Oscar Wilde said, “Anybody can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend’s success.”
I have found this to be true in my life, especially over the past year as I’ve transitioned out of being an HR famous blogger® and tried to establish myself as a writer, speaker, and founder of a software company.
I haven’t always been gracious when my HR famous friends do well in the marketplace. And I haven’t always been supportive when someone makes a killing and nabs a top-dollar speech while I’ve made no money since October.
Catching yourself in the act of being unpleasant and discourteous — especially while someone is celebrating an accomplishment — is shameful. (Well, it was shameful for me.) I’ve vowed not to let it happen again. And it’s also reminded me that my past and future accomplishments might be painful for others who are struggling with their careers.
My joy is mine. It’s unrealistic to expect people to pop the champagne when I hit professional milestones.
So this is your reminder to smile more when the people around you are happy. And it’s also a suggestion to tamp it down a little if things are going your way. Others may be struggling.
Oscar Wilde is a smart guy. He said, “Ultimately the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or in friendship, is conversation.”
I think that’s true, but a conversation shouldn’t just represent an opportunity to talk about yourself and your professional standing — good or bad. It should be about listening, and maybe talking about ideas and feelings instead of just ticking off a list about what’s happening in your life.
Learn from my mistakes. Ask questions, listen, and be ready to jump in with a kind word to affirm another person’s success (or encourage someone when she’s down).
And, above all, rejoice and have fun when a celebration is due! There’s never a bad time to have a party and be happy.
PS – I launched GlitchPath last night. A website isn’t a company, but it’s the first step telling people that I have a product and I’m it to market. I’m happy about that.