Part 1. The Nugget
You do cool stuff. You have valuable thoughts. Naturally, you share them.
But what should you share and with who?
I’ve been circling this question for a while now. Upon meditation over several sessions — many of which sparked thought tangents every which way, like molten metal coursing its way through an ant colony — the answer to the question is simply this:
Share whatever you think adds value with whoever you think it’s appropriate to share with.
Admittedly, a bit vague on first peek — but it’s because value is inherently (a) overlaid and (b) variable/abstract. Humans are responsible for providing and perceiving value, so what you may find valuable or meaningful may be of no benefit to another (ye olde “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” cliche). Note also the time dimension — something worthless now may become valuable in the future. Overall, sharing involves a judgment call and it is yours. Recruit your intelligence and intuition when making it.
As with many other things, when you share, you don’t necessarily know how it will be received. You may have a fair idea (say, through previous experience), but you don’t necessarily know. And that’s part of the fun.
To share is to reveal. How much you reveal is up to you. What’s that? You have herpes? Cool.
You see, some might hate what you share (and possibly by extension, you). Others might love it. Sharing removes doubt and helps attract people who actually like you. Are you willing to take the risk?
So please, do share.
Part 2. An Exploration of My Own Behaviour
Often, I’ve kept thoughts to myself, thinking them valueless, despite an overwhelming urge to share. However, I tend to appreciate what others share — even though I myself may not have shared what they’ve shared (“Ooh look, a cloud!”) Double standards much?
Another reason why I stifle my thoughts is that I see them as harmful to someone or to my reputation.
On occasion, after posting something on Facebook and seeing a few ‘Like’ notifications, I catch myself thinking whether I did the right thing, for the right reasons and question whether this validation is ‘deserved’. During these moments, I frequently attribute myself guilty of seeking external validation, and scold myself mentally. Upon the whole, I (waveringly) perceive what I’ve shared as moments of weakness.
92% of the world population agree that validation feels great† – and I’m part of the majority here (thanks for reading by the way; you’re awesome :). I simply tend to be overly critical of whether I’ve shared something because it might brighten someone’s day or because I wanted my ego stroked. The spotlight is all-too-often pleasantly bitter for me in hindsight.
Overall, I’ve too frequently undervalued my own opinions. “Speak only if it improves the silence” Gandhi is purported to have said and I’d taken this too liberally.
And you know what? It’s okay to suck. Get things wrong. Screw up. Offend someone (try to avoid it, of course). So I’mma share with less restraint because:
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
(Remember to temper this sentiment with reason, however!)
# Why can’t everyone just see how great I am without me having to tell them?!?!
† Source: Science.