Toot Your Own Horn

The Day Job Dragon has a new weapon in its arsenal of doom: Performance Review FIYA!

That’s right, boys and girls, it’s Review time at the ol’ corral and your boy did not do well. I want to have a do-over like the Prince of Persia (no no no, that’s not what happened…) But I’m over it.

It’s not that it doesn’t matter, and it’s not because they might be reading this (they might), but because there’s always more to the story. Someone once said to me, “There are three sides to every story: his side, her side, and the truth.” And they’re right. And at the end of the day, it comes down to perception: what someone else thinks I did versus what I know I did and, when it comes to the Day Job, the Dragon wins.

But I’m alright with that. You know why? ‘Cause I’m awesome.

Have you ever done that? Looked in the mirror after you killed it at your job, made the impossible happen (again), done backflips and cartwheels for a $.50 shift differential (that was awfully specific, huh?), and told yourself “that’s because I’m raw—what?”

No? Not often? Maybe you should.

As human beings, we are social creatures. We thrive on the company of others, get energy from other people, operate in cohesive units. It’s why solitary confinement is a punishment. We need each other. But I’m beginning to wonder if the need for human companionship is outweighed by the need to have validation from other people. Are we ever enough on our own? Can our own willpower and self-image ever be enough? Isn’t what I think about me enough?

You should know by now, I get a lot of my inspiration and life lessons from comic books and movies. I’ve learned plenty: “With great power comes great responsibility” (Spiderman), “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should” (Jurassic Park), “It is forbidden to interfere with the course of human history” (Superman). You get it. I’ve been watching the Batman movies lately (eagerly anticipating the Dark Knight Rises) and one of the things that I love about Batsy is his desire, his need, for those he hunts, hurts, and imprisons to take his name abroad. “Tell all your friends about me: I’m Batman.”

Batman took his name viral.

But what was disseminated? How raw he actually was. He got that word of mouth advertising and a hazy sign and terrorized the criminals of Gotham. Even when he wasn’t out. And Batman isn’t alone: every superhero touts their capabilities:

• Wolverine – “I’m the best at what I do. But what I do best isn’t very nice.”
• Hulk – “Smash!”
• Mighty Mouse – “Here I come to save the day!”
• Shit, even Underdog: “There is no need to fear. Underdog is here!”

Superman had a whole entrance: “Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!”

There’s a point to this: you know what you can do, what you bring to the table. You might have the cape and the powers but without the catchphrase—without speaking those words into existence—no one else knows what you can do. No one believes it. And until you say it, until you prove it, neither will you.

So tell all your friends about YOU: you’re awesome.

By the way, that “every other day” thing? Yeah, that doesn’t include weekends…