053 – Pros & Cons of Being an Approval Seeker

053 – Pros & Cons of Being an Approval Seeker

Thanks to the proliferation of social media and smartphones, attention- and approval-seeking behaviors are at an all-time high.

In this episode of Creativity Excitement Emotion, David explains the pros and cons of being an approval seeker.

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Highlights:

00:17 – Can you do life without constantly having to be validated?
00:55 – Getting the results you’re looking for
01:58 – Getting results for yourself first
02:12 – It’s not just about being independent
03:08 – What lengths are you willing to go to?
04:03 – Short-sightedness is a problem
04:36 – Approval seeking is beneficial to those who are willing and able to do it
05:04 – Not everyone is going to like you
06:19 – The upsides and downsides of being an approval seeker
07:27 – Know thyself

Transcript:

I don’t think I’m much of an approval seeker. There’s something that came up in my reflections and I think that’s the ideal… if you can be independent… and don’t get me wrong, it’s always nice to get compliments. It’s always nice to get praise. And I think we’re all deserving of it to greater or lesser degrees, and we all need it as well.

But if you can be as independent as possible and not have to run on compliments or praise as fuel to do life, I think that’s the ideal. You’ve got to take care of yourself first before you worry about taking care of anybody else.

If you’re doing things in life, it doesn’t matter what area, relationships, business, music, or anything else that you might be taking on. If you’re not getting the results that you’re looking for, it means that some aspect of what you’re doing is not working, right?

I can tangibly see, since February [2023], when I started working out again, that I am getting results. I am looking trimmer, fitter, more in shape, gaining muscle, and losing fat. So, there’s proof right there that it’s working. If someone wanted to get the results that I’m getting right now, there would be good reason to listen to me.

If I wasn’t getting those types of results, and I was merely advising people from my armchair, that’s a whole other situation.

So, we want to be mindful of where results are showing up before we worry about trying to advise others on the direction that they should go in. First look at whether our method is working at all, in any capacity.

I’m not talking merely about being independent, though. I think culturally speaking, North America has a lot to learn from a country like Japan.

People often come back to me and say, “Everything has its pros and cons,” and yeah, that is true. Japan has some odd bits of culture that can be a little bit hard to understand or process. You could get thrown in jail for rather bizarre reasons, but I think every country has that. If you start looking into the law, like, there’s almost no country that doesn’t have some bizarre rules that could get you into trouble.

So, I think there’s something to be learned about community culture. It’s something that Japan does so well, and I’m sure it happens in other countries, too. I just haven’t seen it.

So, I’m not just talking about being independent, although that is important. I think with approval seeking, it’s almost your tolerance for what lengths are you willing to go to, to get people’s attention. It’s exactly what we’re seeing with influencer culture. It’s exactly what we’re seeing with creator culture.

People are running around in tiny little bikinis, or if you’re an OnlyFans model, then naked. There’s ASMR, there’s video games, there’s all this stuff…

Look, some people genuinely love what they do and are good at it. I’m not going to take that away from them. But you will also find some people do this just because they think it will get them a lifestyle. In some cases, it does.

You can get advertising money. You can get sponsors. And if you’re smart, you eventually dovetail your influence into a business, something that will have lasting value.

Chances are, especially in the case of models, will you have a career 10 years from now? Will you have a career 20 years from now?

There’s a lot of short-sightedness. And we tend to do that. Give undue praise to influencers who don’t have much foresight as far as when their thing could end, why their thing could end, and what are they going to do after they’re no longer able to do what they’re doing right now, because they don’t have the facility to do it, or they’re not as young as they used to be.

I guess my point is approval seeking is so beneficial right now to people who are willing and able to do it. People who get a kick out of constantly seeking validation.

And there is a dark side to it, too. I honestly think some conditions have yet to be diagnosed as far as like constantly needing validation for everything. It’s not a sustainable, workable thing in the real world. People aren’t always going to like you.

