Let’s call him PAGTTTS.
He’s sitting across the table from me, in his fancy expansive suit and crisp white papers, which he is tapping on the table, to get the stack perfectly stacked.
I think you’ll be interested in what these here papers have to say.
I kind of doubt that.
You can’t ignore what people think.? This is important.
The stack of papers is growing as you’re speaking.? Don’t you think they’ll keep growing as I am reading them? How could I ever keep up?
Keeping up isn’t the point.? Being informed is the point.? You always have to be as informed as you possibly can be and you’re not getting any closer just sitting there ignoring the growing stack.
No, being informed can’t be the point.? WHY do you want me to be informed?
What are you, a moron?? I want you to be informed so that you know what people want, so that you do what they want, so that they are happy with everything you do.
*cue Mission Impossible theme.
You see that that’s not possible, right?
PAGTTTS puts the stack down and puts both hands down onto the table and leans forward in a menacing way.? He means it to be menacing but that stack of papers is growing so fast I can’t even see him.
Look, can’t you see that you’re drowning in other people’s opinions and that the problem is only getting worse?
The problem is only getting worse because you are ignoring the papers.
I get up and take the stack of papers and put them into their own special house, which can grow along with the stack if need be.
PAGTTTS shrinks.? I bring him a booster seat.
Look, I want us to work this out.? But I can’t talk to you through the stack of paper.
It’s not just a stack of paper, it’s other people’s opinions and they matter.
The stack is out of control.? Look at the house I put it in just a few seconds ago.? It’s 57 stories tall already.? You can put on all the power suits in the world you’re still not going to be powerful enough to handle the stack.? It’s not handle-able.
That’s my job.? Don’t tell me not to do my job.
Your job is to make sure I know what everyone else wants, always, so I can do what everyone else wants, always, so everyone else is happy with me and my work, always.? Is that right?
Don’t you see how much easier your life would be if you were working with me on this?? Everyone would be happy with you, always!
Everyone, except me.
What?? PAGTTTS had started getting bigger but now he shrunk right back down to toddler size.
If I’m just doing what other people want me to be doing then I might as well be a robot.?? That is a BETRAYAL of my creativity and my purpose.? When I make “making other people happy” more important than “doing what is true for me” I don’t do what is true for me and dilute my power and my purpose.
I’m holding up 2 computer chips: one is Making Other People Happy and the other is Doing What Is True For Me.? Only one can fit in the computer.
Other people’s opinions are other people’s business – not mine.? They get between me and my creativity and purpose and make progress impossible.
There is silence for a few minutes.
Listen mister I don’t want to offend you but I can not and will not waste my precious life keeping tabs on what everyone else wants me to do.? I’m putting my foot down.
And just like that, PAGTTTS transforms into Glinda the Good Witch.
That’s a pretty costume, but I think you’re just trying to fool me into doing what you want by making me think you’re on my side.
I am on your side!? But PAGTTTS is having a hard time keeping his costume on and now Glinda is wearing a power suit and looking very uncomfortable.
Don’t you see what happens when I try to make everyone happy?? It’s crazy-making.
Also, have you not heard of sovereignty?
Oh! Of course, that’s it.? Approval-seeking keeps everyone out of their thrones.
I place a crown on PAGTTTS’s head.
PAGTTTS is now a very happy baby, in a purple velvet throne wearing a ridiculously jeweled crown.
I turn around and look into the mirror behind me.? Sure enough, my crown is intact.? And I’m ready to get back to work, creating work that some people will surely misunderstood and others will surely dislike but it’s not my job to pay attention to any of that.
I look at what I’ve done so far on my project and decide to shelve the whole thing and start over.? Turn out PAGTTTS was whispering in my ear and throwing me off track the whole time.? I’m ready now, to do this my way.
My tiny fairy tales are my notes from visiting the Un-Sticking Station inside the Creative Dream Circle which un-sticks stucks like: procrastination, perfectionism, fear, lack of clarity, not knowing what to do and not believing in yourself enough to make your dream real. I created the Un-Sticking Station because I get stuck every day and no not want to STAY stuck, ever.