How to Take Criticism
"Are you nuts? You cant possibly do that".Have you been told that before (or something like that)? If you ask me, that's been my ring tone lately because I kind of hear ear it even when I'm alone. The cant word (criticism) is one of the easy-to-say words. I bet a lot of people have been told too. They do the talking and we react. Our reaction signifies our destination and if you headed towards success, you've got to act smart every time you get criticized.
There was this time I went to a friend of mine's place. Actually, he's like 10 years older than I am but we still talk and respect each other like age mates. When I got there, he was doing something I never saw him do. I mean did see a lot of fancy paintings on his wall but by no chance did I ever guess he did them himself. I quickly rushed to him, and I remember I said, "I never knew you could paint." He didn't say anything to precise, he just smiled and continued with what he was doing.The sight of what he was doing was so lovely that I couldn't help asking if he could teach me to paint.He was really flattered, he said, "c'mon this is just a sketch." "A sketch?!" I was amazed."You call this a sketch? Obviously, you must be a guru. Why not go into painting as a profession?" At that very moment, he turned and looked me in the eyes as if the devil had just spoken to him. He continued staring at me. His face changed. Tears were forming in his eyes. I said to myself, "this time, no doubt, you are going to get punched ." I didn't know what was wrong. Just at the point I was about asking him why he was staring at me in such manner, he murmured. Just as if he was been forced to say it. I couldn't grab everything he said but his last statement was "I wish I could". By no means could I ask him what he meant by that or to repeat what he said because at that point, tears were beginning to run down his cheeks. For like 10 minutes, we never said anything to each other. We just sat face- to- face while he looked for his handkerchief to wipe those tears.I was really lucky to have escaped getting punched that day. The last statement said a lot, no doubt he had tried doing painting as a profession, probably failed and got "criticized"; so he gave up.
Somewhere in this same part of this world, something different happened to a man that has got the same talent as my friend
Just like everyone agrees, " an unfortunate incident is likely to ruin one's career". But as for this man, it actually motivated him. In his 20s he was arrested for a crime he didn't commit. He was charged to court and before he could realize what was going on, he was filed for a murder case. Eventually, he was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging.To cut the long story short, somehow, the guards got to know he could paint so they thought he would be a source of cash to them before he was hanged. Of course they made money out of him: they provided him with materials, he did the paintings, they got people to buy the paintings and they kept the cash. Good business strategy, right?
Fortunately for him, or was he? Of course he was. The world outside prison was getting to know him. While in prison, he was earning fame thanks to the prison guards. I know he was cheated but come to think of it, it's a win-win situation. Although he might not think of it that way, but if the guards weren't earning from his works, did you think they would market them? I doubt that. That's why I call it a win-win situation: he was getting fame and they were making money. Obviously, while in prison, fame was the last thing he would wish for but it turned out to be an essential element in his career. More paintings to sell meant more money for the guards, so they made him paint a lot; he got motivated.
Soon, it was time for him to be hanged and something strange happened. Perhaps a miracle. His name was missing from the list. That was how he escaped death. He was eventually released but not immediately. He got out of prison to find out people were waiting for him not only because of his paintings, but because they wanted to hear from the man that had spent almost 20 years behind bars and was rescued by a miracle.
My friend never got motivated; he got criticized. If my friend had known that story, I bet he would wish he had gone to prison. But is going to prison the solution to being criticized? I don't think so
When Napoleon Hill (author: Think and Grow Rich ) visited Thomas A. Edison ( inventor of the fist practical electric light) who was having some difficulties in hearing due to an unfortunate incident that befell him when he was at a tender age, he was depending on a hearing aid so Napoleon asked him if his disability to hear properly was a kind of burden to him, he said: "on the contrary, it's not. Deafness actually prevents me from listening to worthless chatters and taught me to 'hear from within'."
Lucky him, he found ability in what many refer to as disability. Here comes the question again: Is wishing oneself deafness the key to avoid criticism? No
And that's where the answer to the above questions comes from. Who says you can't be what you dreaming of becoming? Who says your dream is just an illusion. No matter what you've been told, no matter what they think, there is just one thing you should always remember and this man got it well framed: "Why bother yourself about what people would say since you know they will definitely condemn you whether you do it or not; it's better you do what you feel like doing".