Flashback. 1986. A great song and video from the phenomenal Ms. Jackson! Warning: If you do click the link and watch, be prepared for the song to be stuck in your head all day.
Great song aside, “what have you done for me lately?” is not the best way to think of people. It’s short sighted and transactional. But like it or not, it’s often the way the world works. It’s human nature. Even your greatest fans, who’ve loved and supported everything you do, hunger for more, for your newest thing.
You have two choices…either fight this fact and be miserable or make friends with it. Be thankful for it. Use it as fuel. To keep striving. To keep learning and growing. To keep pushing yourself. Don’t rest on past laurels and accomplishments. Never be complacent.
Yet on the flip side, don’t have a “what have you done for me lately?” attitude toward others. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Especially your family, friends and co-workers. Remember all the amazing things they’ve done, All the times they’ve come through for you in the past. Let that engender your empathy if they’re messing up or going through a difficult time. Assume positive intent.
Or put another way as the great Marcus Aurelius wrote, “be tolerant with others and strict on yourself.”