This is the thing that I’ve been running into, right? You didn’t do anything wrong. You were just going about living your life, and then suddenly people are like, “I don’t like you, and here’s why.” And they will come up with any reason. It doesn’t even matter if it’s remotely true, they’ll just come up with a reason why they don’t like you.

And an approval seeker would probably find a way. I mean, there’s no use, and there’s no need to feed trolls because ultimately, there are enough people in the world.

I think 25% are going to like you, 25% can be convinced to like you, 25% aren’t going to like you, and 25% can be convinced not to like you. The ratio is always going to work out to something along those lines.

But I think an approval seeker is someone who would go above and beyond and try to get people to like them.

And I’m not here to judge, I’m not here to make that wrong. But I’m not much of an approval seeker, and I don’t go on social media to try to get people’s validation. Yeah, I’ve taken a few self-indulgent selfies and things like that, but I think pretty much everyone does that, right? That’s not unique to me.

There are some downsides and upsides to everything. The upside to being an approval seeker in today’s economy is that there are ways to capitalize on that. You might make for a great influencer, and you might be able to please a lot of people.

And then, really the downside… What is that doing to your mental health? Is it building your confidence in yourself and who you are? Do you have a sense of identity apart from how you look, how you show up, or how you present on social media?

And then if you’re not much of an approval seeker, inevitably something will get left on the table, right? Again, I don’t think there’s any way to get along with everyone. I think we can at least come to an understanding where we’re not fighting, but trying to get everyone to like you is a fool’s errand.

Trying to get everyone to like you is a fool's errand. Click To Tweet

So, the downside is you’re not going to pay much heed to people who don’t like you. Even though you might be in a band with them, even though you might be living with them, even though they might be your business partners.

Ultimately, I think it’s about being mindful of who you are. Are you an approval seeker? Are you more of an independent person? Do you fall somewhere between the two?

If you are an approval seeker, then is there something you could do with that? Right now, there are plenty of opportunities to potentially make cash on that as an influencer, or as a social media personality.

And if you’re an independent, then what’s the benefits of that? How could you use that to your advantage? It’s not about worrying about what other people think so much as tending to you and yours, more than anything else.

Before you worry about what someone random on the internet said about your latest video, you first look at yourself, your family, your friends, your collaborators, the people who have a vested interest in you, and the people who care about you. That’s where your energy would go.

What would that look like? And what would be the benefit of that?

052 – You’re More Resilient Than You Know

052 – You’re More Resilient Than You Know

What are you putting up with? Health challenges? Financial problems? Relationship issues?

The fact that you’re putting up with anything goes to show how resilient you truly are. But are you wasting your precious resiliency on people and things that don’t matter?

In this episode of Creativity Excitement Emotion, David why it’s important to be willing to change.

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Highlights:

00:17 – People are better at coping and dealing with things than they realize
01:30 – You are more resilient than you realize
01:52 – You can’t change anything you’re willing to put up with
02:34 – What are you putting up with?
03:09 – Make a new commitment
03:45 – What have you been tolerating?

Transcript:

The human ability to cope and put up with things is a marvel. It’s incredible. I think almost everyone is better at coping and putting up with things than they even realize.

Like, “We have a noisy upstairs neighbor and they’re always partying on Thursday and Friday. But now that we know, we can plan around that and it’s no big deal.”

No big deal. Really? And it could even be an injury. It’s like, “Yeah, I damaged my foot about a month ago and just letting it heal on its own, not going to see the doctor.”

Just think of all the situations, right? “Yeah, I gained 500 pounds and it’s fine. I’m just going to continue eating and enjoying myself and no big deal.”

And that’s not a judgment on anyone. I think we all do this to greater or lesser degrees.

“My financial situation is out of control, and I’ve been going into debt for 24 months. I haven’t been able to pay my credit card bills except for minimum payments.” People just don’t understand how bad of a situation that is, because they haven’t investigated it.

