All of us have two faces – not that we are two-faced (that’s different). It is but because we are humans. And humans are individual beings and social beings. That means you and I – as individuals – have a private face, and as social beings – you and I have a public face.
Let me give you a personal example –
When I am not in a social setting, my private face is on. Actually, when I was way much younger than how young I am today, even in social settings, my private face was still on. It took me years before I was able to make the switch. (But I’m going ahead of my story.)
I am an introvert. As I learned from my fellow introvert Susan Cain who wrote the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Does Not Stop Talking, introverts process their thoughts inwardly and they gain and recharge energy often in quiet, solitary moments. As introverts, our energy gets drained in highly interactive environments especially when there are very loud sounds which some may call music.
With my introverted nature, I enjoyed doing the job of the famous accountant. Our job is exciting! If you disagree, why don’t you watch the movie The Accountant. You see, our profession is a Hollywood material. (Ahem! That movie has nothing to do with my article.)
It was in 2010 when I became part of a professional firm in Makati as an associate consultant. In 2011, I transferred to another company and served as one of their accountants. I had a productive three and a half years with them.
After my job at the office doing lots of tasks facing the computer, I would go home and face again my computer. I would write and write and write articles. When I was not writing, I was reading. And when I was not reading, I was writing.
Do you see the evidence of my introversion? I was living with my private face that I even carried it with me in social settings. I would go to events with a book in my hand. And I would read it. Yes, during events. You may think I was anti-social – but that was putting it mildly.
However, my private face forced me to put on my public face.
Do you remember those written pieces through the years? In 2013, they became a book called The Gift of the Ordinary. I was able to fund its publishing from the generous bonus I received that year for being an excellent accountant at work. The second book came in 2014. And in 2016, my latest book Living Large in the Little Things came out.
I just realized that my private face supports my public face – not just in the content production (e.g. book) but also in financial terms (e.g. publishing fund).
Yes, part of my public face is a self-published author of three books.
But as someone who values and yearns for learning and empowerment, I had no choice but to be filled with lots of learning in my private endeavor of non-stop reading, listening and observing. I became pregnant with knowledge, information and wisdom (without the gray hairs on my head). Because of this I have longed to share them and through them, I have yearned to educate and empower my fellow young minds.
This led me to another part of my public face – a public speaker and trainer.
Whenever I am on stage, some would think that I am naturally outgoing and outspoken. The truth is I wasn’t. Privately and publicly when I am not speaking or training, my private face is on – as an introverted handsome young man. (Ahem! Sorry, I just have to put that in.)
But if I am outgoing and outspoken on stage, it is because of those moments when – as an introvert – I was silent, pondering and assimilating words, thoughts, concepts, ideas and insights from my readings, conversations and observations.
Through time, while I never disclaimed by private face, I never thought that it will enable me to put on my public face. In fact, my public face was the fruit of the seeds being planted as I wear my private face.
My private and public faces are simply two phases or stages of my one true face.
Why did I share my two faces?
Some people think that their private face is a sickness, a disabler, a stumbling block that they abhor it and try to put on a face that is not theirs. Stop it!
My friend, your private face brings sanity to your soul. You private face can be your enabler. Your private face can be your stepping stone.
So put on your true face and live it. In time, your public face will come out shining and you will thank your private face for it.
Friend, live your true face.
(Chris Dao-anis, CPA, DTM is a speaker and trainer on communication, and on personal and organizational leadership. His latest book Living Large in the Little Things is available at Mt. Cloud Bookshop, Casa Vallejo, Upper Session Road, Baguio City. For talks and trainings, you may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at www.chrispoweracademy.com.)