That’s Brilliant! Wouldn’t you like to hear this enthusiastic proclamation? Particularly if it was made about you, lets say after you gave a speech at a reputable non-profit’s fundraising dinner or spoke at your old friend’s wedding? Or perhaps if it was uttered by critics about your first novel or your second exhibition showing acrylics on canvas? Or shouted by the clapping crowd after you sang “stand by me blue suede shoes” at a karaoke bar in Nashville or maybe in the Bahamas? I bet many of us would. And lucky you if you actually did. Great to be recognized, kind of confirmed as somebody. Brilliant definitely sounds good.
But life can be tough, praise can be hard to come by. We may hear something that sounds a bit like a compliment when our teenager wants to borrow the car or a co-worker needs us to cover for him on a Saturday night, but we may never really get recognized as brilliant. Most of us just have to live with it. Be happy doing half-brilliant things. Wear the half Carat, so to say.
From time to time, some of us may also need to wrestle with our hardest critic, moi (or mwaa). He has become very good at giving a quick punch. Surprise us when we least expect it. Pull us down on the carpet, hard fall, there you go, I told you! What made you think you could do it? That’s hard speak, difficult to take. But pause. Before we get up for the next round, we need to recall who trained him. At the minimum, we drove him to his practice sessions for years, paid for them! And now what do we get? It’s clear that we need to re-evaluate the situation, rebalance the relationship. Exercise some authority. Moi, you will go to training again, dance lessons. Smooth and close, no more wrestling.
Having moi retrained, it’s likely to be easier to take feedback or criticism from others constructively. Like if someone in the karaoke crowd shouts “they are two different songs”, we’ll just smile and say “they might be, but that was my version of it”. And we may finally have the courage to write that first book, create that piece of art or give the piano concert we always dreamed of. Once we do get on with it, we may hear a tiny whisper that’s brilliant! I told you! That’s when we know we are finally dancing to our own tune and following the path that’s opening in front of us.
(based on one of my earliest posts, art work courtesy of my hubby)