Tall Poppy Diaries

Observations and musings on life as a happy high-achiever (or what the Aussie's call a "Tall Poppy" ). "Unless you choose to do great things with it, it makes no difference how much you are rewarded, or how much power you have." --Oprah Winfrey

Thursday, February 03, 2005


  "You Know You're A Weed"...

We know--it's not nice to speak poorly of other people. But the reality is that sometimes it's hard for newcomers to Tall Poppydom to tell the difference between Tall Poppies and Weeds. Often, they look quite similar on the outside. There are many VERY successful Weeds. You probably know a few yourself. There are Talented Weeds. Intelligent Weeds. Beautiful Weeds.

However, Weeds are not nice. And Weeds are not happy. They often pretend to be both. But ultimately, their behavior becomes an obvious charade. They are jealous--and cutting--and cruel. They sometimes masquerade as your friend. But if your friend makes you the butt of jokes, cuts you down, and can never be happy for your successes, she isn't much of a friend, is she?

One of our board members, Rave Poppy (KJ), has posted a story about her mother's efforts at Weed control in her Indiana hometown. In this heartwarming tale, KJ's mother sets a wonderful example for how to deal with the Weeds in your own field...

Poppy on Ice at So Midwestern has written a touching story about what it's like to lose your best friend over success on the soccer field.

And remember this post from a few months ago about taking occasional "Fashion Sabbaticals" so that people don't get offended if your clothes are "too nice"? Well, the Fashion Poppies have taken a variation on that theme in their post, "Intellectually Fashionable".

Finally, I have something from my own "files" that I'd like to share. A few months ago, a Tall Poppy friend of mine told me that, though most of her readers were wonderful and generous with their praise of her blogging efforts, a couple of her readers had written some very unkind e-mails to her. And though she tried to just shrug it off, it bothered her.

Well, it was quite clear what the problem was--she had become a hugely popular blogger almost over-night. In essence, she had become a victim of her own success. And so, in response to her e-mail, I wrote what I (half-jokingly) now refer to as her Tall Poppy Creed. The original creed was very personal to her own situation, but I am providing a more generic Creed for you to fill in the blanks to personalize it to your situation and use as a little reminder for yourself, as needed:

"I am ______ and I am a Tall Poppy. People may hate me because I am (lovely, smart, talented, etc). And because I'm _____. And because I'm _____. And because they are weary of hearing my name spoken...or frazzled by the recognition I receive.

Some people will tire of my wonderfulness, and I can't stop that. But I can be wonderful, and lovely and witty just the same because I'm ME...and I'm SO good at being just that! And when the chips are down and my popularity wanes , I will count those days as blessings because it is on THOSE days when I will find out who my real friends are. And my REAL friends will see and appreciate all of the things that make me so fabulous, because they aren't jealous of my greatness. They are Tall Poppies, too.

I will be accommodating of those who just can't harness their envy of me for a moment longer. There but by the grace of God, go I. Pitiful souls. And when they are unkind and say mean things to and about me, I will take comfort in the fact that if I weren't so wonderful, they wouldn't care about me at all. And so, I will go on--unfettered. Being myself. Just doin' what I can. Spreading joy and harmonious communal spirit at every opportunity. And reaping the fruits of my efforts to be true to my inner god/goddess of goodwill.

For I am ______. And I am a Tall Poppy. And all I will ever be is myself. And that's good enough for me."

Tomorrow: Life as a Tall Poppy--True Tales....

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