Humans crave validation from other humans, and from ourselves.
Now, some people think that those who overtly seek validation should be dismissed as “shallow” or something, but the bottom line is ALL humans are hard wired to NEED validation.
The problem is when we try and ignore this, we open ourselves up to manipulation. It’s one of those subconscious drivers of human behavior that’s there whether we like it or not.
If we become overly concerned with “short term” validation, then it can become a problem, and we start to behave like “those people,” meaning everything we do is perceived as selfish and self serving.
I like to think of short term validation as like a “sugar high” from eating a donut or something. It feels really good in the moment, but it quickly fades and you feel really down. The tendency is to seek more short term sugar highs, which can lead to a cycle of self destructive behavior.
On the other hand, longer, deeper and more natural validation is like eating fruits, veggies and healthy fats. Slow burn, long term energy.
Short term validation is always seeking approval “in the moment,” while long term validation is like developing a good “reputation.”
Somebody who’s genuinely kind, genuinely interested in helping others without needing an immediate reward, and somebody that’s genuinely pleasant to be around.
Then there’s the best validation you can get, which is that which comes from within.
It’s one thing to build up a solid reputation, so whenever you behave “selflessly” you’re also keeping your reputation, (which necessarily depends upon the opinions of others) intact, but it’s something altogether different to ONLY be concerned with how you view yourself.
Like maybe you KNOW you are doing the right thing, but you also know that NOBODY will ever know.
They say the truest measure of character is how you behave when nobody is looking.
Ultimately, we ARE the judges of our own behavior, so you’d be better be able to sit quietly with yourself in peace.
Paradoxically, this mindset is also the absolute BEST way to persuade and influence others.
Figure out what they want, figure out how you can present your ideas in terms of their desires, and do so in a way so it seems like it was their idea all along.
They’re happy because they’re doing what you AND they want, and you’re happy because you are at peace with yourself and your environment.
When you can do this consistently, almost without thinking, then you’ve got it made.