Jedrek Stepien


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What impresses people?

I want to limit the scope of the answer to just two options: ABILITY or BEING?


ABILITY: everything which manifests itself externaly i.e. knowledge, education, certificates, skills, image, wealth, etc. Ability is superficial.

BEING: everything one really is. It expressees itself in personal understanding, warmth/coldness, charisma, empathy, etc. Everything which springs from being is rooted deeply in one's own self.

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    Nov 10 2012: Jedrek,
    You say you "want to limit the scope of the answer to just two options". That certainly IS limiting, and I don't understand why you would want to do that.

    In my perception, "ability" and "being" are very interconnected.
    The definition I find for Ability is...: "the quality or state of being able"......."BEING able".

    Everything which manifests itself externaly, knowledge, education, certificates, skills, image, wealth, etc, BEGINS with personal understanding, warmth/coldness, charisma, empathy, etc.

    Everything which manifests externaly, springs from "being" which is rooted deeply in one's own self. In my humble perception, they are not seperate. Wherever we are, doing whatever we're doing, there we are with our "self"...being able:>)

    I believe what impresses people most, is consistency in expressing all parts of our "self" with honesty, authenticity, respect, compassion and empathy:>)
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      Nov 10 2012: Hi Coleen, thank you so much for your contribution.

      The options of 'Ability' and 'Being' are here in order to keep the conversation at as general a level as possible. I believe that a strong principle can be applied successfuly across the whole spectrum of examples, and it is a strong principle that we are looking here after.

      You say "Everything which manifests itself externaly, knowledge, education, certificates, skills, image, wealth, etc, BEGINS with personal understanding"

      I am affraid that it is not necessarily so. Moreover, I am affraid that a great deal of people invest in their Ability-side without understanding. Such people are easy to recognize, as they are more reptile-like and cold.

      However, I couldn't agree more with your final statement. I do believe that people ultimately are impressed by 'the consistency in expressing all parts of our "self"'

      What I am trying to point out by this conversation is that is is awfully important to find a way to develop Being-side. I do not think any education system or school (traditionally understood) can ever do something with it. Collecting diplomas and certificates belongs to the Ability-side, and this, in my opinion, is disproportionately well developed in contrast to the Being today.

      Everyone would profit from developing the Being-side, because it is the Being that ultimately impresses people and has the capacity to make a change.
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        Nov 14 2012: Dear Jedrek,
        Recognizing and understanding interconnectedness, is a very "strong principle", which is as "general" and simple as we can get. Trying to seperate something which is connected, is complicating the my humble perception:>)

        The idea you present that "...a great deal of people invest in their Ability-side without understanding. Such people are easy to recognize, as they are more reptile-like and cold.".... seems rather silly.

        I agree that it is important to discover all "parts" of our "self" because in doing so, we experience our own authenticity.
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    Nov 4 2012: Some are impressed by ability; some by being.
    Knowing who you are and what makes you peculiar and different is a very important personal breakthrough; because if you are true to yourself, your goal, your purpose, your assignment and your individuality; you would be free from conformity and you will be free from pride.
    The lasting legacy is of those who reach the world with their beauty from within(Mandela, Gandhi, Mother Teresa e.t.c)
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    Nov 10 2012: I think:

    It is symbiosis with people, in both ABILITY and BEING.
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      Nov 10 2012: This much is certain.

      Developing Ability is relatively easy - go to school, obtain certificates, learn how to dance or cook.

      A greater challenge is to develop the Being.

      A symbiosis of which you speak can only happen when both Ability and Being are equally developed.

      Any ideas on how to develop the Being?
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        Nov 11 2012: Simple!
        Do polypetition. That is to program it into our soul.


        (See my Skydrive for details at, 1st article)
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          Nov 11 2012: If you mean the article 'happiness norm' I think it speaks, in its current form, about some kind of animal-happiness.

          We, i.e. human beings, have to differenciate between happines and pleasure.

          Eating, drinking, having sex, etc., give us pleasure. Pleasure is what comes from the outside to the inside.

          Happiness, in my opinion, comes only from self-realisation. It means that it operates in the opposite direction from pleasure, as it comes from the inside to the outside.

          Happines, in other words, comes from the development of the Being - and I have not found any tip on how to develop it in the article.
  • Nov 6 2012: Interesting.

    No one gave you a one word answer.

