Every year for Christmas my mom gets me one of those daily calendars. You know the kind – each day has its own page and when it’s done you tear it off and move on to the next one. They’re also themed. My favorite up to now was last year’s Mensa. When I’d get to my desk I’d tackle that day’s puzzle and I’d feel super smart the rest of the day.
I think this year’s may be my new favorite: “Wild Words from Wild Women”. Each day there’s a quote from some smart, sassy, rambunctious, and/or clever lady that’s meant to motivate and inspire.
It already has. One of my resolutions – goals – whatever you want to call it – for 2012 is to write more. I write a lot at The Local Tourist, but that’s an entirely different sort of prose. I want to Write. I want to plumb the depths of my creativity so that when I think I’ve hit bottom I reach a little further and expand those limits. Life is dramatic and I want to write things I can’t write in my drama-free website. I want to write a novel. I want to capture the things I see with words so that readers witness it as well.
I want to write.
So, this year I’m going to take those wild words from those wild women and let them be a starting point. Each day I’m going to start with the quote and run with it. Am I going to miss some days? You betcha. One thing about setting successful goals is that they have to be realistic, and I know that there will be days when writing isn’t. Heck, I’m an entrepreneur after all, which means my calendar often looks like an Escher sketch. But I’m certainly going to try.
Day 1: “It does no harm to the ego to be worshiped.” – Mae West, the one and only
That reminds me of another quote. A lyric from Alanis Morissette says “See this pedestal is high and I’m afraid of heights”. I used to think that. I had fear of success. I was shy and introverted and afraid of being considered pushy, egocentric, or even worse, egotistical.
I’m getting over it.
As an entrepreneur self-confidence and belief in myself are necessities. Without them I’m afraid to reach out to potential advertisers and partners. With them I can sell out events and grow a team of impassioned contributors.
Having an ego is also a requirement for a healthy personal life. I had “friends” that took more than they gave, whose integrity was questionable and care for others false. I’ve had to distance myself from some and completely remove others from my life. Believe you me, that SUCKS, but the rare times I have had to do it I’ve felt like I’ve excised a toxic poison.
My questionable taste included men. There was a time in my life, a very long time, when it veered towards control freaks. I used to think that I didn’t want my partner to put me on a pedestal. I wanted to be equals.
What I’ve learned in the last couple of years is that if I put him on a pedestal too, then we are equals. I adore my “Significant Jim”, as my dad calls him. He adores me. Knowing that someone I respect, love, and admire feels the same about me makes me feel worshiped, and Ms. West is right – it definitely does no harm to the ego.
That is a good thing. I’m not going to get all Ayn Rand on you, but I do believe that if everyone had a sense of their own self-worth the world would be a happier place. Lately I’ve had some anonymous commenters say that I have an “over-inflated ego”. To that I say Yes, I do have an ego. I am proud of what I’ve been able to create and what I do with my life. I’m proud that I’ve built something from scratch that I honestly believe makes the world a better place. It elicits unsolicited testimonials and I’ve got a photo album of screenshots from people who’ve proclaimed their love for my business. It’s heady; it’s intoxicating; it’s awesome.
I want that for everybody.
We’re taught to accept accolades humbly. That’s OK, but I think that any time someone praises you a little happy dance is in order. Beam from ear to hear, offer profuse and sincere thanks, and most importantly, accept it. Own it. Use it.
Give yourself permission to be worshiped and have a healthy ego. Then be amazed at how far you can go.