It has come up in more than a couple conversations recently that there is a trap in confusing opinion (or number of "Likes") with what matters.
If people like it, it must matter. If they don't, it must not.
Various authors tell us we should be independent of the good and bad opinions of others. Others say we shouldn't use the word should.
Whenever I finish a painting, I feel the same butterflies that I have felt before a performance. I'm putting something new out there and I don't know how people will respond.
It is a feeling that has paralyzed me in the past. Even this newsletter produces the same twinges.
When I first moved to New York years ago, I was playing the lead in a little musical called Star Crossed Lovers. It was well attended for the most part, but there was one stormy night when we had one audience member.
A small, elderly woman in the front row. It was a 99 seat theater so I guess you could say we were 1 percent sold.
The director came backstage saying they were going to cancel the show, but we were all young, non-union and already in makeup. We wanted to do it.
She laughed at everything and clapped as heartily as any performer could wish for. When I took my bow I came down to the front row, knelt down, and kissed her hand. She said, "I feel like the Queen of England!"
To this day it's one of my peak theater experiences.
We only got one "like" that night but it made a life long impression.
Whether it resonates with one or a hundred others, it feels good. And, more importantly, it moves you forward.
(Sure, I might have had a different impression if our one audience member had said, "This sucks!" But thankfully, she shared our enthusiasm.)
The fact that we have the desire to create means our work matters. It matters because we are doing it and it propels us.
To the one who is practicing or vocalizing or dancing or creating or whatever you have a passion for… if you are out there doing whatever it is you do...
Consider yourself "Liked."