Google for any videos of motivational talks and you won’t have to look far to find a video that tells us that that each and every one of us are special. Heck just like we tell our kids how special they are, so did our parents do unto us. Hence we live a life of constantly trying to live up to us being special. We try to achieve more than others, we try to stand out, and when we fail, we feel bad about it.
What if I told you that you are nobody? How would you feel?
I came to that realisation less than 2 years ago. I can’t even remember which book it was that I read but all I remember was how I felt when I read those words that were hard for my ego to swallow. It told me that contrary to what I believe. That I… Timothy Tiah am not special. I am not unique. I am different than everyone else in ways where it doesn’t matter, but similar to everyone else in ways where it does. And contrary to my belief, people don’t give a crap about me. I AM NOBODY.
My bruised ego at first reacted defensively to the authors words. I thought of all the counter arguments… how I’m different because nobody else in the world looked like me or spoke like me or could exactly what I could do. Yet again… that would be me being different in a way that didn’t matter. So what if I looked different than everyone else, I still looked the same. Human.
Once I got past the ego and fully accepted that I was and AM NOBODY… my life changed. Here’s how.
- I Get a Lot Less Emotional
I had a terrible temper. But think about the things that make us angry. We get angry when someone is rude to us, when someone mistreats us, when someone does not do something they promised us to do and the list goes on….
The one thing all the things above have in common is that we get angry because we feel our self-esteem is being attacked. So when someone attacks our self-esteem, we feel the need to defend ourselves and fight back. When I came to the realisation though that I AM NOBODY, I no longer felt the need to fight back when people are rude to me or even betray me.
Instead because I believe that I am NOBODY, I don’t focus on myself and my feelings but instead I try to focus on the other person’s feelings. I try to empathise. When the opposing side feels like you’re trying to empathise and understand them, they often really cool off and don’t feel the need anymore to get angry.
There was an instance where someone angry had come up to me to complain about something at work and instead of cutting him off or defending myself… I just listened. Listened like what he said really mattered and it showed in my face that here was someone who sincerely wanted to know what he was angry about. In less than 30 seconds what would have otherwise escalated into a shouting match completely defused and before I knew it we were talking like we were good friends.
Being less emotional and level headed doesn’t just help us handle conflict better, it helps us make better decisions too even in situations where we’ve messed up. After all, someone once said that success is a road paved with mistakes well handled.
2. I Truly Started Caring Less About What People Said
People who say “I don’t care about what people say” generally DO care about what people say. If they really don’t care, they wouldn’t even think to say it. Heck I used to be one of those myself.
But here’s the thing… when I realised that I was nobody, I didn’t care not because I was strong enough or stubborn, but because I knew in reality, nobody will really care about me and what I do. Think about it, we live in a social media world where we’ve been random people go into instant viral sensations when they do things that are shocking to other people, like that lady who went viral because she waved a steering lock at an older man years ago. She became famous and known as…. heck I can’t even remember what which proves my point. PEOPLE DON’T CARE ENOUGH TO REMEMBER. Even if you’re famous for some viral story or a scandal, that will last a few days, and then everyone else moves on to the next thing.
So what do people care about?
People care about themselves. We are all motivated by self-interest. So if we care about anybody else outside of our family and loved ones, it’s because that somebody else could affect our lives. That’s the reason why many people care about Donald Trump, because as President of the USA he could do things that affect his people. But unless we’re Trump, or the Pope….. NOBODY CARES ABOUT US.
So we can stop living our lives to look good for people or to impress people… because no matter how hard we try, people just will not care about you than they do about themselves.
3. I Started Learning More
Because I am NOBODY, I realise that I need to learn more. I started being truly open to listening to everyone’s stories no matter who they are or what they did. Here’s the most amazing thing I learned: I learned, that I could learn something… from EVERYBODY.
Learning is important to me because it keeps me growing and I feel like the more I know, the more perspectives I have and the more perspectives I have the better I am at life.
So if there’s one thing that has really changed the way I live for the better… it’s coming to the realisation that I am NOBODY.