SHOW NOTES EPISODE 46:
Are you pleasing people, or serving people?
This conversation, or monolog, became my theme for June. The thoughts I’ll present here were thoughts I had to grow into and slowly slowly develop.
Finally, I had a breakthrough last week. I was out with a friend and we got a little bit drunk and we started talking and I started sharing those things I’ve thought about and suddenly I had my one-sentence conclusion:
My kind of strugglesome thoughts could be summed with this:
Are you pleasing people, or are you serving people?
So let’s go back.
I’ve been reading a book called The Little Book of Letting Go. There is one chapter in there that talked about how a person is usually not asking you, what he or she is literally asking you.
As an example: a child paints a picture of the sun, he draws outside the lines and you can barely see that it’s actually sun. He runs up to his mom screaming “look mommy, do you like it?!” and the mom immediately says “that’s so beautiful, it’s a sun! You’re so talented, you did this really well”.
The boy is happy, he heard what he wanted to hear, and the mom is happy because she got to show love to her son.
See, the boy wasn’t actually asking the mom if she liked the picture. He didn’t want her honest opinions about this drawing: he wanted acknowledgement, love and attention.
The mom didn’t even care about the picture because she knew this.
And the mom had no agenda to tell the boy that he wasn’t a very good drawer, her only agenda was to give the boy what he needed: love.
This is the best example there is.
So I read this and I became so aware of how many times my friends ask me something or tell me something or give me the opportunity to tell them my opinion, but if I took one second to really think about what they’re asking, underneath those words, I could help them way more.
A friend of mine was venting about this girl he’s seeing, and she’s treating him really bad…. “maybe I’m overreacting? Should I stay?”.
He’s not asking me about the girl, he already knows if he should stay with her or not, what he really wants is for me to confirm to him that he’s strong and well and will be fine with or without her because he’s a great person and i got your back.
I ask my grandpa if he liked this new pop song I wrote. Well, I don’t really need to hear his opinion about the song because I know he’s not the biggest fan of ‘dunkna dunka music’, what I’m unconsciously asking for is “are you proud of me?”.
So I made a promise to become a better listener in order to truly be able to help people, deeper. I no longer wanted to just throw out my spontaneous reply or opinion or feedback. I wanted to hear beyond, what are they actually working towards, personally, and how can my answer help them get there.
I decided to stop pleasing, giving them an immediate answer, and instead start serving, trying to learn how to help them help themselves.
Ok, stick with me, it’s getting easier.
So I thought of this a bit more and I’ve struggled a little bit with my daily “job” as an artist.
I realised I has started pleasing my audience, instead of serving them.
See, when I started building my audience, 15 years ago, I started my twitter account when i was still in high school, I got a message from someone saying 'hey, that youtube cover you uploaded, I really like it" and I got so excited about someone acknowledging my existence and I would do anything for them. I answered every single tweet every single message every single email, I actively reached out people, I followed people on Twitter. it was everything I wanted, I just wanted to find my people. And I realized, now after ten years of doing this, I have gone from reaching out to my people trying to just please the ones I already have I have. I have spent the last year just doing everything I can to please the people that have supported me for all those years. and that's really hard because a lot of the people who follow me and support me found me when I was a 20-year-old Lost Girl in England just trying to play music. And I am no longer that girl. So the girl is supported, I have tried to hard to still please them, to give them what they want and I cannot because I'm not what they initially found.
My conclusion is I would like to find a way to stop pleasing people, and start serving people. You know there is such a huge difference between pleasing people and serving people.
Pleasing people is telling them what they want to hear quickly. it's like I have spent the last 10 years every morning I go on Twitter and Instagram and Facebook and Tumblr and Pinterest. and I answer every single message every single mention every single message, I try to answer every single email. This is not a deep conversation. I just say good morning thank you so much I wish you beautiful day' and I mean it. I truly genuinely, mean it but this that message to this person is not serving anybody. it doesn't serve that person, it doesn't serve me, it doesn't serve the community, it's pleasing that person in that moment. it's making that person feel satisfied with him or herself but instead, if I focused on not pleasing people anymore but only do things to serve that means that I would spend my time offering thoughts and ideas, books, writings, poetry, music, songs, that you could take into your own life and hopefully these things would make you feel belonged or loved, or understood or it would make you question how you have lived or how you have done things or have you have you have viewed a situation. That would serve you in the long run.
so the difference is the cleaning someone is a fast food industry I am immediately giving you a sense of pleasure while serving someone is making you, ehm, it's enabling you to make yourself feel better in the long run.
I hope that makes sense.
