We used to need so much to be happy, as we talked about recently. We needed things to go well. We needed excitement and success. We needed people to like us. We needed people’s approval.
But now? Now, not so much.
Conan O’Brien, who like any performer has some part of him that craves attention and validation, has explained how his insecurity has lessened as he got older and had a family. “Oh as long as they’re alright,” he has said of his kids, then basically everything is right.
This is an incredible form of freedom. So many people think that having kids is the end of their creativity or a drag on their career. On the contrary, it can free you up to do much, much better work. Because, as we’ve said, it narrows things real quick. It makes you far less sensitive to things that don’t matter (namely outside noise and people). It makes you so much less self-conscious (aren’t you used to embarrassing yourself and being ridiculous now?) Having kids does take up a lot more of your time, that’s true, but that also means less time to read what people are saying about you on the internet, less time to stew, less time to get caught up in controversies of the moment.
We do better when we’re not obsessed with what other people think about us. Well, now that we have kids, the only people whose opinions we’re concerned with don’t care about our work at all! Let’s use that to our advantage.