Blueroselady's Weblog

I wish you abundant happiness, health & wealth

Search Results

How not to listen to non-constructive criticism?

with 2 comments

This article is inspired by John Gurdon’s experience on criticism. He received Nobel prize in 2012. Though I have never met him, I counted a blessing that in a period of my life, I walked / cycled passed the Gurdon Institute (named after him) regularly.

An Eton teacher of John Gurdon wrote that the then 15-year-old John Gurdon wouldn’t listen, couldn’t learn simple biological facts and, horror of horrors, "insisted on doing work in his own way". In one test, Gurdon scored a miserable two out of 50.

The report made John Gurdon disheartened, but fortunately one of John Gurdon’s early decision on not to listen to non-constructive criticism indeed played an important role in his subsequent research work, including the discovery that mature cells can be converted to stem cells (and ended up winning a Nobel prize).

How not to listen to non-constructive criticism?

1. Be prepared that in life, no matter what we do (including noble actions), some people will criticize us. To protect ourselves against these peace robbers, we can
# enhance our inner strength by reminding / focusing ourselves on our strength
# have a thick face

2. Be aware of the reasons why people give non-constructive criticism

# jealousy and justification attempt. They are jealous of our achievements and attempt to gain self-importance by criticizing us. They justify themselves at the expense of us. Do not fear those who criticize us because of their jealousy. Perhaps, those who criticize us suffer from low self-esteem and meet their need of having self-importance by criticizing, instead we can be kind by giving them empathy and sympathy.

# ignorance and inexperience. For example, you want to attempt a new venture and you seek advices from people around you. Those who never start up a company or those who have failed will project their fear and criticize you. Do not listen to these naysayers. Instead, consult those who have successfully achieved what you want to achieve.

3. Be mindful of your perspective (mind), emotions, and body

# Must be able to see the BIG PICTURE
When I was a primary and junior high school student, I accept the fact that teachers are role models. I did not question their authorities. They were the grown-ups with more knowledge and wisdom than me who was only a fledgling individual. I did not realize that teachers are also human beings, subjected to human conditions (both positive and negative attributes). Few of my teachers had ego and misused their authorities. They criticized students who refused to follow them, e.g. if a student refused to learn bad words, he would be labeled as self-righteous. Fortunately, I moved to a better school and I learned a lot from my kind teachers – those who teach for the passion of teaching and nurturing the next generation more than for earning an income (of course everyone has to earn a living). Looking back, those teachers who criticized things I thought as right, did no longer matter.

Then, when I started my study in a famous place, an unhappy professor told me that the only reason I went there was because of the fame. Well, while that reason honestly contributed to my decision, I had bigger reasons why I fought all my ways to gain admission there. At that time, when such a professor with his authority / power and perceived superiority (in knowledge, ability, etc) said such things to students, the impact could be huge. However, I did not listen to him. I shifted my focus to my purpose (FOCUS ON YOUR PURPOSES). I managed to work with more successful (and more generous and kinder) professors, produced results, and graduated. My mentor CNC loves to say that success is always the sweetest revenge (without harming our past offenders).

My learning journey then brought me to meet inspiring entrepreneurs. In some aspects, I look up to entrepreneurs who create jobs for many people and excellent products / services with great values, more than to professors who care only about their tenure, publications, and self-importance in their fields (of course, there are always kind professors, I was fortunate to meet and work with few of them). My experience with the entrepreneurs unleash an inner desire of me: to be an entrepreneur. That is why I am working everyday to prepare myself for my venture, to provide values to my customers. I believe that I will be invited to teach / give talks at universities because of my expertise, instead of having to apply and fight for limited faculty positions.

To summarize, I have met more people and seen the world, my perspectives have changed. When you climb a mountain, your standpoint / perspective has elevated, you can see wider and hence the bigger picture.

# Must be able to be the master of our emotion
Often, when one is criticized, one will end up feeling sad, shameful, worried (worry is a kind of fear), or angry. All these emotions are of lower consciousness.
Be aware of your emotion, then you can shift those of lower consciousness to those of higher consciousness (e.g. courage, patience).
For example, you can manage your anger through techniques such as loving yourself, Siberian North Rail Road, and detachment.

# Learn to relax our body
Criticisms from people whose matter to us (e.g. parents, teachers, bosses, co-workers, or even peers) can result in racing heart, sweating, shaking, flushing face.
When you are aware of these physical reactions of your body, use relaxation to calm down. Breath deeply. Visualize / imagine serene places that you remember from your travel. Recall prayers that you have said countless times.

