When I meet with people who read my blog regularly, auto-pilot is not an option.
You know auto-pilot — it’s reciting your stock lines, fun facts, or personal biography in the way you’ve always done it. Maybe someone asks you a question about X and, when you’re in auto-pilot, you search your mental drawers for some stock answer that most closely matches the question and then respond. Auto-pilot is lazy. I try to avoid it, but since most strangers ask me the same 5 questions it’s seductively easy to slip into.
Except when that person’s been reading my blog. They know my one-liners. They know my interests. They know when I’m bullshitting. A few weeks ago I had a smoothie with my friend Jason and along the way I reverted to auto-pilot. I brought up my theory about how in tense situations the best perform even better and the worst perform even worse. He said, "Dude, you wrote about that on your blog a month ago!"
This is how transparency is beautiful. It keeps me on my toes. It forces me to really focus to what someone’s saying and to construct new ideas based on what I take in, instead of reverting to my theories of yesterday.