Listen to Post Power Words – July 23
Growing up, we’re often tossed into situations that have a very noticeable social hierarchy. We learn who is popular, and who is not. We see the roles that everyone, including ourselves, fall into. We learn, more than anything, who is in charge. The dynamic people from whom others take their cues. In our youth, these clusters can most often be identified as, “the cool kids.”
To be sure, it is quite nice being one of the cool kids. The character of the cool kids can differ, but inevitably they are equipped with some innate advantage over non-cool kids. They can be attractive, rich, athletic, defiant, cocky, or any combination of these things and other things. Later in life, former cool kids will assert that they did not have this status, but don’t be fooled. An adult friend of mine once said, “I was a real dork in high school. I really liked The X-Files and had tons of acne.” My friend was neglecting to mention that he’d also been a talented pitcher who had a cool car, and lots of sex all the time. My friend may not have been perfect, but he was solidly amongst the ranks of the cool kids.
It may be hard to believe, but I wasn’t always Brad Feiling, the worldwide self-help expert and industry thought leader, with so much reverence connected to my name. In my high school years, I was most commonly referred to as, “Fag Feilings.” To pun unavoidably: my feelings were routinely hurt by the moniker.
I am no longer called that, or any cruel name. Today, I am secure in the idea that I’m as cool as it gets. I’m totally cool. How, you ask, did I overcome these childhood wounds? Well, in my heart, long into my success, I still saw myself as the weak, 14 year-old son of a failed fishing promoter, terminally unable to pronounce S and P sounds without spitting, and constantly shunned by girls who laughed me off, claiming I smelled of the rotting sea.
I was able to forever drown this former me by, in effect, promoting myself to the rank of cool kid. I realized that the cool kids, for all their slick bravado, would be nothing without the lesser kids they pick on, and define themselves as cool in contrast to. After all, we can’t see light until it reflects off of another object, right?
Today, as the mogul behind ThePowerWords.com and Warm Feilings World Media, I employ several salespeople, security personnel, assistants, and interns. I bark orders at these people, demanding they rush to bring me whatever I need or want, and consistently criticize what I perceive as their flaws, be it in their performance, haircut, or whathaveyou. By doing this, and attacking their self esteem so that I can feel big, I constantly reaffirm my self-image, and can believe everyday that I am cool!
Today, I’m pretty cool. If I forget, all I need do is look at somebody who is not, and target them.