Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Hang on! This is just a quickie! Brace yourself! 

I am sitting here in 90Mainyard just back from therapy and so excited to get back to work. There has been a huge shift in my energy, motivation, well being, outlook on life and way I connect with people in the last few days.

I have been joining A LOT of dots after reading Susan Cain's book "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking." (See the RSA You Tube clip below)


Like Barney Rubble - I'm always in trouble.
Ever since I was at primary school I have 'had a bit of trouble' - I can remember reacting to situations, being REALLY upset and shutting down when people shouted at me - as they often did.
I have spent more time than I realised being very frustrated with understanding what was going on, not taking in information as fast 'as I thought I should' or needing more time to 'settle into places'. 

Poor hard done by me
When I hear people whine "I was told at school I'd never amount to nothing" usually followed with "because I was dyslexic" I want to pour hot oil on their eyes. It is a bland cliché that makes me roll my eyes, it usually comes just before an appearance on TV or some mainstream shit. 
I am not coming from this position, I had a frustrating childhood, I did not understand a lot of what was happening but I 'muddled through'. No one was horrific to me, I always had friends, both my parents loved me and there was food on the table. In fact my biggest problem was finding money for both cider AND Marlboro cigarettes.  
Being dyslexic is a bit of a bummer - but in fact it is my super power and my responsibility to work it out - which I have done and I am very proud of that. 

Confused and the Quiet
One thing that has often confused me is that I LOVE getting people going, leading a Meet Up, sharing a talk and connecting people.
I don't crave being centre of attention (contrary to popular belief) in fact I have particularly disdain for people who are pushy, self promotional, need to be in the limelight. 
I like to make things happen - if I can introduce someone who is really cool and they go on to steal the show - I LOVE it! 
If there is someone who wants to "get in front of as many people as possible" my enthusiasm just shuts and won't get reactivated - even by money or chocolate. 

One line that has always stood out in the Desiderata Poem for me is Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. These people never worked for me and still don't - jubilant people yes - loud dick-heads who dominate to avoid domination - NO. 

HUGE POINT
For me reading Susan Cain's book was just page after page of "ah of course - I see how that happened to me too"
Most of all how our education system and work place 'ethic' requires people to be 'go getters' and extroverts. I have to admit - I am holding onto a HUGE raft of anger at someone (not sure who) about the amount of crap advice I followed about how to be more 'outgoing' - I have always been motived but have often been told to 'get a career' 'what are you doing now?' 
This frustrated and internally angered me, not that I recognised it much at the time, I feel I have spent nearly 20 years fighting an invisible force. 
When I did a Myers Briggs profile a few years ago it started to make me think - I am ENFP Extraverted Intuition with Introverted Feeling 

I have often wondered why I had such an 'enthusiastic' drug taking career at the turn of the last century.
I'd hoover up cocaine like my life depended on it (which in the moment it probably did) I would lust after acid, coke, ecstasy or any mind altering and energy enhancing thing going. 
(Silly me - you might think - and yes of course I had a choice and chose to take the drugs)
Listen up - It was not that 'I had a drug problem' or was an "addict" - it was I did not like myself as I could not fit in. 
I was trying to be all extroverted to be accepted. 
I had built "the Bernie show" and the effort of delivering this was really fucking exhausting. 
Not that anyone really asked for the Bernie show, I mean there was not a mailing list, nor was a TV company knocking at my door. 
It was a coping, branding mechanism to cover up for what I was really struggling with but could not articulate. 
In one way it kept me from doing what I really wanted to do. In another way in some situations it all propelled me, I have many a funny, reckless story from this time. 
Also 'Bernie the Dad' thinks back to those days and wonders how he is still alive, messing with your brain and body when you are already unsure of yourself seems so nuts!

I knew something was not right when I spilled my cocaine on the floor of the nightclub I worked in and then went to snort it all off of the floor, this might seem funny - but I was in the gents at the time. 

I am not making this up.
For the last week I have been more happier, connected and energised than I have been in YEARS - maybe even my life.
When I say 'happy' I don't mean "jumping up and down happy OMG this will be over soon - how do I keep it going? HELP!" happy - I am mean well placed, quietly contented, energy centred, looking forward to seeing my gorgeous wife and child tonight, I love what I am working on and who I am working with. And, no not all my problems are solved, far from it - however, I know what to do - which is a HUGE difference from the last few years. 

I am lucky, I am curious, I read a lot, I have people to support me, I get to talk about myself one on one every Monday. I have an amazingly understanding and intelligent wife. 
Today, and as I write this I am filled will a mixture of anger at wasting so much time and also joy at so many things makings very clear sense after reading one book.  

I know to quickly dump the anger and get on with it, in fact writing this blog is a sure fire accelerator to making things happen and 'getting over stuff' AND being able to laugh at myself, I have done some dumb things but I am still here. 

THE GAP - Band
More on this later - I need to think it round a bit more. I have PAGES of stuff to write and can't wait. 

The Gap - I have to 'back publish' what was going on last week - hardly any of it made it to this blog - sorry! 

So just at the end.... this song is how I am feeling just now - I love this song! Hope you enjoy it too ;-)