Way back in the early 1980s there was an annoyingly catchy song in the charts called ‘Kissing With Confidence’. It was by an artist calling themselves ‘Will Powers’ (actually a singer called Lynn Goldsmith, who used some studio trickery to make her voice sound like a man.) It was basically a self-help recording set to music and offered sage advice to those shy and inexperienced would-be kissers about trouble free snogging to include checking that you don’t have spinach on your teeth. Advice to live by, to be sure.
Anyway, as this was back in the day when a ‘single’ was a black shiny disk, it had a ‘B’ side. If this is all a mystery to you, ask your parents. In essence, a single would be released on a 7” (again, ask your parents) disk. Because it had two sides, the record company would put an extra tune on the flip side, usually a fairly poor offering that wasn’t good enough to make it onto the artist’s latest album.
The ‘B’ side of this particular single was called ‘All Thru History’. It was more self-help set to music. The premise was an interesting one though and an idea which has been proposed in various different formats elsewhere. Basically, the idea was that there have been many admirable figures throughout history who, if confronted with your own particular circumstances would make a good job of getting the best outcome. To put it another way, they would probably make a better job of your life than you. So what? Who wants someone else drumming home the point that someone famous, someone less of a loser than you, could make your life into something great and overcome your problems with style and panache. Come up smelling of roses and all that.
Well, here’s the point. The song encouraged the listener to select an admired famous person from history to be a sort of virtual mentor. When confronted with a difficult situation or decision, the listener is to ask themselves how that famous person would have responded and then do likewise.
As I’ve said, this is not a novel idea. Ever heard the expression “fake it until you make it”? Same principle. If you want to be a certain sort of person, if you want success in your life or just to make better decisions, instead of focussing on your shortcomings, imagine yourself as that sort of person or, if you prefer to imagine a great historical figure standing at your side, advising you, and then act on that advice.
A lot of people with a faith do a similar thing. Some Christians specifically try to act in the way that they think Jesus would and remind themselves to do so by wearing one of those little bracelets with “WWJD?” on it. Others may test their proposed plans by asking whether it will displease their god. For those without a faith, sometimes it is easy to feel a bit rudderless. We may rely on the advice of our friends or parents but who is to say that they are any better judge than you?
Look, I’m not suggesting that you should be consulting your imaginary Winston Churchill every morning about what cereal to have for your breakfast. But what if you are called upon to give a presentation at work or perhaps make a speech at a social gathering? What if you are shaking in your boots at the thought of getting up in front of all of those people? Would it be easier if you take the time to get yourself ‘into the zone’ by imagining that you already are a great orator – confident and calm. Might it help to channel Winston, or Barak Obama or any other great speaker?
Maybe you have a difficult personal dilemma? Would you feel better equipped to make a good judgement if you ask yourself how someone that you admire, someone of impeccable moral authority would respond?
Would you feel more confident going into a business meeting or interview if you imagined how confident and relaxed you might feel if you were, say, Richard Branson?
I’m sure you are getting the point.
So, what does Daniel Craig have to do with any of this? Well, I’m a lover of James Bond and I happen to think that DC is the ultimate incarnation of the famous secret agent. I am aware that I can struggle a little in unfamiliar social settings. When I’m being a lawyer I can breeze through meetings because that is a role that I feel confident playing. I am much less confident when I am having to be ‘me’ and am meeting new people. When Craig’s Bond walks into any setting he projects masculine authority. He is impeccably well mannered but assertive and confident. Things that I seldom feel in a new social context. I try to avoid fights to the death with murderous henchmen but find that channelling my inner Bond makes me appear more confident and, consequently, feel more confident as well.
As a side benefit, I find that I make better choices when I’m clothes shopping too.
Although, admittedly, he does look better in those little blue bathing shorts than I would..