A Compliments File
I keep a journal in an app called Day One. While I don’t think everyone should use this app necessarily, it has a great tagging feature. I tag everything in it from good days to bad days, days where I’ve felt tired, symptoms I’ve had, any interesting changes in my child.
A few years ago, someone sent me an incredible email complimenting my music. Apparently, this person had been listening to my tunes for about a decade and felt the need to write me about how much my music has helped them along their journey. It validated everything I do with my art. Made every single painstaking decision, cut, mix, whatever, all worthwhile.
So I took a screenshot of it and stored it in my journal. I tagged it with Compliment. As of now, that compliment file has about 100-150 items in it.
It seems a little bit self-centered. Who would create a file all about compliments?
But the truth is It serves a number of functions. One of them is that it lifts me up on days where I’ll read a negative review of myself. It doesn’t make me forget about the negative words, which may have been true and therefore may have cut even more deeply than they would have if they were false. And it reminds me that despite negative reviews, opinions, looks, or whatever that I might get on a day to day basis… there are people who get me, and care about what I do. And the same goes for you, reading this.
The second thing is that it reminds me that even some of the things I’ve created that I didn’t even care about that much resonated with some folks quite deeply. Even posts from this blog that I wrote haphazardly have been re-shared when I didn’t think that any re-sharing would’ve happened. It supports the idea that I should keep creating, even if what I make isn’t that great, or even if not everyone likes it.
But the third thing it does, and this is crucial, is it instills the habit of noticing my wins. Everyone could stand to do this, and almost everyone would benefit from it. Once you start noticing your wins, you notice that you win more than you think.
And the losses, while they might stick out in your mind, are usually just a bump on the path to winning.