The importance of being fiercely smart

More musings about the world I move in. I was at a party last night in what is arguable the hottest bar in Manila at the moment. Everyone is dressed up and ready to dance (it's that kind of event). Well, it's not my scene, but I'm there to sorta work and mingle with people I am acquainted with. It's fun once I got the hang of it. I can talk freely, smile and laugh, and just generally feel comfortable in the noise and the swirl of people around me.

It wasn't like that when I started attending events. "Awkward" is an understatement if you were to describe me! I felt like I didn't belong, that I was wearing the wrong clothes and saying the wrong things. I saw all these glittering, sophisticated people across the room and wondered, can I ever be like them? Do I have what it takes? 

Memories of these doubts came rushing back to me while at an after-party dinner last night. I was with two friends who recently just started working for a magazine. One of them, who became a features editor a couple of weeks ago, blurted out something that I haven't asked myself in a while.

"Do you think I should be fierce? I mean, I'm just worried that I'll have to change who I am to be like them (the other editors from fashion magazines)," she said.

The first response in my head is kinda embarrasing. I was about to say that yeah, it's part of the job description. You have to dress and act a certain way when you're working because you represent a magazine. You meet publicists, advertisers, celebrities and average people and you have to be "fierce" for the part if you are to make your magazine worth spending their time and money on. That's my first answer.

But then the other editor (Bea, if you must know!), quickly said, "You don't have to be fierce. You just have to be smart."

That is better advice! While it's important to be dressed up for work-related activities, it's even more important to be a smart person. Clothes and makeup are superficial. They're fun and they make us feel good, but they're just a shell no matter how pretty they look. The important thing is the mind inside all that fancy casing. Is it sharp? Is it working? Is it open?

It's not just the pretty things featured in a magazine or even a blog that makes it successful in the long run. It's the thought, the heart poured into it that makes it unique and therefore worth reading! And I'm not just talking about print and online publishing ha. This applies to pretty much any industry.

It's easy to be caught up with trying to be cool and sophisticated. Always remember that there are better, more fulfilling things to focus on. :) I needed that reminder!