Hear What You Want

There are excellent new TV commercials out by Beats by Dre headphones. There are currently two versions: one with Kevin Garnett (director's cut link) and Colin Kaepernick (director's cut link). Both commercials show each sports star on a bus with have angry fans or “haters” yelling disparaging and even racist things about them and violently throwing eggs and various things at their bus window.

After a while both put their Beats headphones on and listen to the song, The Man, by Aloe Blacc (iTunes link) who is saying “You can tell everybody, I'm the man, I'm the man, I'm the man...” After this they them are unaffected by all the negativity. The words “Hear What You Want” then flash on the screen.

I love the idea of looking to yourself and choosing what you want to hear about yourself. People will always have issues with the way you are. But since they are not you, their issues are about them. Yet it is so easy to take on their negativity and make it about you. I love how this commercial empowers the athlete or artist to choose their focus which allows them to not take on the negativity that never was about them anyway.

There is an old Alcoholics Anonymous saying that says, “What people think about you is none of your business.”

But there is a seductive quality to wondering what people are saying about us. It entices us to look outside of ourselves to evaluate ourselves rather than looking inside.

But the effect of exposing yourself to the negativity is not to be underestimated. If you plan on doing original and creative work, I would argue that you cannot afford to allow any negativity in about what you are creating. The negativity often mirrors your own negative self beliefs (which also came from people outside of yourself) and it is so easy to get talked out of completing the precious work that you are creating.

Seth Godin writer, blogger, and originator of many powerful ideas will not expose himself to any negative criticism of his work. He understands how destructive it is to his creative process.

So in addition to wearing headphones, how can you protect the way you see yourself by focusing on how you really are on the inside?

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