I watched a viral video of a young white American kid who claims to have quit a 100K job in order to pitch YouTube star Logan Paul for a job. It’s really hard to watch because this poor young man just utterly shits the bed on asking his favorite social celebrity to take a chance on him. He can’t even tell Logan what he is best at. He doesn’t know himself and thus cannot capitalize on his moment in the sun to show his worth. Honestly it will break your heart.
The shitty sad part of watching this kid utterly fail at self advocacy is if you are in a position of power you genuinely want to help people if they are clear about how you can do so. No one wants to say no. We all want to get to yes.
Being asked “what are you good at?” is an empathy driven open ended “get me to yes” kind of question. Logan Paul, never a celebrity I’d have previously associated with emotionally empathic, actually encourages this young fan. Even in a short clip he encourages him.
It breaks my heart a little that this kid doesn’t have anything to say for himself. Even saying something small like “ I’m the best getting groceries quickly” would have given him a chance.
I think the reason this hits me hard is that everyone has emotionally been that young man. Asked someone to help and just utterly bombed. I know I’ve taken a swing and asked powerful connected intelligent people to help me and then subsequently failed to rise to the moment. I carry those emotional failures with me. I think we all do. It’s what drives us to be better. Those moments of defeat can remake us for success. They course correct us. But only if we don’t let don’t let those failures beat us for good. We have to see the patterns that brought it into our life, accept that it’s our failure, and let it improve us.
That’s why it’s so important when you are in a position of saying no to someone to do it with as much grace as Logan Paul. I know it’s a weird sentence to type. We owe it to ourselves to there to hear them at their lowest moment with the hope may eventually become the path to their better self. Because surely someone once did that for you. That’s wisdom.
It’s hard getting a concise answer to “why you” and finding and accepting the truth of what you are truly better than anyone else is at is a lifetime of work. Being able to do it when you are young is what makes for a life that will give you satisfaction instead of disappointment.
I genuinely believe we want to help others get there. I used to hate when someone who turned down one of my pitches would say they “were rooting for me.” I thought it was dismissive. Now I choose to understand that that most people want to help you succeed.
If someone accepts time to talk to you it’s probably because human to human they would like to get to yes. I now take “we’re rooting for you” as sincere. Maybe it’s not in some cases but why not default to good intent first?