EXPOSE | What Makes You Interesting?
“An interesting person is interesting to us because she combines two things: Truth and surprise.” – Seth Godin
EXPLORE | What’s Better Than Being Interesting?
By ‘truth’, Seth is referring to having conviction. Beyond preference, we are compelled to stand firmly on what we have been convinced is true. And then ‘surprise’ is having to do with shaping your presentation to delight your audience. In other words, your providing what someone needs to hear, the way they need to hear it.
What I hear Seth describing could probably be summed up in one word: boldness. One definition describes it as “the quality of having a strong, vivid, or clear appearance.” The strength of the truth, clearly presented–at the right time–can be very surprising.
When boldness has come to mean having more to do with the ‘sizzle’ than the ‘steak’, wielding the ‘straight stick of truth’ (as I’ve heard Janet Parshall describe D.L. Moody’s quote) will be viewed as very peculiar.
“The best way to show that a stick is crooked is not to argue about it or to spend time denouncing it, but to lay a straight stick alongside it.” – D.L. Moody
Breaking through with the truth looks a lot like that scene in the movie where the main character is running toward the monster, while the whole of humanity is running the opposite direction in an attempt to escape. Understood this way, ‘interesting’ probably won’t cut it. Delivering the truth in a timely, compelling way in the face of opposition will be perceived as very peculiar.
EXECUTE | How to Get Peculiar–In a Good Way
Truth + Surprise. I think Seth is on to something with this combination. Let’s take a closer look at each as a means to our unleashing our peculiar.
The truth is powerful. It alone is enough to shock, spark, stir, split, penetrate, divide, pierce, melt, and ultimately, free. Truth is pure. Truth brings life. Nothing good comes from ignoring the truth. God offers freedom through the Truth (John 8:32), and is in opposition to its suppression (Romans 1:18).
Because of the effort that goes into denying, suppressing, blocking, and otherwise avoiding the truth, being that ‘straight stick’ is not only peculiar, but potentially dangerous.
There is so much riding on the truth.
How well do you know the truth? How well do you handle it?
Many would agree that Pixar has this concept down cold. The almost magical way they can penetrate a heart, any heart, by brilliantly telling a good story. They are able to get us to lower our guard and deliver their message with relative ease. Jesus was similar. He could disarm anyone, and deliver the truth in such a way that it would stun the recipient, and amaze bystanders.
But maybe surprise is not currently a part of your repertoire.
“You’re not born uninteresting [read: unbold]. But it’s entirely possible you’ve persuaded yourself to be so frightened of the consequences that you no longer have the passion, the generosity or the guts to be interesting [read: bold] any longer.” – Seth Godin
Boldness is something we lose. Get it back. There is something to be said about regressing back to a child. They are unashamed of saying it like it is. Add just a bit of tact, and unleashing the truth might even be welcomed.
Boldness is conviction lived out loud. It is unmistakable and uncontainable.
Are you peculiar? You ought to be. It’s better than being interesting. And, we were meant to be. Our part in this world was intended–and is needed.