Do you crave pleasing others? Do you care what others think? Or are you out for your own success? It all depends on what drives you. Sometimes I think we get a bit conflicted as to who we make our decisions for, many times bending over backwards to make someone happy. Do we do it for them? Do we do it to impress someone else? Or, do we do it for ourselves?
I am someone who craves excellence. I have extremely high expectations and think there is always room for improvement. Do I do it for others? Not really. I want it to be the best because I see the vision of where it can go. So often I think individuals get lazy, quit, or just decide that something is not important. Not me. I want to evolve things so life can be better for me and everyone else. Many call me relentless and it is true. I am relentless. I recently came across this quote:
“When you work to please others you can’t succeed, but the things you do to satisfy yourself stand a chance of catching someone’s interest.”
-Marcel Proust, Pastiches Et Melanges
I thought this quote was interesting. How often do we try to please others? How often do we realize that we are never going to make others happy? I love thinking of the idea that if I am satisfying myself, then that is actually when I am interesting. It is true. We are most fascinating and most interesting when we are living for ourselves and no one else. It is a hard dilemma. How often we make decisions because we are making someone else happy, than doing something because it makes ourselves happy.
When you find something that resonates and sticks you have to share it right? This Seth Godin blog just hit the nail on the head. I have been struggling lately with the idea of individuals needing to feel good about the work they are doing in a way that touts them rather than truly looking at the core of the work and see where things were good and where things could be improved. We ALL can do better at what we do. Nothing is ever perfect and there is always room for improvement. Yet, why do folks so often just want to have others tell them they are good? Should our own pride for our work be enough validation?
I can also say that I am not always the best about providing applause. I am better at providing feedback. Maybe that is because I always see opportunities for growth. I have to agree with Seth, if all you are looking for is applause, then where is the growth? I included his full blog post titled: “The feedback you’ve been waiting for” here:
“You did a great job. This is exactly what I was hoping for. I wouldn’t change a thing. You completely nailed it, it’s fabulous. Of course, that’s not feedback, really. It’s applause. Applause is great. We all need more of it.
But if you want to improve, you should actively seek feedback. And that feedback, if it’s more than just carping, will be constructive. It will clearly and generously lay out ways you can more effectively delight your customers and create a remarkable experience that leads to ever more customers.
If you’re afraid of that feedback, it’s probably not going to arrive as often as you’d like it to. On the other hand, if you embrace it as the gift it can be, you may decide to go looking for it.
Empty criticism and snark does no one any good. But genuine, useful, insightful feedback is a priceless gift.
Applause is good too.”
Maybe we all need to start asking for feedback rather than applause? We all learn more about ourselves in the process. It is the deeper, real way to go. Do not be afraid of feedback, if you are open you will find just the answers you need.