Don’t chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard. The right people–the ones who really belong in your life–will come to you. And stay.” -Will Smith
I believe deeply in simplicity.
One of my biggest blogging goals is to take complex concepts about living a more positive life, and streamline them in hopes of making it easier for thousands (maybe millions, one day?) of people to finally put them into action.
Here are five of my favorite examples:
1) What you allow is what will continue.
2) Stop complaining.
3) Leave the world better than you found it.
4) You have nothing to prove to anyone.
5) Be your own hero.
And now, it’s time for another positivity solution (see what I did there?) that can save you from a ton of unnecessary pain and misery if you choose to follow it consistently:
Only go where you are wanted.
Go Where You Are Wanted
This is a lesson that has taken me way too long to learn, but now that I finally get it, I can’t even begin to put into words how soul-nourishing it is to live in this way.
Here’s a recent example of it in action:
A couple of weeks ago, I was approached out of the blue by a meeting planner to speak at a big conference–which is something that I’ve done quite a few times now, and I absolutely love doing it.
When I replied back to her email and told her about my speaking topic (the importance of positivity in the workplace), I could tell that she thought my topic was corny, stupid, or both by her half-hearted response:
“Okay. Just send me your proposal and I’ll get back to you.”
Yep, I knew exactly what that meant. Another person who probably thinks that a speech about “positivity at work” is going to be 45-minutes of incoherent rambling about why dreaming of rainbows, butterflies and kittens are the only ways to improve the workplace (clearly, she doesn’t know me very well, huh?)
Even so, I sent her my proposal and then I forgot about it.
One of my buddies, who is also a conference speaker, asked me if I was going to follow-up with her.
“Nope. If it’s meant to be, it will happen. These days, I only go where I’m wanted.”
Then something interesting happened.
A few days later, I was coincidentally asked by a former guest blogger of mine to speak in front of a large audience of healthcare leaders on the exact same topic.
To make a long story short, I passionately gave my speech and immediately received a standing ovation from the entire audience–which I have to admit was one of the coolest things that I’ve experienced in a while.
Afterward, a large line of people formed to chat with me after the speech. One guy in particular came up to me with tears in his eyes, he thanked me for being someone who “gets it,” and then he bear-hugged me and told me that my speech had changed his life forever.
That’s what it feels like to go where you’re wanted.
That’s also why I’ll never fight to go somewhere where I’m not. Ever.
Fighting to be Wanted
We all want to be wanted–anyone who says that they don’t is lying. I know that I want to be wanted.
But here’s the thing: I am no longer willing to push, fight, or worst of all, beg anyone to want me.
I’ve been there before, and I can safely say that it is the most pitiful way to live. If you’re reading these words and you’re in that dark place right now, then I hope that I can convince you to make a better choice.
I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with letting a potential employer, or even a potential significant other, know all of the awesome things that you bring to the table. But as soon as you’ve done that once (or twice, at the absolute most), then you have to find the self-control–or really, the self-respect–to make like Elsa from Frozen, and let it go.
Is there really any other choice that makes sense?
Trying to force a square peg into a round hole by gritting your teeth and somehow forcing them to realize how much of a mistake it is to not choose you, isn’t a good look–believe me. Going down that road will only succeed in making you look pathetic, desperate, and more than a little stalker-ish.
If they don’t want you, then why in the hell should you want them?
If you applied for a job and made it to the final round of interviews, but after your last interview they didn’t respond to your last two follow-up emails–why are you considering sending them a third follow-up email? Seriously??? Don’t.
If you sent a Facebook friend request to someone and he didn’t respond to it after a month, are you really going to send multiple follow-up messages asking if he got your friend request? Trust me, he got your friend request and he’s not interested.
If you went on a date with someone and even though you had a great time, she hasn’t responded to your calls, texts and emails since that date, then it’s probably time for you to take the hint and move on.
This all may be hard to hear, and I’m good with that. I wish that someone hit me over the head with these truths when I did every single one of the things listed above.
Remember this, you are too good to fight and beg to be wanted by anyone.
Go where you are celebrated, not tolerated.” -Unknown
It’s one thing if you’re pursuing a job or a potential significant other, but what if you’re currently in a relationship (professional or personal) where you’re not wanted?
If so, I need you to answer this question for me:
Why would you want to stay?
If you’re in a romantic relationship with someone who doesn’t appreciate you or treat you with respect–why stay?
If you’re working in a job where your boss, your coworkers, your company, or all of the above, couldn’t give a damn whether you lived or died–why stay?
If you have a “friend” who all of a sudden is screening out your calls and has been purposely ignoring your communication attempts for weeks on end–why stay?
Or better yet, here’s a much more important question that’s a little harsh, but it needs to be asked:
What is so broken inside of you that you are willing to accept these crumbs as the best life has to offer you?
One of my best friends asked me that exact question after I crawled back to my ex-girlfriend and begged her to stay with me after I caught her cheating on me.
You read that right.
Pathetic, I know. But something was broken in me then, and it was that question that made me realize it.
If something is broken inside of you where you mistakenly believe that you have to accept the scraps of what life has to offer, and that you have fight and beg to be wanted by anyone–I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong. Dead wrong.
Honor yourself enough to only go where you are wanted, and ideally celebrated.
Life is too short to do anything else.
Have you ever fought to stay somewhere where you weren’t wanted? Have you ever found the courage to walk away from a situation where you weren’t being fully honored? If so, jump into the comments below and make your voice heard!