    Probably an indication that your distinction between ABILITY and BEING is not pure enough for a distinction. Can some one with ABILITY really not have BEING? How about the reverse?

    Can you really separate rational thought from irrational thought? Instinct from learned behavior? knowledge from emotion? I do not think so.

    Even if you could, trying to successfully stratify something like IMPRESSIONS does not seem like it would be very easy to do with all the variables on both sides of the perspective and between humans.
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      Nov 7 2012: I was thinking about it. The greatest problem, I think, lies in the language. English is for some reason imprecise here because it does not distinguish between 'to impress' and what is in Polish or German 'imponować' or 'imponieren'.

      The recent jump by Baumgartner was no doubt impressive, yet it does not make me want to be like Baumgartner. Now, if we had the exact equivalent of 'imponować' in English, that would be what Baumgartner's jump didn't do on me.

      Of course, the meaning of 'imponować' cannot be encapsulated in 'to want to follow' alone. It's much more subtle than this.

      So, here we are, stuck with a question which is asked in the wrong language.

      I would not, however, blame so much the distinction between Ability and Being. Think about a word, for example. Does it matter how many letters make up a word? Are 7 letter words better or more precise than 4 letter words? Of course not. Because what really matters is the Meaning.

      The number of letters belongs to sphere of Ability, the Meaning to the Being of a word.

      I am convinced we can make a similiar distinction with people, where Ability means all the external skills, and Being all that we really are.

      Abilities are important, however, to express the Meaning. Just like here - speaking Polish (or German) helps to convey the meaning of the question asked at the very top of this conversation.

      Moreover, the more complex the Being, the more Abilities it must have to fully express itself.
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        Nov 14 2012: Jedrek,
        We don't seem to be "stuck" with the wrong language. The "sticky" part seems to be the way in which you limited the conversation.

        I agree with you that perhaps..."the more complex the Being, the more Abilities it must have to fully express itself." You see? They are connected, and it appears that on some level, you recognize this.
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    Nov 5 2012: I agree with Feyisayo that people are struck postively by other people because of each- what you are calling ability, which includes unusual talents and skills, intelligence in approaching problems, and seeing into the core of what on its face may be complex or chaotic (I would not include wealth or image as abilities) and what you are calling "being", which includes attributes of personality and attunement to social relations.

    I don't think education, cerificates, and wealth are categories of ability or that ability is a superficial attribute.

    And I agree with Pat that " if you start believing your own PR, you are toast."
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      Nov 5 2012: You're right, Ability is not exactly a superficial attribute. There must be a direct correspondence between Ability and Being if one is not to appear ridiculous.

      In other words, Ability is the means of expression for the Being. The relation here is similar to the relation between culture and civilisation where the former represents Being and the latter Ability.

      You can have a tremendously advanced civilisation but at the same time very low culture (eg. a vandal who is devastating a bus stop with a LED screen showing when is the next bus coming).

      And so it is possible to have a highly developed Ability-side but poor Being-side. You can have a lot of certificates and/or money but be a jerk at the same time.

      Ability helps express the Being, but it is the Being which is ultimately the source of all lasting impression in my opinion.
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        Nov 5 2012: I don't think that is true. Many highly creative people in the arts or sciences have a legacy across generations for these achievements, without people's knowing much at all about their personalities or how they conducted themselves in a social context.

        In many cases it is the genius or originality of their work that gives them their legacy.

        Of course some people are instead famous or notorious only for their personalities or roles in social life.
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          Nov 5 2012: I couldn't agree more. Creativity, however, derives from the Being. It has to, for otherwise an artist would simply be a copist.

          So if you say that many highly creative people in the arts are recognized for what they had done, it is basically true, but if you go one step further and ask what made them do what they had done, you would find out it was probably an inner insight - their Being.

          Creativity does not work from the outside to the inside, it works in the opposite direction.
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        Nov 5 2012: In fact creativity derives from factors both inside and out, inborn and environment.

        If you are interested in that area specifically, the Cambridge Handbook of Creativity is an excellent up-to-date reference.

        In terms of personality, you will find that there is a high correlation between being highly creative and not being highly sociable or warm.
        If everything anyone does is conceived of as a manifestation of being, than everything boils down to being, by definition.
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          Nov 5 2012: Thanks for the book Fritzie, I'll look it up.
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    Nov 4 2012: Ability of which if you have this you surely do not care about what impresses people. But as is often the case if you start believing your own PR you are toast.