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Watch and See

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In 2005, U.N. Secretary General Koffi Annan was struggling with a series of scandals and other challenges in his administration. I read this short quote in a magazine interview with him and wrote it down in my notebook:

Question: Senator Coleman says you are ‘damaged goods.’ What do you say to him?

Answer: Watch and see.

***

I loved the calm, measured, determined response.

You don’t have to defend yourself, or prove yourself to anyone. Just tell them, “Watch and see.” Then go and do whatever you need to do.

Koffi Annan was able to successfully complete his term. Senator Coleman lost his race for re-election last year.

***

Over the next three weeks I’ll be finishing up the manuscript on my first “real” book. I’ll still be here and won’t miss a posting day, of course, but a few articles may be shorter than usual. Thanks for understanding, and thanks for reading.

As for you, friends and readers, sometimes the best thing you can do is go out and be awesome. Whenever you meet a skeptic, you know what to tell them: watch and see.

###

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21 Comments

  • Alan says:

    Long time follower, Chris. Excited to hear more about your upcoming book! Let me know if you end up doing a book signing (or hosting a world domination meeting) in Boston!

    Alan

  • Chris says:

    Thanks so much! Yep, I definitely plan to be in Boston for the book tour next fall.

  • Wait and see. Cool advice.

    Congratulations on getting your book ready!

  • Ophélie says:

    The best proof of character is actions. I really like that.

    Just like Alan, I’m really excited about this new book, and if you’re ever in Montreal, please hold a World Domination Meeting here, too!

  • Hey Chris,
    Why worry about shorter posts when you’re able to deliver this much impact in so few words?
    That small story and quote is simultaneously the most practical and inspiring blog post I’ve read all week.

    Pete

  • Linda says:

    Perfect! “Go out and be awesome” indeed. I believe you have nailed it.

  • Sean says:

    Chris,

    Can’t wait to read the book. If it is half as good as the rest of your writing, you are going to see some tremendous success. Good luck finishing it up!

    Sean

  • AJ says:

    Awesome.. really waiting for the book now. Keep up the good work…

  • Yes, Chris, that is Mr. Kofi Annan – calm, measured, determined.
    WATCH and SEE! Yes, I’ve had to give that response to some people recently. It is a great response and sometimes it’s the only response. They way some of us are living, choosing non-conformity and Life, there is no other answer but….watch and see. Kofi Annan is one of my favorite people – the gentle lion, he was called.

    Blessings, Princess Ayo

  • Baker says:

    Chris, we are considering touring the U.S. in an RV sometime over the next year or two. If the timing lines up, I might just follow your book tour around like a lost puppy ;-).

    For all I’m concerned just quit posting and get this book out! I can’t freakin’ wait to get my hands on it.

    Rock on!

  • Veron says:

    There have been many times, I’ve felt like defending my goals, dreams, or plans, and started down the road of wasted energy.
    Its hard to explain a passion, or nights of creatively thinking and planning how to live a better life, when just getting by may seem to be the norm for a lot of folks.

    When you know something at such a deep level, maybe it is indeed best, to avoid even trying to articulate what only can be truly expressed by living it out in the open.

    Watch and see…It sounds like a loaded gun with a silencer on it(In a very non violent sort of way;-) The doing of the thing, speaks the loudest. I’ll remember these words!!

  • Love this. I’ve been known to say this every now and then…. I can be persistent when I really want to be successful, I just need good, proper motivation. (Which may be the hardest part of all, when everything I want seems so far away some days.)

    Best of luck on the book! Sounds like it’s going to be awesome. 😉 Hopefully you’ll stop somewhere close to wherever I am, would love to meet you. Even if for only five minutes or something. 😛

  • Jacki Rand says:

    wait and see. excellent.

    a close friend gave me another useful response: I’m ok with you being angry with me. You can substitute other words: disappointed, confused, etc.

    I just stumbled on your blog. I found my people. As a woman of a certain age, as they say, I can tell you this: whatever tribulations you face in rejecting a conventional life, doing things backwards, taking lots of detours, you know, they will look like nothing in retrospect. You will be able to say, “I did what I wanted to do. I was awesome. And I’m still awesome.” Now my children are following a similar path. I’m so proud of them.

    Thanks for your efforts here. Good luck with your book. I’ll check in from time to time to see how you’re doing.

  • David says:

    Great advice, Chris. Thanks for coming up for air to share this tidbit. We are all looking forward to the publication of your “real” book. Cheers!

  • Leo says:

    Short and sweet. In my real life exploits I often run into the naysayers that can’t see the big picture, or beyond the next 5 minutes. I’m adopting “Watch and See” for these negativists.

    Great post, and thanks for the mindset shift!

  • emily-sarah says:

    Love that response — the brevity, calmness, and being unwilling to engage in offering a lengthy list to refute or defend his past, present, or future. Sometimes we need to realize we can’t “win” with words and that the old saying is true: actions do speak louder.

    That’s exciting on nearing the finish line with your book! I’d argue it’s not your first “real” one; it’s simply your first brick-and-mortar one (well, paper-and-ink one, but you know what I mean). Congrats!

  • Barry says:

    Nice to see a post that isn’t about travel, business or blogging.

    This site is about life, work and travel but the focus has definitely been on the last two recently.

    How about some more posts reflecting on living life rather than how to make or save money?

    I realise you’re busy with your book and all and probably will be for a while but personally I’m not too interested in travelling and visit this site for your take on how to develop your personality to allow you to live unconventionally.

    I’m sure there are others in my situation, just as there are many who are more interested in topics I’m not, so this is just a request for a return to balance.

    Thanks

  • Chris says:

    @Barry,

    Well, as you mention I write on a variety of topics. From time to time I’ll write more about one than the others, but over the long-term I think there’s a pretty fair balance.

  • Oleg Mokhov says:

    “Don’t use ten words when two will do.”

    Hey Chris,

    “Watch and see” is an incredibly powerful phrase that says a lot to skeptics in only two words (“and” is filler, right?). Much more effective than explaining yourself.

    Since actions speak louder than words, the best explanation is results. You’ll achieve results faster by maximizing time and energy towards accomplishing a goal rather than describing it. It’s tough sometimes to just say “watch and see,” especially to family and close friends, but it’s more effective.

    All the best in finishing up the manuscript, and keep the great succinct articles coming,
    Oleg

    PS. I’m honored that you’re the first commenter on my site. I’m excited and humbled that you took the time to do that. Really encouraged me to keep going even stronger. Thank you.

  • Jeff Tong says:

    I was just linked to this in your email today!

    Great advice! Short and effective.

    Sometimes we spend too much time explaining ourselves to skeptics that don’t matter. This simple phrase is a great productivity boost.

    I’m on my way to do some big things too, “watch and see”… =)

  • Christina McFaul says:

    Chris I have been following you for a few months now and I can say without a doubt that I will be here as long as you are. Watch and See
    Peace and Blessings

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