“I put up with it, it’s a fact of life, no big deal.”

So, understand that your ability to cope with change and put up with things is far greater than you realize. You may fear change, and many people do, but at the same time, you are so strong, and you are so good at putting up with it. What is most likely to happen is the event will happen and you’ll figure out a way to put up with it or work around it.

Your ability to cope with change and put up with things is far greater than you realize. Click To Tweet

Here’s the point. We can’t change anything that we’re willing to put up with. If it’s like, “Yeah, it’s okay. No big deal. I’ll figure it out.” If it’s like that, then we can’t go and make a difference in that area in any significant way.

And usually, that’s where we want the biggest breakthrough. And we’re sitting there going, “Yeah, credit card bills, no big deal.” And they’ve got like three credit cards, each maxed to the hilt. And they’re barely making minimum payments. You’re in a much, much worse situation than you even realize right now.

And there are some actions to take. There are some things to do.

So, where are you putting up with things? If you’re putting up with them, it means that you’re not willing to do anything about them.

You must change that to something else. You must change the context. You’ve got to say, “I’m not willing to put up with this anymore. I’m going to get into action. I’m going to do something about this. I’m going to start working out tomorrow,” or “I’m going to start looking at my finances every single day and start cutting expenses that I no longer need.”

Or, “I’m going to start seeing a doctor or a naturopath or someone who can help me with my health.”

These areas where we’re putting up with things are an invitation to make a new commitment, make a new decision, try something else, try something out of the ordinary.

People get easily stuck in their ways, not recognizing that they have. a near-limitless set of options in front of them. Maybe it’s not infinite, but it’s a much bigger pool of decisions and options than they even realize. Even if they don’t have huge financial resources to invest in the areas that they’re thinking about changing.

Sometimes merely cutting expenses from things you no longer need will free up the finances to be able to do the things you want to do.

Understand that sometimes we put up with things because we’re lazy. Sometimes we put up things because we’re scared. Like “Oh, I’m scared of what the doctor’s going to say and what they’re going to have to do to me.”

And sometimes we put up with things that we must put up with. We have no choice and that’s life. And there are things like that too. Don’t get me wrong.

But if you start looking at your music career or your entrepreneurial endeavor and think about what you’ve been tolerating. What are some things that you’ve been tolerating to this point that you no longer want to?

Is it a bad gig that’s not paying you properly? Is it a bad mate that’s driving you crazy? What are some things? What are you putting up with that could be better? Because chances are it could be a lot better.

Jeweller Recommendations for Choosing an Engagement Ring

Jeweller Recommendations for Choosing an Engagement Ring

Your heart is beating fast. Your stomach fills with butterflies. As you take a knee to ask for your partner’s hand in marriage, you wonder what expression they will be wearing on their face, and what it will mean for your future together. You hope for the best outcome, all the while trying not to entertain thoughts that you may be let down.

Proposing can be nerve-racking, and the last thing you want to worry about when declaring your love is whether you chose the right engagement ring. You want your partner to know that you took care and time in selecting the ring, just for them. This is all part and parcel of sharing in the perfect moment.

So, how can you ensure that you end up with a ring that complements and even elevates the special occasion? Besides buying from a trusted dealer of engagement rings Vancouver, which is recommended, you’ll also want to consider the following:

Study Up on The 4Cs

The 4Cs – Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat Weight – are the most important part of choosing a diamond. GIA created the 4C standard to evaluate the overall quality of a rock. This standard also makes comparing one diamond to another much easier.

