January 15, 2020 –

Few people live by the rule, “Don’t judge a book by its cover, Most people understand this metaphorical phrase to mean, “you shouldn’t presume the worth or value of something by its outward appearance alone.” We’re used to prejudging people, actions, books, and intentions that often we do not make a new friend make correct decisions, and read an inspiring book.

In his best-selling book, “Blink,” Malcolm Gladwell wrote about intuitive thought and the first two seconds of judgment. This internal computer—our brain — “quickly and quietly processes a lot of data we need to function as human beings.” Gladwell used an example of a person in the middle of a street that sees a truck bearing down on him, doesn’t have time to think through all his options. He reacts. I know I would leap out of the truck’s way, without thinking about it.

I don’t know if you like the television show, Britain’s Got Talent. This show provides examples of pre-judgment of the singing contestants, often based on age, style of the song, and how they interview with the judges. Often the judges, including Simon Cowell, are shocked when the singer sings, “I Dreamed a Dream, “No Regrets,” and “Think.” From 10-year-olds to 80 years old, the artist surprised Simon, the other judges, and the audience who have prejudged them by their “cover.”

When asked why they haven’t been recording or discovered before, many say, “I haven’t had a chance.” “No one allowed me to sing before.” These constants prove you’re never too old to follow your dream.

I call these breakthrough moments or don’t judge the book by its cover “Simon Moments.” It’s the breakthrough moment when you shock others who have prejudged you. It is the time when you achieve your dream. It is the instant when you stand with your head held high and shouted, “I DID IT!”

These contestants have a hidden talent, so do you. Just as there are no duplicate fingerprints, there is no one else that has your skills, dreams, and willingness to work, and the unquenchable thirst you have to be your best — no matter the opinions of others.