I spoke with somebody today who I haven’t spoken with in a very long time. After we said our hellos, she raved for a minute about how much she enjoys my Movie Quote Thursday blogs. Besides putting a huge smile on my face, it made me think…
Feedback doesn’t always come when we need it or want it, does it? And when it does come, it can come in the sweetest form ever, or can be entirely unwelcomed. Most importantly, feedback comes in many different degrees and from many different angles. People give us feedback all day; they return our smile, or don’t; they honk at us to go faster when the light turns green; they notice our efforts at work, or don’t; they compliment our new hairstyle or clothing, or don’t; they point something out about us and throw us strong opinions when we just want to be invisible. It happens all the time. If you pay attention, you’ll probably notice that you can get all the feedback you want, just not necessarily on the things you want feedback on, and sometimes receiving no feedback says it all.
As you might know, I wrote a book that discussed the idea of “the middle of the pack.” The main idea I explored was that almost all of us belong to a vast middle of the pack, whereby we should do things that make us happy, regardless of what others think or what we think they might think of us. Focusing on our own values, judging ourselves, and taking action towards our own goals should supersede any influence we feel to do things with the limiters of relying on what others think we should or shouldn’t do, or how we think others might want us to act or not act. I’m the last guy that should care about what others think.
That said, though, receiving positive feedback on some personal pursuit or passion sure can provide some motivation, even validation, to inspire us to continue along a chosen path. I don’t think it’s hypocritical to feel these things based upon feedback, as long as the seeking of feedback isn’t the motivating factor.
Not all feedback is good. Not all feedback should be weighted. But, yeah, when it comes at the right time, from the right direction, and with the right force, it can keep the fire lit.
With that in mind, here are a few movie quotes on the topic:
“I realized how often people ask questions they already know the answers to. They just want to hear it from another voice.” Owen Wilson in Inherent Vice
“When I want your opinion, I’ll give it to you.” Penelope Wilton in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
“Well it’s a little late for this kind of feedback!” Bill Murray in Scrooged
“Never ask for what ought to be offered.” Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone