How to Fake It Without Being Dishonest

3508989142_2c1de5017c_mOne of our coaches at work came up to me last week and asked if I lifted weights.  "Nope," I said "but the fact that you asked me just made my day!"  I explained that I try to get on the bike every once in a while and that I did enjoy canoeing with my kids but other than that, I just fake it.

A day or so later, someone commented that she didn't really know a particular detail leading up to a meeting.  "I'll just fake it," she explained without being rude.  I started to think that maybe "faking" was a universal science and I was just one participant in its cause.

What I've realized of course is that faking it is like currency- there are two sides to it.  One one hand, someone might fake it when they are trying to mislead others.  On the flip side, someone might fake it as a clever way to maintain confidence.  It's this second kind of faking that I'd like to promote.

The examples of this are endless: dying one's hair, getting dentures, wearing clothes that accent or hide or compensate (you get the point) one's strengths.  Improving one's vocabulary would also count.  We're not getting into moral grounds here but a bit of vanity could creep in so be careful.  On the other hand, when used well, these forms of fakery are nothing more than being smart.

The realtor who maintains a clean car and dresses well will probably sell more homes.  The teacher who maintains a sharp appearance will leave have fewer complaints.  The attorney who uses multi-syllabic words in her vocabulary than the average person will have reliable clients.  The priest who is attentive to detail will engender loyalty.  Here's a little self disclosure: I like Joseph A Bank suits and my wife has purchased several for me.  My secret- they each came from vendors on EBay at a discount price.  Brand new suits at a discount price.  Fakery or just being smart?

As a follow up, consider the following:

  • Think of your physical appearance- what can you do within 24 hours to make a slight improvement?

  • Think of your home- what can be neatened up?

  • Think of your vehicle- what can be tossed out?

  • Think of  your workspace- what can be simplified?

In these ways, faking it is nothing more than playing to one's strengths.  Now that's what I call intelligent design.

*Photo by From The North