This such an important question because when you know what impresses you in a friend, a partner or a business relationship you avoid a lot of the pitfalls of being human - choosing someone but not being chosen back, situationships, one-sidedness, etc.
I promise not to go too cliche with this because if I was to see a headline about this topic I'd expect to see the usual advice: don’t let money impress you… be impressed by kindness. Don’t let a body impress you… be impressed by their smile.
I’m not too lost in the sauce of the self development world to know that’s not practical advice by itself.
Of course we’re going be impressed (at least marginally) by flashy things in life.
We can still be impressed by those things BUT there’s a layer deeper we need to go.
It's this layer that will save us time and energy.
Without this layer you might meet someone with a lot of money and you’ll be smitten by that... and you’ll ignore all the other red flags.
- You might meet someone with a lot of clout and a nice blue check on Instagram and you’ll be so impressed by that... and you’ll ignore the fact that you’re really not compatible.
- You might meet someone who’s Forbes 30 Under 30, has headlines written about them and they've raised $30 mm for their startup and you’ll be impressed by that... and you’ll ignore the fact that they’re really quite toxic.
So then… what SHOULD impress?
What should impress you is the truth behind someone's "output."
What should impress you is the truth behind their success, their fame, their influence or their looks. T
he drive behind their success. The personality that led to their fame. The work ethic that created their influence. The compassion that drove their impact.
We have to go a layer deeper than just the immediately impressive things in life.
What is the truth behind those things? What is the truth behind someone’s fame? What is the truth behind someone’s wealth? What is the truth behind someone’s influence? What is the truth behind someone’s great a** or amazing face?
We have to raise the bar for what impresses us.
What is money without empathy? What is beauty without personality? What is influence without impact? What is anything that's innately impressive without pizazz, curiosity or drive?
I think you should give people TWO looks in life.
- A first human look. That’s your immediate reaction to something that sets itself apart from the norm - that could be wealth, it could be influence, it could be looks, etc. It's whatever is innately impressive at a glance.
- But then give them a second look. That’s a second look where you’re in the driver’s seat. It’s where you take back your power and you decide if you’re actually impressed or not. It’s where you look to see what’s a layer deeper.
It’s where you look to see the truth behind that thing that makes them stand out in the first place. It’s where you look for the kind heart, the empathy, the depth, the creativity, etc. aka the things that last.
Things change quickly in life. Money, fame and looks all change.
If you’re only impressed by the presence of those things… prepare for change in the future.
If you’re turned off by the lack of those things… prepare for regret down the line.
We need to reset what impresses us… both today and tomorrow by looking beyond our immediate human attraction.
- If someone only has 10/10 looks but no balance, no depth, no empathy... is that still impressive to you?
- If someone only has money but no balance, no depth, no empathy… is that still impressive to you?
- If someone only has words… big words… but no action, no balance, no depth, no empathy... is that still impressive to you?
It's like taking off your "beer goggles."
Common impressive things like looks, money, fame, success, etc. - those are the equivalent of a couple drinks.
But taking a second look is you sobering up. It’s you taking off those beer goggles.
It’s you taking back control, being aware and deciding where your energy is best served.
I hope it's with someone who has two layers to them.
That's one layer that is innately impressive but they also have a deeper layer. That's a deeper truth. That's the truth behind that impressive thing. That's their compassion, their empathy, their drive and their heart.