Approval is just pleasant noise

When considering a self-improvement project or a new hobby, I encourage you to “Marie Kondo” it. Does it bring you joy? If yes, keep on. Do you care whether other people approve? I posit that you should not.

It isn’t wrong to want to please people. Au contraire, it is sweet and good to do that. Please them by giving them a gift or experience that they will enjoy, and by being a thoughtful and considerate friend, but not by altering your own self-expression. If the way you do things pleases you and displeases them, choose you. If your conscience says that you need to support some cause that is not popular, do what you think is right, not what you think is socially easier. Find your own truth, and pursue it hard. Most of the people around you will eventually approve of your self-determination anyway.

This is all probably just another way to describe leading rather than following.

We can’t help being seen and judged by other people, and sometimes their approval will reward us. Who doesn’t love a reward? But counting on it as a prerequisite for the work you want to do deep down in your inner self leads to unnecessary pain and slower progress. Cheers and popularity cannot substitute for your personal truth. Leave those things out of the equation.

If you enjoy this blog, consider grabbing a copy of Sane Singing: A Guide to Vocal Progress, available in print and ebook!

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