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Let's talk about 'talking about it'

Supa

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If you're anything like me, when you have something you are really excited about, you want to talk about it with others.

No matter if it's a great movie that held an insane amount of tension throughout it, an awesome book that drew you in from its first page on, a new song that your friend or your partner sure would love if you'd just show it to him/her.

Or, since we are here ...

The very thing you are currently working on.

So, you put so much energy into creating something, you research and research until you know every single Google font of the day from last month.

You're fascinated by whatever it is you do.
You're almost exploding from excitement.
It's yours. Only yours.
Your own little world within the realms of your mind.
The warm feeling in your stomach, whenever your mind wanders to your current project.

Then, one day, you sit down for the weekly dinner with your family.
Everyone's talking about this and that. Jobs and what not.
But your mind can't stop spinning around what's so important to you.
And you can feel that question coming.
You can feel it. You don't like it. You even dread it a bit. You know, it won't do any good.

But then it comes.
Once your brother is done talking about his newest achievement at his job, mom stares at you.
"So, how are things going lately?" she asks.

The wall surrounding your inner world is a pretty thin one.
That untouched, whole world of your own is right behind those walls.

Your mom's question is like a straw being poked through those thin walls.
Once it's reached beyond the wall, everything just pours out.

All that excitement spouts out of your inner world, through your mouth, and into the real world.
You talk and talk about this and that of whatever it is you kept within those thin walls.
And it feels somehow good to finally get it out.
To share your excitement.

Until you come to your senses and see the look on your family's faces.

That look, that says "ahm, honey, a simple 'everything's okay' would've been enough".

Suddenly you feel empty.
There's a big hole in the walls that not only held, but as you see now, also protected your inner world.

And it doesn't even matter, that your dad may take the word after your gush of excitement and says, while his fork his hovering above his plate, ready to satfisfy his hunger:
"Well, that sounds pretty good, doesn't it?"

It's not the words or the reaction of others to your excitement.
You opened your world and exposed that little perfect world of your own to the outer world.
It's like giving someone else a glimpse into that world takes away its feelings of perfectness, of a completely untouched world.

You decide to stop talking about it with others, while you're driving back home. You decide to keep to yourself, until what you do is finished and ready to be shown to others.

It takes a few days, until that hole in the walls surrounding your world get smaller and smaller until it closes. Until the old excitement and feelings of your untouched world come back to you.

Your inner world fills up with excitement again and you feel great.
It's yours. Your own little world. Full of possibilities and fascinating scenery.

It took a full week to get the energy and excitement back, but now it's all yours again.

You sit there, staring at your plate.
The world around you is there, but at the same time it isn't really.
You're in your own little world again.
You hear the scrabbing of forks and knives around you, but they sound far away.
The warm feeling runs through your stomach again.
Excitement fills the world within your mind.
You feel like you could hold that feeling for...

"What about you, honey? How is your project going?"
 

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Ika

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Six months later, and things are turning south.

Your market isn't reacting the way you anticipated.
Your supplier can't fulfill your order in time.
Your client tried to screw you over.

Whatever it is, you've spent the last 3 weeks putting out fires, trying to hold everything together.

"Is this the best use of my time? Will this business go anywhere?"
Suddenly, your own little world is no longer filled with pure excitement. Doubt and Fear became a part.


There you are, at the dinner table. You can feel the question coming. You don't want to hear it. You dread it, but for a different reason.

"What about you, honey? How is your project going?"

You think, maybe it's a good idea to share the problems of the past weeks. If pure excitement didn't work, maybe a realistic answer will.

And in some capacity, it does.
This time, instead of having the "stop-oversharing-your-unrealistic-dreams" look in their eyes, you can see something different. The "I-told-you-so" look.

You try to pivot - from talking about what went wrong to what you've learned from all of this. As your answer changes, so does the look on their face. The "this-kid-is-in-denial-of-reality" look doesn't make you feel better though.

And while you find yourself defending your situation, even though, deep down, you aren't sure if you believe in it anymore, you tell yourself to never share your little world again - no matter how excited or devastated you are.



And over time, your answer becomes generic. Replaceable. What the others want to hear to drop the question. You develop a go-to answer.

"It's going okay. Quite busy, facing some problems, but it's still fun"
 
OP
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Supa

Supa

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You come home later that evening.

