Some people aren’t going to get what you do. They will totally not understand and think you are either mad or bad at what you do. They are ignorant of three things in my experience:
1. Your domain: comedy, painting, music etc
2. Your talent and vision and plan, and the underlying reasons.
3. What it takes to be excellent at something.
You must ignore these people, but it can be hard: they say things that hurt. It is often people who are closest to you. For me it’s my mum.
These people are stuck in a traditional ,straight down the line understanding of what a good life is, a myopic view of what success looks like.
Success is having a nice flat, a car, a wife, nice holidays, money for stuff. And you should have better versions of these things as you get older.
How do you get them? You do well at school and then go to a good university to do a solid course with a view to getting a traditional job. Whilst at university in your holidays you do work experience, and you may make some token gesture of some cynically chosen extra-curricular activity that looks good on your CV.
When you’ve left uni you join a traditional firm, in a traditional industry, and apply yourself well. After successive promotions at the same company, or perhaps a different one in the industry you retire at 60 with a nice pension.
You don’t question anything or rock the boat. You don’t challenge yourself or others. You don’t explore your potential, follow the meanderings of your passions and signature strengths. Dreams are for hippies and children.
These people will patronise you for the rest of your life, constantly misunderstand your ambitions and art, give you advice even though they have no idea what they are talking about.
They will try and run you down. Put you off. Make you doubt yourself. As life drains from them as the banal monotony of their choices take effect, they will grow jealous, feel empty, and this personal hurt will manifest itself as criticism of you.
Often they aren’t even doing it on purpose. They are ignorant. They find it impossible to emphasise or understand. You are both operating with different maps. And the map is not the landscape, but that’s a hard principle to grasp: our perception of the world is all we have.
Excellence is a lonely journey. Dreams are expensive. Often it will feel like nobody believes in you, they probably don’t. Even your family and friends. Put you need to hold onto hope: faith is a key skill you must foster. And remember faith is a work ethic, something you must practice. Have a vision. Believe in your talent, and your plans. And remember to source your happiness and self-esteem within yourself:
“I am proud that I am following my dreams, my own path, that I’m challenging myself constantly, putting myself out there in the arena. I am proud to be the kind of person I am: dedicated to improving myself, being the best version of me, living my best life and always looking for a better way. I am proud to be a leader, to take initiative, rather than following the herd.”