When my stereo system choices hit the perfect sweet spot, and I know everything is just right, the first thing I want to do is share.
“Come, you have to hear this!”
This most basic of impulses is a genuine emotion with no hidden agendas. “I found something wonderful,” almost always evokes the desire to spread the good word and share the wealth. Maybe in our long-ago past we wanted to share with the others in our tribe our success with finding food or shelter.
It isn’t too long after the sharing process that it turns into the validation desire. Is what excites me really as good as I think?
Once we get validation from the other members in our tribe, the circle of success is complete. We know we’re on the right track. We make an indelible stamp in our memories that this path leads to success.
But, what happens if we’re not validated? For some, we shrink from sharing our discoveries or we find fault in them (sometimes warranted, other times not). For others, we might believe we didn’t communicate well enough or the other opinion is simply incorrect.
Validation is what we’re after: in the forums, when we read reviews, when we put forward an opinion.
The trick with validation is tempering it with an understanding that it’s closely linked with opinion. We don’t accept everyone’s opinion as our own, anymore than we should worry about 100% validation from others.
Validation is important but only to the extent it helps us learn and grow.
As soon as it stymies innovation and forward motion, we should question its author.