Here is a summary of what the 4Cs mean and how this can help you choose a ring:

  • Cut: A diamond’s cut will determine how it interacts with light. This plays a role in its brightness, sparkle, and color flashes.
  • Color: The best diamonds are colorless, as they are much harder to find. Lower-grade diamonds have a brownish or light, yellowish color to them. Color is graded on a D to Z scale, with D representing the best quality diamond.
  • Clarity: An imperfect diamond may come with inclusions and blemishes that make it less valuable (or more affordable if you prefer to think of it that way). Grading for Clarity is rated on a scale from Flawless to Included.
  • Carat Weight: The greater the carat weight, the greater the size of the diamond. In most cases, diamonds with a greater carat weight are considered rarer. When all other factors are equal, the carat weight is usually the deciding factor in whether a diamond is more valuable than the others.

Determining which of the 4Cs is most important to you will help you arrive at a buying decision faster. It will help you eliminate some rocks from the running while homing in on the one that’s going to make your partner light up with delight.

Prioritizing a specific C can also help you manage your budget, and when shopping for engagement rings, cost is always a factor. We’ll look more at budget considerations a little later. First…

Familiarize Yourself with Styles and Trends

Getting acquainted with the various styles of rings as well as recent trends will help you find the right ring for the occasion faster. Just in case – here’s a reminder to keep your Google searches (or print materials like brochures, pamphlets, and magazines) private from your partner, unless you’re okay with ruining the big surprise.

These are the main styles to be aware of – modern, vintage, timeless, romantic, and Bohemian. Vintage rings have never gone out of style, and in some ways, they are more popular than ever. Vintage rings are often rich with history and romantic meaning.

Another ring type that has remained popular since medieval times is heart rings. Heart rings also tend to be a good choice for those who are on a tighter budget.

For period pieces, Art Deco and Art Nouveau style rings are quite trendy, and Bohemian rings are also worth a look, especially if you are looking for something a little more unconventional (after all, doesn’t love transcend all boundaries?).

Consider Your Budget

An engagement ring will be one of the most important purchases you will ever make in your relationship. The traditional advice of spending three month’s worth of your salary on an engagement ring very much applies, even today. If you haven’t saved up that amount yet, you may want to create a plan to set aside a percentage of your income each month.

The good news is that you likely have a good idea of how much three month’s worth of your salary adds up to already. There are no difficult calculations to be made. It’s simply a matter of identifying the budget, and then learning about the rings you can buy for that amount.

An experienced dealer can help you navigate these waters, especially if they strike you as unfamiliar and treacherous. If in doubt, always turn to the advice of a trusted expert.

Keep it Simple

As you’re searching for the ideal engagement ring, you may begin to feel loaded with information. It is well worth spending some time researching your options and taking the time to understand the engagement ring landscape, especially in considering your budget and your preferences (or your partner’s preferences, as the case may be).

With that in mind, you don’t need to go too far down the rabbit hole of bands, settings, side stones, and ring size to find a good fit. You can usually defer to expert guidance when it comes to these items, or even put them off until later.

If you’ve understood all the above, then you are armed with more information than most. There is no need to overcomplicate the search because what it comes down to is your partner. It’s about the special connection you share with them.

Also, note – it isn’t always about the cost of the ring or how amazing it looks. It can be about finding a token that represents your love.

Closing Remarks

Once you’ve chosen the right ring, the other details will tend to take care of themselves – where to propose, what to say, when to say it, and more. With the perfect ring securely tucked away in your pocket, you can rest assured knowing that your partner will respond as you hope they will to your proposal – with joy and excitement.

Best of luck with your engagement.

051 – Rental Drama: The Sequel

051 – Rental Drama: The Sequel

Sometimes there is no logic to the way people treat you. You could pay less for better service. You could pay more for lesser service. And what you end up with isn’t always predictable going in.

In this episode of Creativity Excitement Emotion, David elaborates on the rental drama that recently unfolded in his life.

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Highlights:

00:17 – Being treated worse for more money
01:34 – Blood, sweat, and tears
02:17 – All feelings, no logic
03:10 – Paying back kindness with cruelty

Transcript:

Something that occurred to me about my ridiculous rental situation… I realized that I was staying in Abbotsford for about two years, paying, I think it was $800 or $900 a month. It certainly wasn’t a whole lot more than that.