As you enter the door you think about what they could've said to you, instead of nodding, if you would've told them the truth.

Nah, it's better this way, you think to yourself as you sit down in front of your desk.

You open up your notebook.
Your finger hovers above the on/off button.
But you don't press it.
You just sit there and stare into the blackness of its display.
Only after a few minutes realizing, that you're staring at yourself in the reflection.

The excitement you always felt after turning that black screen into a gleaming white light, has faded so long ago, you don't even remember exactly how it felt. Only a vague memory of that warm feeling is left in you.

When was the last time, you even got further than entering your password on that gleaming white screen.
Kinda like a bridge, you think, a bridge where you have to pay a toll, before you are allowed to cross it.

It's been a long time since you crossed that bridge into your own little world.

It's still there.
At least that's someting you can still feel.
But it feels empty. Kinda like a neglected scenery, that once was stunning and now turned to a dried up field around a grey-ish hole of water.

"Yeah, it's better I didn't tell them", you say out loud into the silence of your working room.

You stare into that empty face looking at you from the black screen.
Then you flip the notebook shut and get up.

"Tomorrow gonna be better", you tell the room again.

Yeah, how often did you tell yourself that already?

Weeks go by.
Then months.

Yeah you sat down in front of your desk on some of those days. But not once did you switch on the notebook.

You decided to shut up about your project, and that's exactly what you do every friday evening, when your family sits around you scrabbing across their plates and ask you how it's going.

After about 6 months a realization hits you.

The question is still there, but its words changed.

From
"now, honey, what is that project doing?"
to
"now, honey, how are you doing?"

You look up from your plate and that tasty mess of spaghetti all over it.
Mom looks at you with her "did-you-hear-me" look on her face.

"W-what?", you ask.
"I asked if you're feeling good?"
"Yes, mum", you say.

Yes, mum. Yes, I really am.

Two hours later you come home.
But instead of going straight to bed or to your working room like you did on some optimistic evenings before, you get yourself a cold beverage out of the fridge and nip on it while drawing circles on the living room carpet as you walk around and around, while your mind is running its own circles on its own carpet.

A dim light starts to flicker within you.

The light gets brighter and brighter and slowly starts to give off a warm breeze that fills your stomach.

You start thinking about where rather than what if.

Where did my project started to go south?
Not, what if I tell them my project has gone south?

You kept up that mask of "It's going okay. Quite busy, facing some problems, but it's still fun" on for so long, that you never even thought about telling yourself the truth:

"I really F*cked that up, right? Fix it or close it."

You exit your own drawn circle in the living room and go to your desk.
You sit down in front of your notebook and open it up.
Your finger hovers above the button again.
Only this time, you press it.
You enter your password.

Toll paid, welcome to your world, sir, you think to yourself and a little smile appears on your lips.

Next friday comes and with it the before so dreaded question. That question, that changed long before you even realized it.

"What about you, honey? Is everything going good lately?"

"Yes, I am, Mum", you say. "Yes, I am."
 

WJS

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I don't understand the constant seeking of acceptance from others. Let the money do the talking. Most will never understand your world view. No need to sulk about it.
I wouldn't say it's seeking acceptance from others. It's more like hoping the people around you would be more supportive as you go through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. Like how a star athlete would want his family members to be around when he's competing. They probably won't understand what he's going through but just by being there to support is enough for him. Likewise many of the members here hoped that the people surrounding them could be more supportive instead of saying:

- stop wasting your time and be more realistic
- stop dreaming and get a job
- you'll fail this one, just like how you've failed your previous ventures
- don't come looking for me when you're dead broke from losing your money in your business
- why can't you be more like (neighbour's son who makes big money working for other people)?

With all these "encouragements", we eventually keep quiet and stick to the usual topics like the weather, the latest movies, gossip etc, because until and unless you achieve success, no one is going to care and that's what the OP is sad about.
 

Lord Business

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I wouldn't say it's seeking acceptance from others. It's more like hoping the people around you would be more supportive as you go through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. Like how a star athlete would want his family members to be around when he's competing. They probably won't understand what he's going through but just by being there to support is enough for him. Likewise many of the members here hoped that the people surrounding them could be more supportive instead of saying:

- stop wasting your time and be more realistic
- stop dreaming and get a job
- you'll fail this one, just like how you've failed your previous ventures
- don't come looking for me when you're dead broke from losing your money in your business
- why can't you be more like (neighbour's son who makes big money working for other people)?

