Do things for yourself

How do you know you are doing things for yourself?
There are so many potential ways that you trick yourself into doing things because other people want you to do them or because society rewards you for doing it.

Subtly too.

So like if you want to know whether you are doing something for yourself, then only show yourself.

Like paint and do not show anyone. Write poetry that you do not share. Collect things and have a little time when you look at them privately. No posting on social media, no texting friends and asking what they think.

Consider doing something for no external congratulation.

Do it for a year.

The siren song of doing things for other people's adulation or societal approval is so strong. Play piano by yourself for a year.

Honestly, if you really want something, you should be willing to work for it.

Of course, then you can choose to share it.

Eventually, in a way that is healthy for you, not in a way that provides, necessarily for the world.

First you have to figure out how to keep it going yourself.

Now, if you need help, advice, etc. that is a different thing. Reach out definintely. But that is different, do not confuse yourself by replacing the praise of a teacher with the praise of society.

Learn to understand what it is to do something because it has internal rewards.

Make sure, make damn sure, you are being a good person. Triple net positive. Plenty of people in positions of power and abuse have "just been doing their job" or "interested in the work". If you are interested in the work, there are good and bad applications. Truly. Do something good.