sly : marketing

How to leave people breathless

He stood behind me. I was about to walk across the street. I heard him talk on the phone. He was clearly upset. I wanted to turn around, but, I didn’t. I was waiting for the light to turn green. His voiced cracked:

Do you know what; more people would learn from their mistakes, if they weren’t so busy denying them.

He stopped talking. I started walking, and I kept thinking about what he just said.

2013 is almost over. It feels like I’m looking at it from a distance. I’ve experienced some failures, and I have experienced some really great things. But, overall, I’m thinking about one thing, one thing that makes me feel alive, and that’s how important progress is.

I have been focusing on my mistakes. I know when I have made a mistake. I admit my mistakes, not just to myself, but to everyone around me. I always want to become a better person. I always want to do better. I don’t compare myself to others. I didn’t compare myself to others in 2013, and I won’t be doing it in 2014.

The man that was standing behind me was a lot smaller than I thought he would be. He was tiny, and no more than five feet tall. He was wearing a hat and a coat. If I had to guess, I would say that he was more than 70 years old. He looked a lot calmer than I imagined when I heard him talk on the phone. He passed me when I stopped to feed a black-backed gull. He was talking to himself, I could here him saying something about people should be more friendly.


I was feeding the black-backed gull, and the bird was staring at me. I felt that we’ve become friends. He was waiting for more, and I was giving it to him, every time he looked at me. When I’m with animals, my mind drifts away, and I start thinking about things that I don’t control. I feel vulnerable. I feel that I’m part of something so big, something that I don’t understand. I feel that everything in this world is connected.

How to leave people breathless

I keep thinking about the man’s high pitched voice. I keep thinking about how he said the words:

… more people would learn from their mistakes, if they weren’t so busy denying them.

I believe that the only way to leave people breathless is to show vulnerability. Open up, show people who you really are; not only your strengths, but how you’ve failed. Tell the story, like you tell it to yourself, when nobody is listening.

9 responses to “How to leave people breathless”

  1. Hi Jens,

    That was simply SO beautiful 🙂

    I love the way you say such a lot by just saying a little….and the way you weave your words – that leaves us breathless! Yes indeed, we all make mistakes but being able to accept that and make amends is what matters most, which not many are able to do. Never look back or regret those mistakes, because they are the stepping stones that ultimately help you progress in life, isn’t it?

    Here’s wishing you much joy and success in the coming year. Happy New Year, well in advance 🙂

  2. Amy Valentini says:

    Wow, that was great. Breathless. 🙂

  3. Vulnerability, humility, honesty, compassion, empathy…all things the world needs more of. Wishing you a wonderful new year Jens:) Cheers! Kaarina

  4. Lisa says:

    Great post Jens, reminds me of when I open up to people about a problem – how they begin to tell me there’s that I would have NEVER known or guessed. It truly is amazing to realize….You think you become vulnerable but then they become even more vulnerable.
    I think we don’t learn from mistakes unless we admit to them – even if just to ourselves.
    I hope you have a Happy New Year Jens!

  5. Awesome story, Jens 😀

    I do love your stories/experiences, not just because they teach me something, but also because they inspire me to write/share my own stories/experiences 😀

    I agree with what he said. Imagine a world where people were willing to accept mistakes…a much better world.

    Sure, it won’t be perfect, but it would be much better.

    Blogging taught me to confront my love them. In 2013, I valued my mistakes more than my success, it would be the same for 2014.

    I mean, I could succeed the first try, but why? In the end, it might hurt me (over confidence).

    If I fail the first try, I learn a lot more, become more determined and more patient (of course, it all depends upon the situation) to achieve the goal.

    Anyways, thank you for sharing the awesome experience, Jens! Happy New Year 😀

  6. Konrad Sanders says:

    Hi Jens

    Love the way you have used a personal story to draw us into the blog post – it has inspired me to do the same!

    As a copywriter I know how powerful story-telling is, but for some reason I haven’t used its power nearly enough on my own blog. But now I feel inspired again!

    If you want to convey a message through a story, would you always draw from a real life situation – or make one up!?

    • Hey Konrad,

      Thank you so much for your kind words and for your feedback.

      I prefer a real life situation, but I make them up as well. It all depends. But if the story is interesting and I can hook the reader, then it doesn’t matter if it’s real or not. That’s my opinion.

  7. Questions1st says:

    I agree with you in theory but it seems that “People want a dominant, power-seeking individual to lead them during times of conflict, and altruistic individuals can be perceived as submissive.”

    I wanted to share the research with you but it seems that we’re not allowed to insert links in comments…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe: rss | email | twitter | +