Let me start off by wishing every father out there a happy father’s day. I am not one myself yet, but hope to be at some point. If I can share with my future kids even just half the lessons my father shared with me, I’ll consider myself pretty successful. One of the things I picked up from my dad is that you can try all you want to please everybody, but you’ll never succeed. It’s a lesson some of us learn the hard way, even after being told.
In yesterday’s post Woodie Allen shared his perspective on this topic and noted that he has learned not to care too much and just make his movies the way he likes them best. Below is a section in Michael Port’s book “Book Yourself Solid”.* It’s a parable that addresses the topic at hand in a simple way. I originally came across this parable on Corbett’s blog, where he applies this lesson specifically to marketing and blog writing. But it goes for everything from songwriting, album production, an artist’s social media strategy, etc.
“An old man, a boy and a donkey were going to town. The boy rode on the donkey and the old man walked. As they went along they passed some people who remarked it was a shame the old man was walking and the boy was riding. The man and boy thought maybe the critics were right, so they changed positions.
Later, they passed some people that remarked: “What a shame, he makes that little boy walk.” They then decided they both would walk!
Soon they passed some more people who thought they were stupid to walk when they had a decent donkey to ride. So, they both rode the donkey.
Now they passed some people that shamed them by saying how awful to put such a load on a poor donkey. The boy and man said they were probably right, so they decided to carry the donkey. As they crossed the bridge, they lost their grip on the animal and he fell into the river and drowned.