“Your presentation was great, but you really can’t take that laptop out of your bag in front of anyone anymore,” said Celeste, a young “fat brain” who walked up to me after the first talk I delivered in Silicon Valley recently. According to Celeste, the problem was that while my 5-year-old laptop is as familiar and comforting as family to me, for my audience—especially in this part of the world—it’s an eyesore.
Celeste is a beautifully bold woman in her early twenties who, instead of showering me with niceties upon meeting me, decided to speak her truth and give it to me raw. Wow, did I love her for it. You see, I have never been good at censoring myself and have been known my whole life as a passionate straight shooter so when I meet other raw talk masters, it’s refreshing.
Celeste’s candid advice was a hard pill to swallow but it was also dead-on accurate and shared out of a unique, practical kind of compassion. She “outed” my tech fear of losing everything in a data transfer between my comfy old laptop and the new equipment I know I should be using. She suspected that was my fear and talked me off the ledge and offered to go shopping with me to help with the process. It was such a small but interesting and powerful moment. Celeste—a complete stranger—chose to feed me the truth instead of empty chitchat or—worse—nothing at all.
After that encounter, I waited to hear from her and last week she wrote me and we met up, had an amazing lunch together, and today I write this post from my spanky new 2012 laptop.
The moral of this story isn’t about upgrading your technology, it’s about upgrading your conversations. It’s about the power of being truthful and bold enough to skip the small talk and actually “kick some science” upon meeting someone who is worthy of your opionion, advice, and perspective.
This post is dedicated to those youthful fat brains who speak their raw truth every single day to one another and—lucky for me—sometimes to someone twice their age!