And I was treated way better there than paying $1,350 at a friend’s house in Vancouver. Like, how does this even add up? Simple math says I should be treated just as well, if not better. And yet, on some level, I think there’s miscommunication, or communication that needs to happen that’s not happening.

“We need you to be out of here in two weeks.” Now, we have no formal written agreement. So, it’s not a situation where I can go back to them and be like, “Yeah, two weeks is not enough.” I’ve pleaded my case already. I’ve already made my case.

I said, “Even if I happen to find a place tomorrow and send in my application, and I’m approved, it’s very unlikely that I’ll be able to move in after two weeks,” and I was met with a dead stare.

So, that kind of tells me everything. They’re clueless. They have no idea what’s going on. Maybe they think I’m lucky, for being able to move from place to place.

Yeah, lucky, sure. You try working your ass off for 10 years or longer to get to this point and build something from nothing. Something that you must put your blood, sweat, tears, and effort into every single day to build.

All I can say is “Good luck with that.” Because most people don’t do it. Honestly, all I can think is they just want to be more buddy-buddy with me or something. They’re expecting way more communication than I’m giving.

Even though they could just as easily, come down, knock on my door, and say “Hi.” See what’s going on and ask about my life, which they don’t do.

So, at the end of the day, it just seems to me it’s all about feelings. It has nothing to do with logic.

Like, if someone was paying me $1,350 per month, and they were living in my basement, and they were quiet and clean, Sure, maybe I’d worry a little bit and check up on them every once in a while and see if they’re okay. But aside from that, I would let them be. I would let them live their life.

I wouldn’t worry too much about their habits as long as they’re not completely out to lunch. And it’s like, “Man, we all miss a meal now and again. We all miss a shower now and again.”

But just because I’m not always eating at home or not always showering at home, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m not doing those things.

I want to ask, like, “Do I look dirty and unhealthy?” Because I don’t. Not even a little bit.

So, this is what you get for being respectful of others. They pay back your kindness with, “Yeah, you can’t be here. We don’t like you.”

Like I said, I think something is missing in communication. I’m not getting something they’re saying, and they’re not getting something I’m saying. They’re just basing everything off things I’ve done or not done, not based on any communication or conversation that’s been had.

All I can say is “Good luck with that,” because I know we’re human, but if you make all your decisions based on, “I don’t want to talk to them.” Sometimes, you’ve got to take the initiative and have those conversations, especially if something’s missing for you.

For someone who’s supposed to be a leader, all I can say is “Good luck.” Good luck. If you make all your decisions about your team based on your feelings, you’re going to mess it up good.

How You Can Feel Totally Empty Even if You Have it All

How You Can Feel Totally Empty Even if You Have it All

I am again aboard the Queen of Cowichan on the 10:10 to Nanaimo. I thought I had approached the passenger deck well before most had exited their vehicles, but apparently, this sailing had a few more walk-ons than normal, as the desks I would normally exploit were all occupied by others.

Has the 10:10 to Nanaimo grown in infamy? Because of my letters? Nah. But it’s fun to think I may have piqued a few curiosities. And this sailing is a little more like the first, with a few creatures of the night peeking out of their hiding holes and even opting to graze in my vicinity.

Fortunately (actually, I don’t know how fortunate this is), there are some woefully uncomfortable stools near electrical outlets, so I’m not forced to give up my writing habit (not that I would have anyway – I would have found another way).

***

My mission to empty my storage was successful on almost every level. I only required the assistance of one gifted organizer and one burly man (the organizer’s husband) to get the lion’s share of the work done in less than two hours. It was not a strenuous two hours either, though I can thank myself for staying consistent with exercise.

I was initially wondering whether I’d need more help, and who would be there to meet me at a reasonable hour to complete the task, but the team of three turned out to be a true power trio.

