I used to worry a lot about what people think of me. I felt that I could be damaged or even destroyed by someone’s words, or my failure to achieve an arbitrary level of success.
I tried to present the right image in each encounter. When something went wrong, I would run and hide.
I still worry a lot, of course. But now for the most part I worry about different things. If there’s anything good about getting older, it’s that I care much less about people seeing my faults.
Now—at least sometimes—when I encounter a situation that might bring me down, I tend to think who cares? Get a life, man. I have one.
A while back I wrote about the idea of your life as a movie, with you as the director. When you go through your archives in post-production, you might stumble on a scene that feels particularly surreal.
In those times, you may wonder, “Why did I put this scene in my movie?”
I’ve been thinking about this lately as I continue my journey. With the benefit of perspective, I realize that some of the scenes in my movie are… well, a little surreal. Looking back on those scenes, it’s easy to wonder, “Did that really happen?”
Sometimes the reflection is positive:
“Wow, I still can’t believe I did that! I had an idea and I made it happen. I followed a dream and I’m so glad I did.”
And sometimes it’s negative:
“Wow, that was bad. Was I really that wrong about such a fundamental situation? Was I that wrong about myself?”
It’s only with hindsight that some things make sense, and it’s also true that at a certain point you worry less about the ones that never will. @chrisguillebeau (Click to Tweet!)
Still, why do we put these scenes in our lives?
Chris Guillebeau is the New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness of Pursuit, The $100 Startup, and other books. During a lifetime of self-employment, he visited every country in the world (193 in total) before his 35th birthday. Every summer in Portland, Oregon he hosts the World Domination Summit, a gathering of creative, remarkable people. His new book, Born for This, will help you find the work you were meant to do. Connect with Chris on Twitter, on his blog, or at your choice of worldwide airline lounge.
Image courtesy of Donald Tong.