Hugh MacLeod is writing a book proposal based on his “How to be Creative” outburst a few months back on his blog. I thought the original stuff was full of painful truths and blogged about it mightily. Here’s a wise nugget that is actually just a section header from his new post about it:

“The best way to get approval is not to need it.”

I’ve always thought that being driven by the approval of others was a bad way to do business and live your life, because it allows the whole world veto power over every move you make. In the end, you have to live the life and do what you do. You can’t spend all your time wondering what everyone will think about what you do.

You want people to like you and to like your work and I do too. If it doesn’t happen, then we continue forward. Hugh is always on this soapboax – first step is to do the work you must. If you are sufficiently talented and persistent, you might eventually get something approximating what you deserve in the long run if you are lucky. Or you might not, as life is tough and the world is a cold place. You do the work because you want to do the work or must do the work, and the acclaim (in the rare case there is any) comes after. The most tedious people are the ones trying to make it to the acclaim while skipping the boring part of the work.

Published by


Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father. Member of the Podcast Hall of Fame class of 2022.