A close friend of mine is a highly skilled craftsman. He stands at his bench, in a world where time does not exist, calling on years of skill and experience without effort or needing to think about it, and he creates. It is irrelevant whether or not he has the attention of others, he’s just as comfortable either way. He never stops to question his ability or competence; such a question would never enter his awareness, he has years of real feedback in the beautiful things he has created and the valuable mistakes – just as you do not question your competence in brushing your teeth or any other well developed ability. He is not concerned by the subjective evaluations of others because he knows that some people will love what he creates and others will not; and that’s ok. Either way, it’s not personal and he does not attach it to his own feelings of likability. At the end of the day he goes home having achieved something and completely forgets about it until the next day.
A man sits in a meeting room. He is in a state of high alert, attempting to understand or second guess the status quo. He has been working very hard on a project but has no idea what the results are because it’s almost impossible to observe or measure. He feels he is being judged and is vulnerable to the un-informed second-hand opinions of others. The only criteria he has to evaluate his performance is “Are other people / is my boss happy with me?” All of his insecurities surface. He thinks, do I have their attention? Have they noticed me? How am I being perceived? Do they think I am good or competent? Do they like me?
In whatever you do – be a craftsman. (I hope it’s obvious that craftsman can be girls or boys).