Monday, September 23, 2013

The Bitters

I post quotes.

I have been doing it for a number of years, an outgrowth of one of the authors (Brian Tracy) that I read:  "Find a useful quote.  Send it to fifty people."  And so, over the years, I have been collecting quotes from everywhere:  literature, audio books, business books, the internet itself.  Over time my planners have filled up in the back - and rolled to the front - with the quotes I have gotten.

Thanks to the wonder of Facebook and Twitter, I have the mechanism for the outreach of quotes:  every day Monday through Friday I post one or two.   I post one around general life or achievement and one that tends to be around some aspect of business.  The pleasure comes from seeing people "like" them - an indication that they have found something significant quote.  It is a small way for me to feel like I am contributing to the life and achievements of others.

Except.

Some time ago - maybe a year? - I posted a quote (I do not recall what one now) to which someone posted a snarky answer.  It surprised me a bit, both because of who did it and the fact that they did it publicly.  It depressed me because I always want to encourage, not upset - so much so that I stopped posting them for a while.  Time passed of course, and I started posting them again - with the same sort of general "likes" in a day. 

Then it happened again.

It rocked me back on my heels again - not just because of who did it but that they did it publicly.  I fought the initial response of deleting the post - after all, I think that a third party reading it will find it as jarring as I did and I suppose that is not a bad thing - but I had to circle back and review what I was doing again.

Fortunately this morning I was reading Linchpin by Seth Godin and came across the following quote:

"You can spend your time on stage pleasing the heckler in back, or you can devote it to the audience that came to hear you perform".

Of course.  I can pay attention to the 1% that seem intent on voicing their opinion (if you do not agree with somebody, just do not comment or even ignore them), or I can focus on the 99% that seem to be garnering some value out of my daily activity.  Where is the correct focus?

Some people just seem to have a case of the bitters.  The trick is not to let them dominate your life or ruin your attempts to better it.

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