As the second human to ever set foot on the moon, Buzz Aldrin has a better reason to brag than you do. And yet, the 80-year old astronaut prefers to exhibit a humbler approach. Lifehacker's advice? When it comes to personal achievements, be like Buzz.
This week, Buzz Aldrin participated in an "Ask Me Anything" Q&A on the popular news aggregation site Reddit. Alongside questions relating to space travel, fake moon landings and the peculiarities of astronaut food, the living legend was asked whether he ever uses the moon landing as a trump card to win arguments. (i.e. — "Oh yeah? Well I walked on the moon!")
Despite his historic achievement, Buzz isn't one to toot his own horn, as his response to the question demonstrates:
I don't thinK I've ever really done that. I don't want to be shockingly bragging. I would rather people understand that there is a very, very fortunate American who was given the opportunity, and was in the right place at the right time to have the moment of a lifetime. My mother was born - her name was Marianne Moon. And she was born in 1903, the year that the Wright Brothers first flew. I participated with great honor in becoming one of the first to land on the moon, and now I am devoting and have devoted many years of my life to enabling Americans to lead international nations to permanence on the planet Mars. I was lucky enough to have been born on this planet earth, in this admirable country of the United States of America.
Now, obviously Adrin would never have been considered by NASA to participate in the moon landing if it wasn't for an exceptional amount of talent and hard work; not to mention a distinguished military career. Instead of mentioning any of these things, he chose to attribute his role to cosmic coincidence and luck. (His mother's maiden name really was Moon by the way — how weird is that?)
Some people would call this disingenuous, but we choose to believe he was being sincere. In any event, it's a classiness that many professionals would do well to emulate. Instead of skiting about how awesome you are, let your achievements speak for themselves. If Buzz can downplay walking on the moon, there's no excuse for self-aggrandisement in the workplace.