Picture, for a moment, meeting your favourite sports hero, or actor, or hero of another kind. Imagine coming face-to-face with them. Imagine the feelings of awe and, perhaps, the feelings of embarrassing self-consciousness.
Now picture a bunch of them, all the people you adore, all in one room, 30 or 40 of them, coming to listen to you speak. Imagine them there before you. As you go up to utter that first word, what are you feeling?
These are important, yet stark, images for the mind to grapple with.
To begin with, those we admire from such a distance we see as surreal in real life. They don’t seem quite real until we meet them, and then they are just like us; they breathe like us, they eat like us, they perspire like us, and they even get nervous like us.
They are just people like you and me.
Times To Dissolve The Imagination
When we have situations, like before our CEOs and presidents and famous sports stars, we have the ability to enjoy the wonder in the moment and not be swept away.
But to manage these situations requires us to, for a time, dissolve our imaginations. We must somehow grasp the reality of the situation before us. And this is applicable to any situation where we find ourselves self-conscious before another human being.
Instead of putting them on a pedestal, and it’s no doubt many deserve such a pedestal, we, for our own sakes, and theirs, need to treat them as normal people before us.
With a will for normalcy we manage the moment consciously. This takes a moment’s courage; one courageous moment after the other, strung together. And when we achieve this we preserve the dignity of both them and us.
As we manage these moments, refusing to give in to the imagination’s sense of awe, we extract a pleasant experience and not embarrassment. As we think of these times back in our pasts, we recognise the importance, for our memories sake, of a good showing—now—before esteemed colleagues.
We want our best foot forward; to do that we must harness our imaginations.
These important people, again, are just people like you and me.
Famous and well-respected kinds of people we easily awe. But they are just people like you and me. Being creditable before people we esteem highly is simply about harnessing our imaginations and consciously managing our moments.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.