How to Ignore Critics

This fantastic quote comes from Nasim Taleb (author of The Black Swan) via Timothy Ferriss (author of The Four-Hour Work WeekI).

Robustness is when you care more about the few who like your work than the multitude who hates it (artists); fragility is when you care more about the few who hate your work than the multitude who loves it (politicians).

Dazzling, really.  Imagine what we could accomplish by ignoring the haters.

How do we channel the artist’s robustness and flush the politician’s fragility?

Ignore the Critics.  Few brands are hurt by things others say about them as they are by the things they say about themselves. I have never really been hurt (feelings aside) by what others have said about. But boy would I like to take back some of the things I’ve written, said, or done in reaction.

Listen Less.  I unsubscribed to my Google Alerts for my name, my blogs, and my books. I blocked Twitter accounts that regularly criticize me. I pay almost no attention to facebook.  The only time I hear the bad things people say are when someone else brings it to my attention, or on the very rare occasion that hater has the courage to say it to my face.  By blocking out the senseless negativity, I am a much happier, more productive man.

Keep Moving. The enemy will inflict the most damage when you’re pinned down, because a stationary target is the easiest to hit.  So keep moving.  “Damn the torpedoes, Smedley; full steam ahead.”  The universe hates it when people successfully resist entropy by creating something wonderful or doing something meaningful.  That’s where the criticism comes from.  Keep moving and the universe (and your critics) will spend their ammo shooting where you’ve been.  Let them.

Pray for the Haters.  They’re miserable. The people who ridicule and attack you are unhappy. They deserve your prayers.  “Bless them, Father, for they know not what they do,” is simple enough.  I like to add, “Same goes for me.”

Try these tricks if you find yourself the target of verbal attacks.  They’ll help you focus on your fans and ignore your critics.  It’s liberating.

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