In Search Of Praise

Accolades, cheers, applause.


How often do you get some, much less enough to serve as fuel when you’re in a rough patch?

If you’re like most, you get it in small doses. Your work delivers an “aha” to a client. A reader gains a new insight—and says thank you. Or a happy client refers you and a pointed compliment comes your way.

Few of us work for the thanks—we work for the momentum we build in others. Seeing a client do something they never thought they could is our reward. It’s heady stuff.

But sometimes, we do need to collect praise—testimonials to our work.

I did exactly that last week as I revamp my website. I (gulp) asked a slew of folks who have experienced my work over the last few years for their opinion—their public opinion. I asked for praise.

It felt unnatural and self-centered and I gritted my teeth through the asking.

But guess what? It was a bit like hearing your eulogy except you’re in the back of the church, listening in. (Can I get an Amen?)

I spent a day basking in the warm glow that comes from feeling like your work matters to people who are important to you.

But here’s the lesson.

It’s not just that praise—the deep, strongly resonant emotions you create in others—should be collected as we go.

It’s that praise must be honored. It must be savored. It must be treasured.

No, praise is not the goal.

But it’s good to bask in the glory of what you’ve helped create every so often.


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