Have you ever done something for someone that you were so excited about? You thought of something you could spend your time or money or other resources on that would delight them, and you were delighted? And then they didn’t even acknowledge what you’d done?
It’s a letdown, isn’t it? It was much better in your imagination than in the real world.
Sometimes you’re just doing something altruistic, something that will make the world a better place, and it turns a little sour. Maybe you’ve updated all the expired or about-to-expire meters on the block and the next guy who gets in his car is behaving like an a-hole, treating people like something to be wiped off his shoe. He didn’t notice that he still has time on his meter that he didn’t pay for.
Kind of pulls the wind out of your sails, doesn’t it? You don’t want thanks, you just want people to be happy that something good just happened to them.
We’ve all had the mismatch between what we imagined and how our imaginings played out in the bigger world. And we all have to choose whether we’re going to live internally or in the big kids’ playground.
We have zero chance of having an impact if we never take our imaginings public, even anonymously. But we can protect and tend our internal world, even when our external imaginings get stomped on by the bully in the playground.
Stay in touch with the enthusiasm you felt when generating your imaginings. We can be innocent and vulnerable internally. Our inner world doesn’t have to be impacted by the failings of the outer world. Yes, we grow from our experiences, but, no, we don’t have to grow bitter or cynical or inactive as a result of our experiences.
Cultivate your inner bad-ass brilliant creative self, regardless of the outer world’s response. And when you find the outer tribe that recognizes you for who you are, celebrate the connection.