- Thoughts for inspired living

February 11, 2020

Surface and Depth

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 10:09 am

Screenshot 2020 02 11 10 04 11Who are you on the surface – your public persona? The answer we come up with to that question is how most of us describe ourselves: butcher, baker, candlestick maker, AARP member.

We invest so much time in attempting to describe who we are, and just as much time justifying who we are, that we ignore over 90% of our makeup.

When you ignore your depth, you stay on the surface. Translation: you remain superficial.

My friend Peter Hurley, who is a world-class photographer, has to work with every client who steps in front of his camera to dig past the surface to get a photograph of their authentic self: their depth. He recognizes that if he settles for a photo of their surface self, it would lack depth and wouldn’t connect.

When you truly connect with people, you are connecting with their depth. If you stay on the surface, you only get cotton candy, which is puffed up emptiness.

Going deeper with yourself and others is first recognizing when you’re staying on the surface. You do that by staying attached to a steady diet of smarm, small talk, and first-world “problems.” Don’t get me wrong, surface interactions can be fun but remember: you can’t live your life at the amusement park.

Once you recognize that you’re not connecting, you are one step closer to your depth. Just noticing that you’re on the surface is enough of a catalyst to dig deeper.

Connection is a feeling that can’t be felt when we stay on the surface.

I’ll end with a story I’ve told before. It illustrates leaving the surface to find more depth.

A couple of years ago I was at a golf driving range where I ran into an old acquaintance. After the hellos and handshake we went into our song and dance act we had started years before. It was for lack of a better description – “Top this!”

To the casual observer this may have appeared to be conversation but make no mistake, it was war. Who was going to have the last, potent “Ka-Pow”?

In the middle of this little sideshow, I got the gift of awareness. It dawned on me that this “conversation” was going nowhere and would end up like all the ones we had in the past – a ramping up of egos with absolutely nothing being communicated.

I stopped counter-punching and started asking questions. It turned into the most pleasant conversation I ever had with this fellow.

All the best,


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