Who Are You When (You Think) Nobody is Looking?

That is the question Andrea J. Lee poses in her blog entry Paul Principal Example | “I’m going to Hawaii, [email protected] it!”. I’m a HUGE fan of Andrea’s work. She always has extremely practical, insightful, and “tell it like it is” insights. This time is no different. Take this part of her story:

As we waited for boarding to commence at the airport in Calgary the other week, I couldn’t help but look on, in boggle-eyed bafflement while:

  • a husband and wife bickered nastily about where the sunblock should go, in the left side pocket of the hubby’s backpack or the right hand side (really!)
  • a dad marched a 5 or 6-year old out of the waiting area, dragging her as she screamed at the top of her lungs (you know the kind of dragging where the child’s feet stops touching the ground and they are being carried by one arm, who knows where?)
  • a whole section of Maui-bound Calgarians sat crabbily in the waiting area, not a single smile in sight (honest, I looked twice at each face)

In another spot, there was one group of four thirty-something women – obviously friends – who were laughing and smiling and talking excitedly about beaches, and they were the center of attention for the whole room. Almost as if they were the television set. (So that’s how to be happy.)

Besides the fact that these people thought no one was looking (if they only knew Andrea was & is writing about them!), it doesn’t really matter. Who we are at all times — when we’re in front of a room speaking for business, with our friends/family, out doing day to day errands, and especially when we are alone — is the number one key to having a successful and fulfilling life. Whether you own your own seven figure business, work for a company, or stay at home focusing on family or charitable causes — who you are when no one is watching defines who you are. It is the essence of your character and integrity. Your attitude and integrity will be more responsible for your level of happiness and success in this lifetime than any action you take (or don’t take).

Andrea goes on to sum it up with an important point for any professional to keep in mind:

No matter where we go, there we are. And no matter how much work you’re doing on your business, there you are. So make sure you’re working on yourself, as much as you are on your business.

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Sometimes people will scoff when I talk about the importance of taking the time to do some personal growth work or tending to their life. They are too busy running fast forward on the treadmill trying to move up the corporate ladder or make the next sale for such diversions. What they are missing though is the fact that time spent focusing on yourself will yield benefits to you exponentially — in the form of business results, the richness of your relationships, your health, and just making your life the right fit for you. After all, who wants to go through life wearing the wrong size life??

  • What have you done lately to focus on personal development?
  • Most importantly, who are you (really) when no one is looking?

I’d love to hear what you’ve noticed about yourself or others. Please post some thoughts in the comments…

lesbian , lesbian business owners,LGBT ,GLBT ,success,authentic

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  1. lately, when no one is looking,,,im not as happy as they would think i am. they all think i have so much freedom now that i am able to live openly as a lesbian. i am lonely a lot of the time.

  2. Jeffrey M. Harty says:

    As a business owner I understand the lonleyness that you feel. Somewhere down the line I lost who I am, now I am trying to take one day at a time to find myself and to gather my thoughts and ideas. As a newly seperated partner I find that there are alot of questions that need to be answered, either questions in my personal life or my business life. But there is one thing I am sure of there are people out there that will extend there hand not to mention offer you advice. The answer to the question,Who are your when nobody is looking? I am an honest, loving, gentle, caring, romantic indivdual that wants something better for ones self.

  3. Hi Jeff & c. Thanks for the comments!

    One thing I shared with c in email is that whenever I hit a lonely patch or maybe a time when not too many other friends are nearby, I always seize it as an opportunity to learn more about myself. How can I forge a deeper relationship with myself & make "me" my best friend. It can sound a little corny, but I had a stretch a few years ago where a lot of people in my life vanished at once, time to move on. I took that time to do a lot of reading & getting to know "me" and it made a HUGE difference. So, now even when I'm alone, I can enjoy the solitude and not feel lonely (as often…).

  4. Thanks for passing on Andrea's post and your great commentary… especially about the importance of tending to personal growth. So true and so often skipped because we don't make time for it.

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