“Insightful” … Or Not

Reflection“When we are able to see ourselves as we really are, we should take time to be thankful for a sense of humor.”

Via Anonymous, who just gets smarter every time I stumble across one of their sayings …

The Business Insider recently posted about “The One Interview Question That Reveals How Candidates See Themselves.” 

No, it was NOT “Where do you see yourself in five years?” …

The challenge they posed is to describe yourself in one word …

One word that sums up “You”, in all your complexity … 

One word that describes the most important attribute of how you view yourself …

One word, upon which the success of your interview and indeed your very life, might well hang …

… Or not.

Well, this slightly verbose guy struggled mightily to come up with my word.  Many of us are so used to using many words to say something that we cannot easily parse things down to one single word.  

I had to find and reject many words before I settled on the one word that I truly think describes me and reflects the value I bring to the table.

The word I settled on is in the title of this little post and I have three things to say about that …

1)  Choosing just one word is hard … and that is a good thing.

Having to choose one word from the many that could easily and accurately describe each of us is not as easy as it may seem.  

As exciting as it is to finally settle on that one “perfect” word, we also are reducing our options when we finally choose.

You’ve heard of “Buyer’s Remorse” probably, but I believe a similar effect occurs when we make a decision.  We may be happy with the direction or the result, but part of us still wonders “What if I had chosen …?”

2)  The one word we choose may or may not be the word others would choose for us.

We are not always the best judge of what others see.  

Try this little experiment:  Ask some trusted friends and co-workers to take the “one word” test with regard to you … after you have already done so yourself.  The results might be very interesting.

3)   Don’t take “one word” so seriously that you make yourself crazy.  

Maybe the best word in one situation is not the best word in another.  

If I seek a teaching position, I better have something to offer that is a little more learning-oriented than “insightful”.  I can be insightful all day long, but a teacher has to help others develop that quality.

What’s that, you say?   You could never restrict yourself to just one word?   You are too complex, your life has been too rich, you are more than one single word?

My advice:  Get over yourself.

It’s just a question to spur some self-reflection, folks … we are not enslaved forever to whatever response we give.

Considering whether I chose wisely in the Heartland ….