Thursday, 24 September 2015

Small town to big city? Penrith v Bangkok...

Moving from 'small town' Penrith to 'mega city' Bangkok has been a mental journey that I would find hard to describe. However, I found this blog by a guy, Austin Evans, from a 'small town' in the USA called St. Joe. He does business in Las Vegas and gives a great account of his thinking as he jumps between the two.
I've substituted 'St Joe' with 'Penrith', and 'Vegas' with 'Bangkok' just for fun, and I think it works. Do you?
"I was out in Bangkok for a Snap Fitness Convention this past week and today when I got home I was thinking of something I always catch myself thinking about when I get back from big cities: Just be yourself. 
What do I mean though?
When you’re in a big city, you see every walk of life there is: bums digging in trash cans, 3 foot tall spray-painted Mohawks, girls running around with tassels hanging off of their nipples, businessmen walking in suits, every kind you can picture. (I’m a pro at people watching and thoroughly enjoy it).
In my hometown of Penrith, there are about 80,000 people and if you can make sense of this, it’s the biggest small town ever. What I mean by that is that everyone knows what everyone’s doing, anything remotely ‘private’ about someone is revealed to everybody and the talk of the town. In Penrith, if you’re walking through the co-op near a stranger & you’re on the phone, most of the time you’ll say “hold on” or you’ll stall your conversation until you’re away from them, I guess just thinking that people are listening? In Penrith when you want to wear an outfit and you think the shirt you have on is cool because it’s different and nobody else will have it, most will not wear it because it is different and they care what people are going to think and say about it, they don’t want to be ‘weird’. In Penrith if you want to start a business or a blog, whatever it is, there are so many naysayers there to shoot you down. And instead of just doing what they want, and going after their goals, people think of how everyone will respond: Oh my god what will so and so think?
But in Bangkok and every big city I’ve been to, people just straight up don’t give a damn what people think. 
They don’t care about your opinion of how they look, what they’re doing, what they’re saying, anything! Whether you like what they’re doing or not, they’re going to keep doing it…’right’ or ‘wrong’.
Also, in comparing big cities to Penrith (and many other small towns), you know what else I’ve noticed? Money. Everywhere you go is high-end architecture, Rolls-Royces, luxury stores (that are being supported whether it’s by tourists or not). And I think that goes hand in hand with people simply not caring what people think. They don’t listen to naysayers because they know what they’re capable of. In Penrith though, people settle & people stress over what people think.
I always come back from trips super motivated by all the success and opportunity in the air that I was surrounded by in the big cities. Then I arrive in Penrith and have the same realization every time: how much people care what others think, and how I still catch myself somewhat caring a little bit of what people think sometimes & I hate it. I’m done with it.
Out there, no one cares if you become a billionaire CEO or if you’re a bum on the street. People don’t turn their head for a double take, or even look at you the first time, if you walk down the strip in a speedo with a horse mask [I’ve never tried but I’m sure they wouldn’t]. And it’s not just because they don’t know you, it’s because they’re worried about their own life. Some of them may be self-centered but I feel, as though most are just so focused on what they have going on, that you can’t faze them.
I’m not saying to become a selfish douchebag; but start worrying about your own life and where you are headed, and stop caring what anyone else thinks. The truth is, whether you succeed at what you attempt or not, there are still going to be people talking shit about you. So have extremely thick skin and you do you, nobody else.
Look at the most successful people in the world and you’ll see that thick skin is a quality they all carry. I can guarantee that not caring what anyone thinks will be one of the best choices you ever make."

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