I think most people have figured out that New Year’s resolutions rarely succeed, for a lot of reasons including the fact that you are probably hungover the day you start them. However, I’ve got one everyone should do.
I was fortunate enough to see Nina Simone in concert a few years before she died. Ms. Simone was not in the best of health, and it seemed unlikely she’d be doing many more tours. The audience was extra-appreciative of that, so she received a lot of ovations and applause.
Rather than wait silently until the clapping ended, Nina Simone smiled and said playfully, “I’ll take that applause” and beckoned to the audience to egg them on. It was her way of acknowledging that she deserved it for her many achievements, but it also conveyed her affection to her fans, who wanted to show her the love.
That was an epiphany for me. I realized that when a benign person sincerely praises you for something you’ve achieved, they are offering a gift, and if you shrug it off, you’re rejecting that gift, and you’re rejecting them. You’re pushing away positive energy that people are sending you, and you can’t afford to do that. No one can.
Ever since then, if I’ve done something I’m proud of or worked hard for and someone praises me for it, I think of Nina Simone and savor the compliments. Sometimes I’ll say, “I’ll take that applause” out loud. Sometimes I don’t. But I always think it.