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There once was a boy who had a great difficulty in speaking and reading. He was dyslexic, and due to his mental illness, his teachers became some of his biggest critics. One even went so far as to tell the kid’s own father that, “No matter what he does, he will never amount to anything.”
Because of his lack of social skills and being mentally retarded, he was forced into taking a job as a clerk in a patent office. His life would seemingly never amount to anything.
That man who was in that situation was Albert Einstein, his last name being used today as a synonym for genius. He is one of the most brilliant scientists in the world and was considered a leading scientist in 1908.
But the thing is, though, we don’t remember the critics. The teachers in Einstein’s classes are lost to the history books. The main reason for that is because being a critic doesn’t get you anywhere at all in life.
1. It shows a limitation in the critic.
Going back to the story of Einstein, you may be wondering why those teachers have been obscured in history. No doubt you could find the people, but it’s not as common knowledge as Einstein himself. The truth of the matter is that these people defined their own limitations.
You see, when a critic says something negative about a person, it often times shows a restriction on themselves. They believe fully in a particular type of norm and way of life. When Arnold Schwarzenegger moved from pro bodybuilding to being an actor, many people told him his accent was weird, his name was unusual, and many other things. His lot in life would be the big muscly dude playing a minor role in the entirety of the film. Yet here he is now, one of the most successful actors in Hollywood because of those “flaws” that his critics told him.
It’s proof enough that when a critic says something bad, it’s stemming from a norm or something that that person lacks. The teachers that spoke about Einstein so negatively never aspired for more. They didn’t think big, whereas Einstein embraced his challenges and grew from the experiences in ways that no other person could’ve anticipated.
2. It’s an excuse for the critic.
One of the famous lines in The Pursuit of Happyness is this one:
“Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something. You got a dream, you gotta protect it. When people can’t do something themselves, they are going to tell you that you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period.”
This particular quote raises a few things, but the one I want to focus on is in relation to critics.
When critics tell you you can’t do something, it simply means that they can’t do something themselves.
They are stuck in their own norms, rules, and philosophies that they can’t see a way out. So they pass that over to other people.
That belief, though, is nothing but an excuse for putting it off. You are wasting time and energy believing that something can’t be done.
I do understand that some things can go beyond our time. but the truth of the matter is what we have today can create many different futures.
Think of it this way: remember the time we didn’t explore the entire world? We hadn’t filled out the map and so we went out exploring the globe.
When we made a discovery though, we realized that there were already people living there. Explorers that we know today were, in fact, not the first people to have lived there.
They were simply the first to discover a place we never heard of.
With this way of thinking, it’s clear that we can achieve literally anything. We simply need to explore and discover something new that already exists, yet people don't know about.
This philosophy is crushed when people immediately think that something can’t be done, that it has to go a certain way or it won’t work. Exploring can be costly in some cases, but eventually something will arise from it.
3. They refuse to change or grow.
In the end, the biggest reason that critics will never succeed is that they will never learn.
Think about it.
Every single major success story has always had a critic or several in there.
Sure they are part of the story, but they will never be remembered. They are a shadow in the spotlight of the person who succeeded.
Yes, some critics will succeed in keeping people down. It’s why so many people say the wealthiest place in the world is actually the graveyards. They are filled to the brim with ideas that could’ve revolutionized the world. They didn’t act on them because they believed in their inner critic or someone else who told them it was a foolish idea. Still, I wouldn't consider that a success in the age where we are meant to move forward.
I’d say it’s rather foolish to think that we can’t change the world at this point. There are many groundbreaking success stories of people who succeeded against all odds. They got to where they were today because they had faith in themselves that they’ll make it some day.
So, if there is a critic in your life: instead of listening to them, feel a little sorry for them and move past them. Their words are only further validating themselves that they can’t do something.
It’s for this reason that they will remain stuck until they take the time to make a change in their lives.
To your growth!
Eric S Burdon