tradeoffs. And some of these choices will truly affect your success <whether you like to admit that or not>.



Of course you always have the opportunity in the work world to seek an environment to be ‘more of yourself’ naturally. The struggle comes when your passion and what you are good at <see Puff example> almost demands a ‘way to be.’


Choices and tradeoffs.

fire the world is yours

That is what you need to be thinking about ‘being yourself at work.’

<yeah … it sucks a little … one would think you wouldn’t have to invest any time thinking about it … but … you do>


Puff was a performer.


And I imagine my decision … my choice … was I didn’t really want to be a performer in any way at work. I just wanted to perform. And be judged on that.


Unfortunately as we all know that isn’t the way the world works.

Puff got it.

And she was comfortable with it.


She probably overcompensated slightly in her personal world in order to feel a little better about it but she kept the really important “yourself” stuff safe <values, beliefs, stuff like that>.


We were friends because we enjoyed such a variety of things as well as being comfortable together. I sometimes believe I was a touch of normalcy and that made us work a little.



To be fair.

I did like invading that weird modeling/beautiful people life on occasion.


Maybe that was my side of it <one neat benefit of being involved in Puffs life I was able to see Herschel Walker in white tights at his debut with the Dallas ballet – note – I haven’t been to ballet since and to be honest I am a little leery of the NFL also>.


But I didn’t fit into this world … and I couldn’t even really put the effort into trying.


I think we remained good friends during this time because I watched and listened <and we did talk about it> … and I never judged.



I don’t know what Puff is doing now. I think we were good friends for the time and place.

All I hope for her is that at some point she got to be the outrageous friend I knew and loved but in a work environment. Because I could have guaranteed her a great second career being that person whatever she decided to do after her first career.




choice consequenceAt that time and place.


She consciously made a decision as to how to act in her workplace without compromising her well defined personal character statement … and you have to give her credit for that.


For it is certainly something I could never figure out how to manage in my own career.


Good luck with your own decisions.


Just be sure you recognize it is about your choice.

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Written by Bruce