Today is the day that I generally try to share something encouraging. Get the weekend off to a positive start and all that.
And then I saw this:
I’ve been thinking about this for some time. Dipping your toes into any “artistic pool” (writers, photographers, etc) it always amazes me how people view themselves. It seems that when I have the opportunity to read/view work that is witty or uniquely composed, the creator is full of doubt, constantly second guessing themselves.
What I see far more often is the person whose work is, at best, average (but often, so much worse than that), who exudes confidence in what they produce. Some are so sure of themselves that they go around telling others how to be better at their craft, how to be successful (even if they haven’t had any kind of measurable success themselves). They also don’t take feedback well, unless the feedback is “hey, how’d you get to be so full of awesome”.
This isn’t specific to artists and their work, either. There is a seeming increase in people who act as if they are perfect, without any room for improvement, and should be treated accordingly.
Maybe it’s a new generation, a generation that grew up with reality TV stars, people who garnered fortune and fame for merely existing, or worse yet, for their scandalous behavior. Maybe it’s a generation who grew up with parents who praised them for every little accomplishment (“way to get a D on your report card!”), a generation filled with the idea that they are “perfect as they are”. Maybe it’s a generation growing up with YouTube and blogs and social media, where their ego is stroked with every hit, view, like, and follower they get.
Whatever the reasons, man, it’s annoying.
And honestly, it’s more than annoying. If everyone is running around thinking everything they produce is awesome, that there is no room in their lives for improvement, then everything stagnates.
People don’t try to be better, they just become self-involved. Why look externally if what’s internal is so amazing?
Maybe doubt is there for a reason. To keep us hungry for something better. To make us listen to critique, even when we don’t want to, and find ways to improve.
Maybe life shouldn’t just be so simple as “just be you“. Maybe it should focus more on being the best you.
And maybe that starts by focusing less on ourselves and our wants and our talents, and more on those around us.
[In line with focusing on others needs, please go check out the GoWithout campaign reboot. I'll have a special surprise for everyone when we get our first ten participants.]