I spent this past Wednesday in Chicago with a group of industry and agency leaders. The purpose of the session, led by David C. Baker, was to explore best practices used by high performing marketing firms. After analyzing hundreds of agencies, one of David’s endeavors is to conduct round-table sessions to share his insights and gather new information. The session was informative and productive, in all of the expected ways, and in one unexpected way.
During the conversation, the topic of extroversion versus introversion was discussed. One of the characteristics differentiating the two is where you derive your energy from, as opposed to what your outward style appears to be. An introvert is energized by being alone and an extrovert is energized by being with other people. While I have always been classified as an extrovert, and could hardly be characterized as a mostly introverted personality, the conversation about sources of energy made me reflect, and was ultimately very enlightening.
I now realize there has always been a strong vein of introvert running through my mostly extroverted personality. Over the years, it has been described to me in many ways, by different people; marching to my own drummer, being restless, bit of a loner, wanderlust, etc. I realized that I do recharge and become energized through solitude. Whether on business travel, taking long motorcycle rides through the country, or working the land out at our house, these are opportunities that I have always used to collect my thoughts and become re-energized. For me, at least, one isn’t the loneliest number; one is an essential element in my life and produces my individual energy.
At my rather advanced age, OK don’t start writing any eulogies yet but you know what I am saying, it is interesting to have this kind of realization about myself. Face it, at this point in our lives, shouldn’t we really understand ourselves pretty thoroughly? I guess it says we all need to keep listening, digging deeper, questioning beliefs, and learning new things. Some may be interesting little facts about oneself, and some may be major life revelations … open up and take it as it comes. Everyone has heard the song that proclaims, “One is the loneliest number that you ever knew”. That line is certainly inaccurate as far as I am concerned, and maybe for many people out there. Celebrate your oneness, your singularity and your ability to be in perfect harmony with who you are.