Who calls you out?

For the first time ever, I think, I'm going to quote George Clooney. Here he is in an Esquire interview about a few pick-up games of basketball with Leonardo DiCaprio. Essentially, DiCaprio and a friend of his thought they were incredibly good at the game. Emphasis mine:

"...And so then we’re watching them warm up, and they’re doing this weave around the court, and one of the guys I play with says, ‘You know we’re going to kill these guys, right?’ Because they can’t play at all. We’re all like fifty years old, and we beat them three straight: 11–0, 11–0, 11–0. And the discrepancy between their game and how they talked about their game made me think of how important it is to have someone in your life to tell you what’s what. I’m not sure if Leo has someone like that."

I offer this as a companion to the idea of inspiring yourself. Yes, you must know what's what - as a balance. You have to learn about your capabilities - your true capabilities, not the ones you've been told you have - and balance them with everyone else.

I think back to my declaration that I am a writer. I stand by this. I do claim I'm good at it in general, but, it's also important to have someone who calls you out: a friend, a spouse, a mentor, a colleague, a random dude on Twitter (that last one is not recommended). That person can help be a compass, as long as you're open to it.

There's a fine line between the way that Clooney portrays his skills and the way DiCaprio portrays his. Clooney almost comes off as brash - almost! - but it falls on the side of confidence. DiCaprio's comments - and those of his friend in particular - are brash and smug.

Here's another Clooney quote from that interview:

"I’m not great [at basketball], by any means, but I played high school basketball, and I know I can play. I also know that you don’t talk shit unless you can play."

Honest, humble, direct. Admirable.

So, can you talk shit about something? Now ask yourself: can you play?