As a young boy I would wait for my teacher to give me a gold star when I did my homework and aced my speeches.
I would also take my primary school teacher’s bag to her car and the class register to the office every day.
I was the star pupil, and receiving a “well done” and “thank you” gave me life.
But over the years those nods of approval quickly faded. It was then that I realised that living life for the approval of others actually hindered my growth as a person. I was busy waiting to hear compliments and paid no attention to my weaknesses.
I spent more time trying to convince myself that I was good than actually working towards something more substantial.
I have since learned that you should never wait for an applause. It is perfectly fine if you do not get that nod of approval from your family, spouse, friend or even boss.
What matters is that you are happy with your achievements.
Many young people today commit suicide or get into a state of depression because they feel undervalued by their loved ones or peers.
They feel they have to prove themselves even more than their current achievements and that frustration leads to negative or suicidal thoughts.
I usually commend myself for an achievement, even if it may not seem as big of a deal to others.
Building that inner confidence leaves no room to seek approval.
So next time you feel you need a pat on your back for something, rather treat yourself to a gift or even a glass of champagne.
Besides, a happy heart is a healthy mind.