With all these "encouragements", we eventually keep quiet and stick to the usual topics like the weather, the latest movies, gossip etc, because until and unless you achieve success, no one is going to care and that's what the OP is sad about.
That's what I'm saying - people are egoistical beings, no-one really gives a crap about anyone else's visions and dreams. That's why I'm kind of repulsed by the habit of always asking people "How are you" without ever really wanting to know.
And you also made my point - the sooner you quit giving a fak about the encouragement or judgement you receive from other, the sooner you get to focus on your goal. Why try to tell anyone what you are trying to achieve who doesn't understand anyways. Just like you won't talk sports with your wife but with your friends.
There's nothing to be sad about. We ourselves are daily ignorant to things other people are going through or dream about and just like them, we don't always know how to participate or encourage. I see clinically depressed people every day and the basic advice they get from wellmeaning friends is "Oh comeooon, just cheer up and relax and don't be se moody all the time" - that's like spitting on someone with a disease. So, that's just a normal thing in life.
My point is that people who always wait for the acceptance will never achieve their true potential.
Like late great Dennix Felix said:"Just let go."
 

WJS

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That's why I'm kind of repulsed by the habit of always asking people "How are you" without ever really wanting to know. "
As much as I hate to make small talk, I recognize the power and benefits it brings to a relationship, whether it is professional or not.

Why try to tell anyone what you are trying to achieve who doesn't understand anyways. Just like you won't talk sports with your wife but with your friends. "
I would say that different people have different needs. Some people don’t do well when they go through things on their own and they need the support of their loved ones. I understand that, and while I personally don’t need to include people in my journey, I can empathize with them.

I see clinically depressed people every day and the basic advice they get from wellmeaning friends is "Oh comeooon, just cheer up and relax and don't be se moody all the time" - that's like spitting on someone with a disease."
I totally get what you mean. Sometimes I get into sticky situations due to concerns of well-meaning friends. While it pisses the hell out of me, I’ve learnt to take it as a sign that they care enough about me to do or say something. No one would be bothered if you mean nothing to them right?

Anyway it’s good to have a good debate once in a while. Keeps the mind sharp. Thanks for your reply.
 
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ZF Lee

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And you also made my point - the sooner you quit giving a fak about the encouragement or judgement you receive from other, the sooner you get to focus on your goal. Why try to tell anyone what you are trying to achieve who doesn't understand anyways.
I approach conversations these days with 'What's in it for me if I provide X value?'

If I don't like what is going to come out of that talk, it's a no-no.

Even speaking to people feels like going to review pitches from businesses. :inpain::inpain::inpain:

I would say that different people have different needs. Some people don’t do well when they go through things on their own and they need the support of their loved ones. I understand that, and while I personally don’t need to include people in my journey, I can empathize with them
At the end of the day, we still do need people in our lives.

That is why we all congregate around here at TFLF...to have people around who truly share similar interests and experiences.

That being said, I still keep my ears open for the 'I hate this' or 'I wish there was' validation speech for new ideas. You may never know where it may come from!

Thanks @Supa for your thoughts. Sad, but insightful.
 

WJS

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I approach conversations these days with 'What's in it for me if I provide X value?'
If I don't like what is going to come out of that talk, it's a no-no.
Even speaking to people feels like going to review pitches from businesses. :inpain::inpain::inpain:
I hope not all your conversations are "purely business", otherwise life would be really one-dimensional. Lol. Having said that, not everyone will reciprocate so don't get your hopes too high or you'll be disappointed.

That being said, I still keep my ears open for the 'I hate this' or 'I wish there was' validation speech for new ideas. You may never know where it may come from!
Yep, these are indeed good sources for potential business ideas
 
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Supa

Supa

Came for the $. Stayed for the Ice Cream.
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Thanks for all your replies, especially @Ika ‘s first one really made me smile, seeing it like a story being continued was great!

Thanks for your kind words @ZF Lee.

Thinking about the post now, yes, it can be seen as being sad about how things are. And to some degree it is, especially when it‘s your family or closest friends.

The thought I wanted to get across, though, is how easy it is for your excitement to take a hit, as soon as you let others into your own little world, or give them a glimpse of it.

For me, excitement is best kept within oneself and ones own world.
 

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