Charisma or The Courage to be Different?

Winston Churchill endlessly smoked huge cigars. He used to sleep all mornings and then worked throughout the nights. 
Dictated crucial war correspondence to his secretary while lying in the bath.
He drank more champagne in a week than most people do in a lifetime…
This also provoked the rebuke from fellow MP Bessie Braddock, “Mr. Churchill, you are drunk.” To which he famously replied: “Indeed, madam, and you are ugly, but tomorrow I shall be sober!”

While reading an awesome book, “Life’s a Pitch” by Stephen Bayley & Roger Mavity, I came across a chapter called ‘Charisma, or, The Courage to Be Different’. Most of what is written above has been inspired by the book only.

What I found most interesting was the brilliant argument and its conclusion of what is CHARISMA and what are the main traits of a charismatic person…

The argument boiled down to the following two traits of people with charisma:

  1. They aren’t afraid to be different from the world, and
  2. They look as if they are enjoying themselves.

Aren’t these the very qualities that we’d rather NOT have in us?

We’d rather ‘gel’ with the crown rather than be different.
Or do whatever is expected of us than try and do something outlandish…
Or become someone who everyone forgets than to be someone remarkable… This reminds of me of another great book “Linchpin” by a remarkable man Seth Godin.

Coming back to charisma, the book goes on explaining why Che Guevara and Bill Clinton had charisma..
Whereas, George Bush (both Junior & Senior) never had it…

Why Picasso and Dali had it and others didn’t…

Why Churchill had it but his replacement Attlee, who was far more intelligent, didn’t…

And do we want to talk about the second trait? Enjoying yourself? This is something most of us hardly do… We brood over our problems much more than we should & while we do that, we forget to be happy, enjoy ourselves…Living in the past or worrying about the future. Enough has been said about this. Even on this blog! Search ‘happiness’ and you will know.

When you are happy, you start becoming successful. Not the other way round which we popularly believe.

If you want to read more about the book, I’d suggest you read this review first.

I think it’s a great book and a must read for anyone who has anything to do with interacting with people a.k.a. living…!

Have a charismatic life!

Dare to be different!

Follow your passion!

Nuruddin Abjani

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  1. "to be different" in a manner that would make crowd wonder "Oh..why this did not come to my mind?"

    There is this word is "maverick" and it has an interesting story behind it.

    The etymology for this word goes back to the days of plantation in USA, when there were fights among ranchers for the ownership of a cattle.
    One fine day, all ranchers gathered to solve this problem and after a day long debate to solve this problem by branding their cattle with different shapes/signs in order to identify who was the owner of that sheep.

    some selected a circle, some a square, others rectangle…triangle etc etc and when it Maverick's turn to select the sign, he announced "since every one has a sign and i am the only one left so NO SIGN is MY SIGN"

    Any sheep without a sign is my sheep…!

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