As a child, I watched a movie called “Momo”, a German fantasy novel by Michael Ende. It’s about the concept of time and how it is used by humans in modern society. It’s a story about time-thieves and about Momo, the little girl who brought the stolen time back to the people. When the novel finally hit the big screen, the movie visualized how those time-thieves looked like. Grey hair, grey tint, grey suits, grey everything— they looked tired, sick, weak, and de-energized. Simply grey. Another stereotype that women and more often men face at work.
I see them in real life. Often they wear some kind of uninspired grey suit, with a sad tie, old worn-out shoes, and an old belt. They look like the corporate world has sucked out their last bit of energy; and the sad thing is, they really don’t mind. Amazingly, because they are not aware of their greyness, only a few of them become my clients. They spend years and years in the same position, possibly get promoted at one point, and don’t get promoted again for many years. What they don’t understand is that their non-energetic aura is contagious; it sucks out the energy and time of others.
Why don’t Men in Grey get promoted? Because they are colorless and don’t stand out, at least not for the right reasons. They are invisible and overlooked. Not only do they get ignored, but nobody wants to mingle with them.
My answer to this dilemma? Start living! Do something adventurous. Break out of your comfort zone. Get into colors. Show others that you are alive. Demonstrate there is energy in your spirit and your soul.
Is it fair that we create those stereotypes?
Maybe; maybe not. It just happens, because most brains need patterns to think in and to work with.
Only a few of us work effectively and at a high-performance level within an environment of chaos. Is it fair to judge others with these stereotypes? Probably not. But it reflects how the world works. When it comes to your professional imprint, the seven-second rule is a reality. Do they give us any other chance? Probably not, that’s also true. I want you to stand out for the right reason.