Walt Whitman said, “I celebrate myself, and sing myself.” This is so perfect and a delightful perspective, because as Sebastian Vettel clearly and accurately points out, that people celebrate or criticize you based on their perspective or their measurement of your performance. Their perspective, not yours. Their perspective.
Of course, if you’re pleased with and agree with their perspective, accept the celebration with joy and the criticism with humility. Based on my own experience those perspectives match up from time to time with similar depth and width, but much more of the time, they do not, and the criticism never resonates. It always feels crappy.
I did a book review on Goodreads.com and a lady sent me a message that she got to chapter two of the book and she thought that to dis-identify with her ego as the book suggested a need for, that she felt that without the ego, there could not be physical life itself. I thought, “wow, that’s an interesting perspective.” My answer was a bit longer, but essentially I said that the ego is the culprit in every single war ever thought up, along with every single disharmony with other human beings, and that one cannot have real joy without dis-identifying with the ego.
The reason I bring that aside up is that it ties in to this subject. You cannot have joy without maintaining your own counsel and perspective of yourself, what you do, how you do it, and exactly what success means to you, what you measure, and how you measure it. If you lined up ten people, they would each have a different perspective on this and that would be perfect. We are individuals in this respect, so it seems more than appropriate to have our own perspective regardless of what others think.
You can hear a person’s ego when they are bragging about what they have achieved. Many times there is exaggeration attached to the telling. Their perspective is that they are doing well, but the way they say it clearly demonstrates that the ego is in charge. Sometimes we may criticize another and in so doing, our own ego is in control. We are right, they are wrong, I know how and you do not, I can help you because you are not doing it as well as I can, etc.. That is the mantra of the ego.
Just based on what I’ve said so far, having a perspective of celebrating yourself and singing yourself can get all mucked up (I chose that phrase with purpose) with all the other things going on all around you.
Yesterday, I was driving and celebrating. I know that I was celebrating because there was a joyous smile filling my entire being while in such appreciation of the thoughts I was thinking. It’s a high that cannot be achieved with drugs. I was celebrating myself and many others as well, singing my own joyful praise while uplifting several people that I know, and even now as I write this many hours later, I am celebrating again because I can feel that joy on my face right now, along with the energetic, uplifting feeling throughout my body.
If people want to criticize or try to keep what they will celebrate about you in a tiny box, don’t stop them. You cannot control what others do. However, you have the ultimate and sole control of yourself. Make your own decision of what you celebrate, call success. Maybe you will celebrate on the way home from work, and just imagine how that will play when you walk in the door!
Forget about criticism entirely. There is no point in criticism that holds any value. Not for you or for those who are giving it. Certainly if you have a task to do and there are known ways of doing it, guidance is helpful and can be accepted in that way, as you might guide a child to not burn themselves on the stove. But, I recommend accepting ZERO criticism from others or from your own ego, who is a master at it and will do so with more vigor than anyone outside of yourself.
Celebrate Yourself. Make Your Own Rules. Keep Your Own Counsel. Growth Is A Natural Result.
Spread Some Joy Today–by disidentifying with that ego. It releases your joy!