The great Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz famously said, “90% of people don’t care about your problems and the other 10% are glad you’ve got ‘em!”
It’s not that the 90% are all rude, it’s that they’re living in their own heads, it’s the only reality they know. The people you see walking around are fighting their own fights. Every morning they put on their armor–clothes and a smile–and face another day.
If you want to connect with someone the key is to listen, especially to their challenges. (It’s not easy, and it’s more cathartic to share your own problems, but resist it.) If you make a point to genuinely listen to others they will be amazed. That’s because no one listens to them. Their spouse and kids don’t, their boss doesn’t, politicians don’t, and even their friends tend to focus on what they’re going to say next instead of listening.
If you truly listen you will be remembered. Go listen to someone.
It was 99 degrees in the shade as I hailed a taxi to Oranjestad. The battered Aruban cab rolled up with a license plate that read, “One Happy Island.” The driver got out with a big smile on his face and introduced himself as “Calvin.” I looked at him. Calvin was wearing a gray suit—jacket, tie, everything— in a place so hot you could crack eggs on the car hood and make breakfast. I hopped in and it got even worse—no air conditioning. Calvin jumped in the driver’s seat, turned on the radio and began humming along.
I asked him how he managed to wear a suit in this heat, every day, with no AC. As Calvin negotiated a curve he replied, “Donald Trump is a businessman, and he wears a suit every day, right? Well I am a businessman too, so why should I not wear a suit?”
Why not, indeed?
Some people regard people in suits as well, “suits”, stiff and stuffy. Not Calvin. To him one’s attire signals their seriousness about their job. So whatever look suits you for business, wear it and project a message of confidence and purpose. For Calvin there is no summer casual, not even beneath the scorching Aruban sun.