Tag Archives: self-esteem

3 Life Lessons from The Office’s Michael Scott

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Although it’s been off TV for several years, I’m a huge fan of The Office. There’s no season and no episode of the show I don’t like. If you’re not familiar with it, the main character of the show – played by Steve Carell – is office manager Michael Scott, a man living and working in the city of Scranton, an ordinary town much of America could relate to.

But Michael Scott is quite memorable for so many reasons. If you need a good laugh and you’ve never seen The Office, I highly recommend it. While Carell’s character makes a lot of bad judgment calls that would never, ever fly in a real office setting, it amounts to be great TV comedy. His over-the-top antics, pranks, and personality all combine to make for a situation that could be potentially unbearable at work or maybe laughable, depending on who you are and how your personality is.

But looking at his character, stripping away the silliness and immaturity, there are three big good takeaways to his character. Takeaways that can be applied to your personal life or your professional life. Things about his character that are likable and that we can appreciate – lessons if you will.

Care. Care about others. Care about something.

The Michael Scott character is always caring. Sometimes –  a lot of times – too much. The places in which he displays his care are sometimes misplaced or inappropriate, but at his core, he is a kind, caring person. In his personal life, you can see Michael getting taken advantage of in relationships where he tries to make things work and it’s dysfunctional, or where he gets too serious too soon, but he really has a lot of love to give to someone. In his business life, you can see him pouring so much effort into nourishing relationships with his employees – again, at times crossing lines, but in the end, you can see he wants everyone to feel valued. While not everyone wants to plan a dorky karaoke night (like “The Dundees”), Michael knows that people matter.

Work hard. Be good at what you do.

Michael slacks off a lot – he goofs off, he leaves work for personal errands, and he wastes a lot of time. But, he’s also doing such a good job that his superior – David Wallace – meets with him just for the sole purpose of asking the question “How are you doing such an amazing job?” Despite Michael Scott’s antics, his results speak for themselves – he’s in the spot of leading the number one branch. So, as you go into your new year, ask yourself – do you enjoy what you do? Whatever you’re working hard at, do you like it? Do you want to work at it? If not, why not? And if those aren’t good answers, do you at least see a path for change? There’s dignity in all work, so why not feel pride in doing a good job?

At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter what you are doing. Maybe you’re a housewife, a student, a janitor, a pastor, or a business person. Do you feel a sense of pride in what you do so that you can say you are succeeding, for whatever success would look like in that spot?

Own who you are.

Michael Scott isn’t cool and he knows it. But that’s part of what makes his character so endearing and why I love the show so much. You can see some of the loneliness that he feels of being so unique, some of the sense of isolation that can come with being highly creative, highly unusual, unlike other people. But ultimately, Michael wins. He wins with being successful in his career, with his strong relationships at work, and ultimately, even if you wouldn’t guess it… in love. So own who you are.

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Who do you want to be?

Add to cartNot Who I Want to Be by Glenn Sasscer: Book Review

Who do you want to be?

If you’re unhappy with what you see in the mirror or what you feel you are, Glenn Sasscer’s new book, Not Who I Want to Be, was written just for you. Sasscer’s 224-page book seems partially inspired by a small but significant encounter that inspired him to consider how others saw him and how that compared to the way he was perceiving himself. This encounter prompted Sasscer to believe that how he saw himself was significantly different from how others saw him.

Not Who I Want to Be begins with a few chapters that reminded me of college textbook readings. It appeared that a lot of time was spent constructing these chapters so readers can understand some important psychology concepts. If you’re familiar with things like self-schema and self-image, you’ll probably be bored with this section. But a basic foundation is always required to get to more substantial material.

However, in the case of Not Who I Want to Be, the later chapters of the book were not what I expected them to be. If the goal of the book was to replace a negative self-image with a positive one, the book didn’t get there. And while many of the concepts discussed in the book are valuable – things like the importance of having relationships with others, forgiveness, and a relationship with Christ – the book fluctuates from its stated purpose of helping the individual find a “true reflection…”

Not Who I Want to Be is on-point in the sense that there are many messages thrown at men and women telling them that they don’t measure up and that they aren’t good enough, and that there are ways the Bible can help people with their low self-esteem. However, Now Who I Want to Be tackles the self-esteem problem using the message that sin and rebellion are the most likely causes of these problems. The book doesn’t seem to give people the benefit of the doubt that something other than sin or rebellion is causing their problems. The ways the Bible can help people out of a negative mindset by helping them to create a positive self-image is also lacking.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from ACU Press/Leafwood Publishers as part of their ACU Press Bookclub Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.