My friend Dick used to have this as his email signoff:
“Things can become complicated when you actually try to understand them.”
I’ve always loved that because it’s so uncomfortably true, and because it’s true across the full spectrum of our life and work. It’s ESPECIALLY true for those of us who are on the path of working for ourselves, doing our heart’s work.
And nowadays, with so many people rushing to air their snap judgments on social media—judgments often based on biases, half-truths and hearsay—it gets more and more dismaying every day. Or it can.
There will be people who do not understand what you do, and may even belittle it.
There will be people who do not see the benefit or the worth of what you offer.
There will be people who don’t want to listen or to follow your guidance because they don’t see why it all has to be so hard.
There will be people who don’t understand why you can’t just change your way of working to fit their way of working.
There will be people who do not understand or respect your values, your lifestyle choices, or your priorities.
And there may even be people who speak ill of you in public spaces (think reviews, Yelp, Twitter) because they won’t or can’t take the time to understand.
We all have the occasional day where, in our mind’s eye, we seem surrounded by all these faces frowning at us in puzzlement.
But amid all of those faces (and hopefully outnumbering those faces) there will be the faces of people who get you.
Who are listening and nodding as they read what you write.
Whose curiosity is being spiked by something you said.
Who tell their friends about you.
Who will pay for what you offer because they believe in you.
Who will help you do what you do better.
They’ve taken the time to understand. And now that they understand, they’re on your side.
Look for them. Care for them. Take time to understand them.
They’re the ones you want with you on this crazy journey through life.
(Wouldn’t you know, I just couldn’t stop talking about this. Read Part 2 here >>)