I was talking to a friend about my first childhood sweetheart, Randy, when my friend said, “So what’s he doing now?” I didn’t know as I had not seen him since grammar school. I did not go with my graduating class to the local high school but went off to a Private Girls school instead. I don’t even know what made me think of him; he just seemed to pop into my head. My friend immediately said, “”Let’s Google him.” She immediately found him and lots of photos. By Googling we were able to get his current status, a quick summary of his work history, and a notation about an article he had published. I had no recollection of his writing ability. As I reviewed the photos, I couldn’t even recognize a bit of the Randy from seventh grade. My friend was thrilled with herself for Googling and finding Randy. Yet I was left with an entirely different reaction.
“Google me”, I said. “Huh?” she asked screwing up her face like my request was really the dumbest thing I ever said. “Google me!” I repeated. And she did. And in an instant a number of things popped up: my linked in profile, my Successtrogen site, an article about me that appeared in our Local Observer recently when I saw Pope Francis in Philadelphia. “Wow”, she said, you are all over the place.”
“Hmmm”, I thought. “Interesting…” I mumbled and then got lost in my thoughts. When you Google someone you get a list of things the person has done, or where you can find her on social media, or the summary of newspaper coverage article, but Googling someone cannot give you a look inside the person. Googling cannot give the essence of a person, and when I connect with people I need to know the essence, not just what they have done professionally. My first love, Randy, has published an article, has a Linked In Profile, and is divorced, but I have no idea who he is today. What does he value? What has he learned about life and how has that changed his behavior over the years? Why does Randy exist, what is his WHY?
Google is helpful to me when I am looking to define a word, find out some general information about the use of cocoanut oil, or research about the history of Sicily before my trip on Wednesday. But if I want to know someone, really know someone, then I have to find out their why and the best way to do that is to meet them, observe their consistent behavior, and see how they behavior aligns with their reported value set. That information is critical to me and will be the deciding factor in whether or not I wish to open up my life and share it with someone. No wonder it has taken me this long to find someone special!
Just as a secret between you and me, I just signed up again for match.com as I do every so often. But writing tonight reminds me why internet dating doesn’t work well for me, I need the essence. I don’t get much from the profile that is partial truths, outdate photos, and lots of promises about being high energy and honest. I need to know someone’s WHY and I can only get a glimpse of that by asking them. And I can only get a full, true picture by observing them over time to see their consistent behavior.
Oh dear, this search may take a while!
By the way, have you thought about your WHY?