This quote that Scott Berkun shares in his review of Tim Krieder’s book ‘We Learn Nothing’ has got me thinking.
“Each of us has a Soul Toupee. The Soul Toupee is that thing about ourselves we are most deeply embarrassed by and like to think we have cunningly concealed from the world, but which is, in fact, pitifully obvious to everybody who knows us.
Contemplating one’s own Soul Toupee is not an exercise for the fainthearted. Most of the time other people don’t even get why our Soul Toupee is any big deal or a cause of such evident deep shame to us but they can tell that it is because of our inept, transparent efforts to cover it up, which only call more attention to it and to our self-consciousness about it, and so they gently pretend not to notice it.
Meanwhile we’re standing there with our little rigid spongelike square of hair pasted on our heads thinking: Heh—got ’em all fooled! What’s so ironic and sad about this is that the very parts of ourselves that we’re most ashamed of and eager to conceal are not only obvious to everyone but are also, quite often, the parts of us they love best.”
I wonder what my soul toupee is. From what he’s saying, I don’t suppose I’ll ever find out!
If you think you know, leave a comment (I can take it!) And if you’re brave enough, you could ask someone you trust what yours is..
6 replies on “What’s Your Soul Toupee?”
Oh boy – you sure are opening a can of worms here. Basically, inviting your entire readership, subscribers, family, friends and trolls who regularly comment here to reveal your soul toupe. LOL
And your welcome Milo – I’ll gladly oblige. LOL
I think your soul toupe (or why I love you – not in that way) is that you’re always thinking you’re not doing enough or not where you should be. But I always look at your life as a lesson on wherever you are is exactly where you need to be. When you’re not doing what you want to or delaying on a project, you do interesting other projects which can come back to help you down the road further. Unless of course it’s taking ‘selfies’ of you and the cat – and those photos and activities, I have really no idea what it will amount to later.
And hand in hand with that is courage! Although you may doubt the stuff you’re doing is courageous, you’ve made a lot of courageous moves – quitting your job, starting a business, putting yourself out there to your audience, etc etc.
Keep it up Milo!
Haha, speaking of courage, it seems like you are the only one brave enough to tell me Vishnu!
So ‘selfies with cat’ are the problem? It’s not as bad as I thought 😉
I suppose that one of the issues with any kind of personal development is that it is based on the idea that there is something ‘to fix’. Thanks for the reminder to be present and happy with what’s happening right now Vishnu 🙂
What a fascinating concept! I think I can only echo Vishnu’s response in terms of your own Soul Toupee, Milo, and I certainly couldn’t have expressed it so eloquently. In fact, it would have taken me a lot of time and thought to get anywhere near that sort of conclusion. I’m not very good at spotting subtext in other people’s work! 🙂
Taking the opportunity to be self-critical is no such hardship, however! And I suspect my writing reflects whatever concerns I have about expending lots of energy just to ‘stand still’ (rather than make the progress I think I should be), far more than perhaps I’m willing to admit.
(Though, by writing that, am I actually admitting to it and thereby hinting at a far more hideous syrup hidden beneath the acceptable toupee?!)
Haha I think this idea is perhaps too paranoid-inducing!
This is a fascinating idea! Milo, I’m afraid I don’t know you anywhere near well enough to know what your soul toupee is — but I gave it a lot of reflection and I suspect that I myself have two of them. (Perhaps one perched over each of my soul’s ears.) Thank you for a post that really made me think!
P.S. My Canadian un-hipness is showing. What’s a “selfie”?
Hi Sally – a ‘selfie’ is when people take photos of themselves and post them on social media. Not sure what that says about their ‘soul toupee’!