I am obviously on social media as an artist so my perspective on social media is that I see people using social media as a fast-food industry. it's the "10 days to a better life" "9 steps to better body" "3 steps to a better relationship". like this is marketing. you're being marketed, fake things. this is not intelligence, it's not wisdom, it's not enlightened, it's marketing. fast food, fast results, fast development: it doesn't exist. what matters is building Brick by Brick, building a foundation, building a connection to somebody, building skills building your body, building whatever you know today
I realise that I have become a victim of and I have contributed to the fast result, fast food, fast pleasing industry. and I don't want to be a part of it. I don't want to please anybody anymore, I want to serve people. so those messages that I sent out every morning to please people, to say good morning so that people won't be disappointed in me so people stay in my tribe, so people won't leave my patreon... it's not serving you, it’s not serving me. instead I wish .. I will, respect myself respect you, respect my time, respect your time enough, to only serve, by going back to creating things. that can make a proper impact in your life,
that was a rant.
obviously, i am speaking from the viewpoint of an artist, of some sort of public persona, but this is for everyone. I can see everyone around me doing everything to please instead of serving and it’s such a huge difference.
let’s say that i have an hour left. should i please people, quickly make them feel good about themselves,. or should i aim to serve in the long run? cause those two things will make me do completely different things.
i have been an artist and an author for ten years now, i realise, it takes so long to just learn how to be an artist. this thing of learning how to relate to a following, or to people around you, it’s super important, because what’s happening is, i was 19 years old when i started building my fanbase, those people who found me then, they want to see who I was then. and then i was this young girl who was hungry for fame and acknowledgment and acceptance and i wanted everyone to see me. i’m not that girl anymore, because i’m ten years older. so i am no longer seeking to prove anything to other people, and this is important because this is what i think is growing up. i think growing up is no longer trying to prove others. i think growing up is working from an internal point of view, i am only trying to prove myself, to myself, what i can do. and it doesn’t mean that you’re ignorant to other people, it means you know that you will serve people better when you work from an internal force and passion.
but then there are those people who found me when i was 19 and tell me “i can’t relate to you anymore. i no longer like what you’re doing. your music has changed. i no longer like your music. you dress differently, you talk to me in a different way, you no longer spend 5 hours every day writing to me on twitter. and part of being a person who’s constantly changing and growing is learning and accepting that sometimes people will not grow with you.
i believe that you live life in cycles, you live in like 8-year cycles. as much as i would like to believe in love that lasts forever, i think that you find people for every cycle of your life. if you’re lucky, you live with them for one cycle, 8 years, and if you’re lucky you grow in the same way those 8 years so you can take another 8 years together.
But what often happens is that you are perfect for each other in the beginning of the cycle but then you find yourselves growing in different ways so at the end of those 8 years you are two very different people and you can no longer really relate.
so back to the point: it’s so hard to say goodbye to people, but it’s necessary for your growth.
so back to my point, sometimes you have to say goodbye to people in your life because you have outlived your story together and you must move on.
Lately, i have found the same with how you live. I have spent one eight-year cycle pleasing people and i have outgrown the need for acceptance and acknowledgment and i now entering a new cycle where I will serve. not please. serve. and it might not feel pleasant always, because i will tell you truth and people don’t want the truth, they want stories and compliments and apologizes and the truth is usually harder than that.
And i also know that people usually don't know what they actually need, and want. they think they know what they want but what that is, is a quick fix. you don’t really want to quit your job and win on the lotto. you want to work with something that enables you to feel like a winner every day.
i am going to no longer be a victim and be a contributor to the fast-food industry. i am no longer please you with fast replies and message. i am going to spend my time creating carefully thought out creations that can serve you in the long run, that can serve more people, and also serve myself. going back to creating music. writing books. sharing thoughts. sharing ideas.
You can work on yourself as a human being so much and you can grow yourself and you can work on your music and create a beautiful song with a video and artwork and you hold this and you think this is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever created. and you put it out and there will be someone writing to you saying, this changed my life, and there will be another person saying this is so bad, you should stop doing music. you can not escape this. this is going to happen, it happens to me all the time.
the negativity very often takes over. if you get one positive message and one negative, you’re gonna think about the negative, sadly.
the art is learning to speak to the ones that get you...
well… I think that’s it.
I’d like to offer you the challenge, a challenge you don’t have to share with anybody:
The challenge goes like this:
Learn to not need your friend to know your immediate opinion. Think one more time if you expressing your opinion about something, will make your friend a happier, kinder, more enlightened human being. Is there something else you can say, steer them into new thoughts or ideas, or ways of asking the question?
I challenge you to stop pleasing people, and instead think about: how can you serve?