I saw the most brilliant quote on Facebook the other day – I can’t remember who posted it, or who they were quoting (sorry) but it said this:
“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.”
It really struck a chord with me, not necessarily because I think I’m smart (although, you know… Obvs!) but because of what it implies… The sentiment is based on the view of famous motivational speaker, the late Jim Rohn, that you eventually become the average of the five people you spend most time with. In theory this would mean you should always seek to spend time with people cleverer than you, because they would challenge you to think in different ways than you might normally.
In principle, it seems like an excellent idea, but then I started thinking about how it could be changed for other situations, which sounds easy on the face of it, but it quickly gets a bit complex.
For example, you’d think it would work for “If you’re the richest person in the room…” but when you get to a certain level, wealth is actually measurable by journalists, and thanks to publications like The Sunday Times Rich List, anyone who knows how to read can actually find out that information. Does this mean that Lakshmi Mittel (second on the list) and Richard Branson (twenty-third?!) don’t go to the same parties for fear of being upstaged? Even worse, for so-called “normal people”, does it mean that everyone who didn’t make the list would be reduced to bragging in order to establish their place in the heirarchy? No-one wants that. There’s a very strong risk of being the ONLY person in the room if you behave that way!
The whole principle goes woefully pear-shaped if you try to make it about an emotion – being the saddest person in the room would be awful, but hopefully the other people will lift you up as long as it’s a crisis and not a habit (in which case they’d likely avoid you so you couldn’t be in the same room as them even if you tried) but what if you’re the happiest person in the room? How many options for betterment do you have there before it gets silly and out of hand? If you were the calmest person in a room full of calm people, wouldn’t it be boring? Some things just shouldn’t be measured or compared…
It doesn’t work well for physical attributes either – such comparisons only serve to bring neuroses to the forefront of our mind. Staying in the room because everyone else lied to themselves when they looked in the mirror and asked the question “does my bum look big in this?” and you, meanwhile, look totally slinky, isn’t really healthy is it? And what if you combine attributes? You might be the cleverest person in the room but everyone else there is much fatter than you, so you feel slim AND comfortable eating the hors d’oeuvres and you can relax and enjoy the cocktails for once, until someone taller than you with a much better cleavage walks in and instantly demolishes your confidence without even making eye-contact. If you can only feel confident after comparing yourself to everyone else and judging them inferior in some way, you are on shaky ground and the fast track to unhappiness!
There is a point to all this – and it’s about balance and self-respect. If you are comfortable in your own skin and don’t need to judge or compare yourself others to feel good, then you are indeed the smartest person in the ONLY room that matters – the room that your heart and mind take up.
People come in all different shapes and sizes, have different talents, different values and wildly different ideas about what success and/or happiness means.
I choose to believe that inner confidence is your greatest asset and it comes from having a balanced approach, self-respect and a healthy respect for and willingness to understand others. You don’t need several Ph.D’s or limitless wealth to have it.
If you’re happy where you are, with what you have, and you live without fear, then you are successful.
If you can spend time in a room full of people without feeling the need to measure yourself against others, then you are successful.
If you are self-aware enough to occasionally look at someone else and find yourself coming up short and resolve to do some self-improvement then, yes, you’ve guessed it – you are successful! (As long as it’s not ALL the time. The word “occasionally” is very important here.)
If you ever find yourself in a situation where someone is putting you down in an effort to try and make themselves feel better, or trying to convince you that you are somehow undeserving or “less than” anyone else – then you are successful! BUT this is the time when the adage above stands – You are indeed in the wrong room and need to get out as fast as possible. Such negative energy and toxicity is pervasive and can potentially affect you for a LONG time.
I spent most of my formative years in “the wrong room” and it took a long time to clear those faulty messages and damaging stories once I got out – mostly because so many healing modalities require you to revisit those situations and “work through them”. I felt I’d already lived through those stories once and hated going there again, no matter which persona, voice or energy bubble I was dressed in – so I developed my own method of clearing which is quick, easy and painless. What I learned by doing so is that at a fundamental level, we are NEVER in the wrong room! Everything is a learning experience and the old adage “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is very true IF you are able to let go of the hurt and keep hold of the lesson. It is a wonderful thing indeed to see and feel the truth of that for yourself, especially without spending hours crying over spilt milk!
I’m very proud of what I’ve created and how many people I’ve already helped with it. If you would like to know how it feels to be free of past hurt and trauma, to enjoy a new sense of clarity and purpose, enjoy freedom from comparisonitis and appreciate the life lessons and tests you’ve SO passed already, then click here to book your Vibrational Healing and Alignment Session.