“I discovered years ago that although I couldn’t keep people from criticising me unjustly, I could do something infinitely more important: I could determine whether I would let the unjust condemnation disturb me. Let’s be clear about this: I am not advocating ignoring all criticism. Far from it. I am talking about ignoring only unjust criticism.”
Doing the thing society tells you not to do is a quick way to overcome the jitters. The jitters that society uses against you in auto-suggestion form.
Close your eyes for one second. For those of you who live in Japan, China, Korea, and other countries around the world – visualize being on a train. What do you see? Who do you see? Are they all doing the same thing? 9 times out of 10 – they are. They’re standing a specific way in fear that someone may be looking at them, video recording them, or even taking a picture of them. People are terrified of being criticized by others so they conform to doing the same thing other people do.
Back in the south of Thailand, Thai teachers would say, “why do you go running? You’re a teacher. You shouldn’t be seen in public. Why are you singing? Why are you happy? You’re a teacher! You can’t do that!”
So, I approved of the outlandish “Thai Culture” suggestion, indicating that I need to have a specific character to fit the description of an abysmal teacher.
I broke away from those chains over the last two years. For instance, on a typical day I go running, I wear a headband (as I do on the bus when I head to the gym), and depending on if people are looking at me in a particular way, I sing/rap to whatever I’m listening to. Why? Because I’m literally telling the world that I don’t give a GOD DAMN about them.
Onlookers look at me in awe, shaking their heads – sometimes in disgust because they’ve never seen a runner sweat the way I do. That’s fine. They can think whatever the hell they want to think because at the end of the day I always ask myself: are they paying my bills? Are they investors? Do they even respect me? No. So you don’t even exist to me.
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