A Kite Flies Against the Wind
Given a steady wind and a properly balanced kite, the kite will soar to great heights. But if the nose of the kite is pointed downward, the same wind will send it crashing into the ground.
Just as wind can either lift a kite or destroy it, criticism can either motivate you to reach lofty goals or dissipate your drive. Those who criticize far outnumber those who achieve. Yet no statue was ever erected to a critic. Rather than seeking to appease and mollify critics, utilize their admonition to stay on track.
Criticism is human nature. Instead of creating or innovating, people find it easier to criticize. If you want to accomplish something, critics will have an endless number of reasons why you won’t or shouldn’t succeed.
To use criticism to reach great heights, understand that if you are being criticized you are in the company of all great doers. By reaching out and extending yourself you rise above the horizon and become a target.
What kind of criticism do you think the following person would receive? He dropped out of grade school. He ran a country store. He went broke. It took him 15 years to pay off his bills. He married, but had an unhappy marriage.
He ran for congress and lost twice. He then campaigned for the senate but also lost twice. He delivered a short speech and the audience was indifferent. He was attacked daily by the press and despised by half the country.
How many would label this man a loser who would never make it? Who was this man? Abraham Lincoln. What was the short speech? The Gettysburg Address.
Put yourself in this situation. After only three months of schooling your teacher informs your parents that you don’t have the intellectual capacity to pursue an education. So you are taken out of school.
But you have an insatiable curiosity and want to make a living discovering and inventing. Would your dreams be condemned? Might you be laughed at? Probably. However, Thomas Edison did reasonably well with only three months of schooling and an “inferior” mind.
Ponder the plight of this poor fellow. He had a radical new concept for transmitting information. His ideas were so preposterous that his friends and family tried to have him locked up in a psychiatric institution. Undeterred, in the 1890’s, Guglielmo Marconi proceeded to successfully develop the radio.
Are you routinely chided or ridiculed for your dreams, desires plans or goals? If so, take a look at the people offering their negative opinions. Are they experts in the areas that you are striving for? Have they already accomplished what you are trying to do? Are they presenting their “advice” because they want you to succeed? If the answers are no, why would you ever allow their criticisms to deter you?
How do you fly against criticism? Believe in yourself and your goals. You don’t need approval. You aren’t obligated to convince anyone that your ideas are worthwhile. Often it’s prudent to keep your aspirations mostly to yourself. Seek out others who are also working towards their dreams and form a motivational group to help each other.
When you succeed, some people will tell you they knew you could do it. Others will insist you must have been lucky or were in the right place at the right time. These will be the very same people who were convinced you’d never make it.
Use criticism to feed your determination and strengthen your resolve. Make it the wind that will propel you to new and exciting achievements.
© 2004 Bryan Golden