I had an opportunity to sit down with an old mentor of mine today, someone I respect tremendously. She told me she was very proud of the person I was becoming. I told her I’m proud of myself because I no longer care if she was proud of me. Confusion was painted on her face. Her expression provided me the thirst to bloag tonight.
Speaking of thirst, our careers in a competitive environment have compelled us to yearn for approval. Compliments quench our need for acceptance. I find many people my age often telling me how happy they are because “my [boss] said I did an excellent job today.”
By no means am I arguing that feedback or positive criticism is unhelpful. But the need to seek approval? This is a manifestation of a person lower in his or her stage of development.
We carry the burden of a past generation that left us in trillions of dollars of debt. Our so-called role models act like children in Washington D.C. and fail to compromise on issues that can easily be met in the middle. People who are more tangible in our lives that we are supposed to look up to have created a social setting in which over 50% of marriages lead to divorce. Why the hell would I ever care about their approval?
Thus, I lead to my first argument: pick the people you want to emulate wisely and only choose certain reasons for why you look up to them. We often want to embrace someone of established legitimacy as an all-encompassing example of how we should act, but this is far from the case. I respect Obama’s integrity, drive, and desire to compromise, but I hate his fear of bringing out the dagger.
My second argument is simple and has been discussed often from leaders in my religion to Bob Marley and Kobe, yet we have difficulty embracing it. You must emancipate yourself from your need for approval. And “approval” doesn’t mean simply compliments; it means examples of prestige. These examples include titles, money, reputation, etc.
I whole-heartedly believe all of these examples of “approval” are important, but I view them more as ammunition to achieve future goals rather than true products of success. They will help you chase your overarching visions for how you want to affect your family and the world. They are not the end-goal, and therefore, take pride in them, but don’t accept them as defining your life story.
So now I finally have come to the true rationale for rebooting the bloag. I have found that writing my thoughts and experiences down have helped with my own introspection and provided me means to learn from funny situations in my life.
I hope this bloag provides you with the inspiration to use your experiences to delve into the deeper layers of your own sub-conscious. Because with every heated confrontation, every outlandish extreme of emotion, and every statement of hyperbole, we begin to understand the instability we have built up in our minds. If you can control it, your entire attention can finally be used towards improving this beautiful, but often bitterly unfair world.