Years ago a reader accused me of being materialistic after I wrote about my lack of a favorite number, specifically criticizing me for saying that when it comes to my salary, my favorite number is the largest number possible.
After refuting the charges of materialism (which, if you know me, were ridiculous), I acknowledged that I had plenty of other shortcomings and offered to list them to appease my angry reader.
Spite, my friends, is an excellent reason to do just about anything.
Then I did. I wrote the list and posted it online for all to see. Then I added to the list when friends suggested that I had forgotten a few.
Nice friends. Huh?
Born from spite, the list has also come to mean something more important. As a teacher of storytelling, I stand on stages, in boardrooms, in churches, and lately in Zoom rooms around the world preaching the importance of vulnerability. I’ve spent enormous amounts of time assuring my audiences that revealing your shortcomings, describing your failures, and telling stories about your most embarrassing moments will draw people closer to you. Foster deep and meaningful connections. Project strength and confidence.
It’s also highly entertaining.
Bragging about your accomplishments, hiding your moments of embarrassment and shame, and disguising your flaws and shortcomings is easy. It also often demonstrates a lack of confidence. It’s the realm of the weak, the delicate, the thin-skinned, and the frightened.
I share my flaws and shortcomings with the world to practice what I preach. To show people that you can be transparent without doing yourself harm. To demonstrate that you can share your least impressive qualities and still be respected and appreciated by others.
So the time has come to assemble my list for 2020, which means I will be reviewing the 2019 list carefully, hoping that I might be able to remove a few and looking to add any that I might be missing.
As always, I offer you the opportunity to add to the list as well. If you know me personally or through my blog or social media or my books or my storytelling or my podcast and have detected a shortcoming or flaw to add to the list, please let me know. I will be finalizing and publishing my list in about a week, so don’t delay.
I look forward to hearing about all the ways in which you think I suck.