Why I would rather have lots haters than just a few

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I can’t exactly say that I have a lot of active haters, although I have done things on the interwebs in the past which have reached a mass audience and fueled the hatred fire. That said, I recently made an interesting observation when it comes to haters: I would rather have lots and lots of haters than only a few. Of course, this may just be personal preference but hear me out.

Haters | RyanHafey.comThink of haters like nails (internet trolls, in most circumstances, fit into this category as well). If you lay down on a bed of many nails, the pressure is evenly dispersed allowing you to lay on the nails without too much discomfort. However, if you attempted to lay on only a few nails, you’re likely to get stabbed.

If you have a following of fans who love what you do, but you’ve got two or three lonely assholes who want to spew hatred at you from their mom’s basement, it’s easier to let those messages get through to you and affect how you think about yourself and your work. However, when multiple haters and trolls come at you from all angles, it’s easier to tune them out because you’re not focused on any one particular message or comment.

Now, I’m not saying it’s ok for you to ONLY have haters—if you don’t have any fans, you should probably reevaluate what you’re doing … or, maybe you’re the hater—but it’s perfectly fine, and even preferred, to have a healthy mix of fans and haters in your overall audience.

Inspire Yourself

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Inspire Yourself - RyanHafey.comRecently, I went through what I can only describe as a “creative lull.” They come and go for me, as I assume they do for most creatives. I usually just power through them, eventually finding that creative spark I thought I had lost, but this time I tried something different. I started an art project.

I’ve never considered myself an artist in the traditional sense, but I figured I had nothing to lose. I came up with an idea, bought some supplies and just started doing.

The experience was invigorating. It’s been a while since I had lost myself in a project like I did with this one. It took a while–I had to paint the canvas, separate the army men by type and color and meticuously attach them to the canvas with a hot glue gun–but I enjoyed every minute of it.

The result was something that, while not the prettiest or “artsiest” piece of work anyone has ever seen, I put a lot of time and effort into, not because someone was paying me to or because I had some sort of deadline to meet, but because I wanted to do it.

As a result, my creative spark was reignited, and all it took was stepping outside of my creative comfort zone. So, the next time you find yourself in a creative lull, take a step back and try something new. Chances are, you’ll be surprised at how much you benefit from it.

And in case you’re wondering, I named my art project “168.” That’s how many army men it took to finish it. You can interpret it however you like, but to me, each group of army men represents a different societal sub-culture (there are only 2 colors of army men, but each group consists of a different type of soldier), each one fighting for the same thing: acceptance (represented by the red and white dot in the center). Heavy, I know.

My New Year’s Resolution for 2015

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I’m not usually one for making New Year’s resolutions–I believe in constant improvement as opposed to waiting until the beginning of a new year to make positive changes in my life–but I’ve been slacking at something that I’ve been aware of for far too long and now seems like a great time to fix it. Starting today, I resolve to be more openly thankful and give more praise where it’s due.

It’s not that I’m not thankful or don’t think others deserve praise. In fact, I’ve had an extremely blessed last few years (2014 was particularly amazing) and I’m lucky enough to share my time with a bunch of amazing people. It’s just that, for some reason, it makes me uncomfortable to express it. Maybe it’s the mushy-gushy response I get afterwards, I don’t know. Either way, it’s a completely stubborn and self-centered internal response that I realize I need to put behind me in order to move forward.

So without further adieu, I thought a great way to kick off my newly declared resolution would be to give some thanks and praise to some important people in my life. Here goes:

MY PARENTS

I am reluctant to admit that I don’t thank my parents enough for everything they’ve done for me. Not only did they raise me to be, in my own humble opinion, a well-rounded and intelligent individual, but they continue to provide me with endless love and support. So mom and dad, if you’re reading this, thank you. I love you.

MY FAMILY

If I hadn’t met my wife at the tender, young age of 19, I’d probably still be an unmotivated, overweight chain smoker. She’s been there for me through thick and thin, constantly supporting my ever-changing (and sometimes questionable) endeavors. And for that, I am truly grateful.

My kids are another endless source of love and support. They don’t need a reason to love their daddy; they just do. They are a constant inspiration to me.

MY CO-WORKERS

I’m a believer that if you work hard and have a positive outlook on life, good things will naturally gravitate towards you. This belief held true when, in August of 2014, I was given the opportunity to pursue a new career endeavor that has exceeded my expectations in every way. I have a job I love, and I work with a team of amazing people, led by a super supportive and genuine boss. I’m so looking forward to an amazing 2015 with this talented group of people. Team, if you’re reading this, you guys are awesome.

MY MENTORS

I won’t name names (there are too many to mention), but there are a number of people who have helped me get to where I am today. I hope you know who you are, but if you don’t, I hope to have the chance to tell you some time this year. Thank you.

MY FRIENDS

A true friend is hard to come by. To those of you who have stuck by me long enough to still care about me today, I thank you.

I could go on, but I’d rather offer my thanks and praise in person from now on. Here’s to an amazing 2015.

You're Awesome - RyanHafey.com