It seems, however, that even in situations where all the traffic lights magically turn green at exactly the right moment, things never go 100% as planned.

Case in point – we had to drive 31 minutes out of the way to the nearest landfill to do away with that cursed furniture. Of course, that meant more than 31 minutes back to the U-Haul corral, and those orange-wearing slicksters are sticklers for extra mileage since that’s where a good chunk of their change is made (besides insurance, I am told).

(But maybe there’s a good business lesson there.)

Costs were incurred, but I knew before beginning this mission that I would be able to recoup my costs (and even come out on top), by selling a couple of my guitars or unneeded electronics.

Plus, I freed up over $2,100 per year in storage fees, so the immediate costs are offset by future savings (even if I did end up spending about half of what I would normally spend on a move to get this project out of the way).

***

I feel like I understand Robin Williams a little better. I’m not Robin, and I have never occupied his body let alone his mind. I never met him while he was alive, and I never spoke with the man. But I can understand how having it all could still leave someone utterly depressed.

I don’t have it all, yet I don’t consider my accomplishments insignificant. I have usually reinforced this point by quoting glory days Bulls role-player Steve Kerr – “I scraped and clawed for everything I’ve got,” and even that lot could fit comfortably in a cardboard box.

It feels trite, even disrespectful, to say that I did not receive the attention, recognition, and love that I needed from my parents, but in the depths of my being it rings true.

I am not saying that my parents did not love me. I know they did, to the nth degree! I am not saying that they abused, mistreated, abandoned, or neglected me. They didn’t!

No part of me believes they should be held in contempt for their actions if they were ever forced to give an account.

I’m strictly speaking of my experience, in my world, how things occurred to me, as a sensitive child needing attention, recognition, and love.

The result is a gaping hole I cannot fill. I have attempted to do so with most things one can name, especially work, but also food, music, video games, and addictions more generally. And it’s entirely possible I’ll try more ways before this fight is over.

I know full well that even if I do manifest the things I want – a beautiful, 8,000 square-foot home, a model-gorgeous wife, a six-figure business, a kick-ass band that tours the world – that no ambition, no dream, no goal fulfilled can offer permanent relief. It’s an exercise in futility!

But what can one do except try? To balloon the size of their dreams, to wake up every day with delusions of grandeur, to become fully vulnerable once more to everything it will mean to embrace and chase their desires?

I don’t know – I am asking myself as much as I am asking rhetoric.

***

I am recognizing that most relationships, projects, businesses, and even life itself, seem to follow the same trajectory – a bell curve.

After an initial burst of excitement, a project gains momentum, continues to grow, and eventually reaches its peak. Then, if left untended to, it will begin a sure descent into oblivion, even if gradual.

This curve can unfold over months, years, or even decades, so it’s easier to observe in hindsight. It’s difficult if not impossible to pre-empt.

The only way to change the trajectory of anything set into motion, to prevent its peaking and ultimate descent, is to reinvest in the business continually. Usually, though, there is some hesitancy when it comes time to pour more time, energy, and resources into the project. Namely, not enough time, not enough energy, and/or not enough resources.

The only way to change the trajectory of anything set into motion, to prevent its peaking and ultimate descent, is to reinvest. Click To Tweet

But if you beat the odds and somehow manage to keep reinvesting, the curve can continue to chart a hockey-stick growth path. If you don’t, well you already know… a parachute dive into hell (without a parachute).

From this, I gather two things:

  • When a karmic loop has closed, there is no turning back. When it’s done, it’s done, and it’s time to move on, even if it means starting from scratch. This can be an exhilarating process if you let it be.
  • If a project means the world to you, keep reinvesting in it, even if it hurts. Specifically, reinvest in the success of your partners, as Karmic Management suggests – employees, vendors, customers, and ultimately the world.

The reason I’m starting from scratch is because of the former – a karmic loop closed. But it’s an opportunity – an opportunity for Kaizen.