The Importance of Being Important – Men Need to Know This Too.
For the past two years I’ve been writing The Importance of Being Important. The central idea of the book is simple, every one of us is the most important person in the room. It’s a notion that doesn’t sit comfortably with most people, not an easy one to accept or know. As I’ve been working on the manuscript it’s been endlessly fascinating to explore the theme in conversations with friends and strangers. I tell them a bit about the book and then ask them what they think. I’ll never forget the first response I received, “Oh I’ve never been important a day in my life!!” “Some of these conversations have helped me work through and clarify my ideas. All of them convince me that my book needs to get out into the world.
One evening over dinner a friend suggested I record some of those conversations and share them. I thought, brilliant, why didn’t I think of that. But that’s why we need friends!! Thank you Van Picken Comes With Fries.
I thought I knew what Andy was going to say, but he surprised me.
The first conversation I recorded was with my husband Andy. I thought of it as the experimental learning recording. Plus we’d had plenty of conversations about the book and I thought I knew what he was going to say. But he surprised me, and when I listened back to our conversation I decided it’s worth sharing.
Warning, the production is ‘Voice Memo Recorder at Outdoor Coffee Shop on Busy Street!” So, to ensure you don’t miss the important bits I’ve transcribed a portion of our conversation.
Andy: If you don’t involve men you’re immediately cutting off half the population. And men should be able to and do want to talk about the challenges that they’ve had, the decisions that they’ve made. Do you think it’s that great being a man? Really. That’s another myth. It’s not. Many many men are extremely unhappy and have made decisions for the wrong reason, finish up in bad marriages or bad jobs or just self-destructive behaviour. I mean all the facts point to more men die (early), more men are homeless, more men are victims of domestic abuse.
If I understand the core concept of your book, the why is, people make decisions from not the best, without fully understanding what is good for them. I think they listen to every other thing but not themselves. And listening to yourself and making a decision based solely on what you know to be the right thing for you, is what I imagine the central theme of the book is about. And everybody can relate to that.
Men and women.
Me: Originally when we talked about the title of the book you said, ‘Oh, this is for women.
Andy: Well then I was wrong. It’s not just for women. I think women potentially, well it depends on how it’s sold, how it’s marketed to men.
In the end you want people to be happier than they are now. And how do you make yourself happy? You make yourself happy by making good decisions, by following things that make you feel good. And again, it’s not all about millennial’s and they only care about themselves.
Me: I have to differentiate between being selfish and being the most important person.
Do you feel like it can help you? Is it making you happier? Do you feel it’s got something in there that can make you happier.
Andy: I do. I think any chance of self-reflection is – it’s not like you do it once and then it’s done, it’s a lifelong process, it’s a way of thinking, a way of engaging with the world, and I want to get better at that.”
Like Jung said, “We’re all in the same soup.”
I love this conversation. Andy gets right to the point of exactly why I’m writing The Importance of Being Important. We all, regardless of who we are, need to know how to self-reflect, know ourselves and know what we need for ourselves first. I want this book to be for men as much as it is for women.
Thanks so much to Andy. And thanks to you for reading this post. I’d love to hear from you and find out what you think.
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