"Let nothing disturb you,
nothing frighten you,
all things are passing.
God is unchanging.
Patience gains all;
nothing is lacking to those who have God:
God alone is sufficient."
St Teresa of Avilla

Related:
How to Handle Criticism and Nonconstructive Feedback by Nicole Wolfe
*Davidson_not_hopeless* (in my ref folder)

More readings:
http://www.economist.com/node/21564525
http://www.talentsmart.com/articles/

How to keep and realize your lifelong dream? inspirations from Ang Lee

leave a comment »

Have you watched any the following movies:
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,
Brokeback Mountain,
Life of Pi,
Eat Drink Man Woman
?
If yes, you may wonder who the director is.
He is Ang Lee or 李安.

Recently, I read an article about him from a sharing of my Burmese friend through facebook.
Hearing about the Buddhists-Muslims violence spreads in Myanmar,
made me feel sad,
I can only pray that may peace prevail in Burma,
the land of gold.

Back to Ang Lee, although I do not like his movie Lust, Caution, the biography of Ang Lee is inspiring.

Ang Lee: "In 1978, as I applied to study film at the University of Illinois, my father vehemently objected. He quoted me a statistic: Every year, 50,000 performers compete for 200 available roles on Broadway. Against his advice, I boarded a flight to the U.S. This strained our relationship. In the two decades following, we exchanged less than a hundred phrases in conversation."

Often, people perceive the strong-willed as being stubborn, rebellious, as hard as a stone.
Blueroselady thinks that Ang Lee is among strong-willed people, and only the strong-willed can succeed against the odd.
But being strong-willed alone is insufficient.

Ang Lee: "Some years later, when I graduated film school, I came to comprehend my father’s concern. It was nearly unheard of for a Chinese newcomer to make it in the American film industry. Beginning in 1983, I struggled through six years of agonizing, hopeless uncertainty. Much of the time, I was helping film crews with their equipment or working as editor’s assistant, among other miscellaneous duties. My most painful experience involved shopping a screenplay at more than thirty different production companies, and being met with harsh rejection each time."
Blueroselady: we must have a THICK FACE to master THE ART OF ENDURANCE for rejection / humiliation / insult / fear / failure.

Ang Lee: "That year, I turned 30. There’s an old Chinese saying: ‘At 30, one stands firm.’ Yet, I couldn’t even support myself. What could I do? Keep waiting, or give up my movie-making dream? My wife gave me invaluable support."
Blueroselady: It is never too late to realize our dream(s). Colonel Sanders started selling his fried chicken recipe in his 60s, more twice the age of Ang Lee.
Think of 亡羊补牢.

"My wife was my college classmate. She was a biology major, and after graduation, went to work for a small pharmaceutical research lab. Her income was terribly modest. At the time, we already had our elder son, Haan, to raise. To appease my own feelings of guilt, I took on all housework – cooking, cleaning, taking care of our son – in addition to reading, reviewing films and writing scripts. Every evening after preparing dinner, I would sit on the front steps with Haan, telling him stories as we waited for his mother – the heroic huntress – to come home with our sustenance (income)."

Blueroselady: Behind every successful man, there is a strong woman. I also personally listen to this advice from the successful German / Switzerland entrepreneurs in 2009, 2010.

I pray that my sons, my brothers, my male readers will find a strong woman like Ang Lee’s wife, who love her husband and children.

I am grateful that my father has a strong woman – my mother.

"This kind of life felt rather undignified for a man. At one point, my in-laws gave their daughter (my wife) a sum of money, intended as start-up capital for me to open a Chinese restaurant – hoping that a business would help support my family. But my wife refused the money. When I found out about this exchange, I stayed up several nights and finally decided: This dream of mine is not meant to be. I must face reality."
Blueroselady: Ang Lee is a film-maker, a narrator of life.
Thre is a saying that 人生如戏 , 戏如人生.
Perhaps, only when one knows and experiences what sufferings mean, s/he can makes movies that touch human soul.
Sufferings are not always bad,
of course there are intolerable sufferings,
e.g. victims of the cruelty / crime of others,
but some sufferings enable people to leap / bounce higher than ever possible,
because these sufferings act as a spring with momentum.

Ang Lee: "Afterward (and with a heavy heart), I enrolled in a computer course at a nearby community college. At a time when employment trumped all other considerations, it seemed that only a knowledge of computers could quickly make me employable. For the days that followed, I descended into malaise. My wife, noticing my unusual demeanor, discovered a schedule of classes tucked in my bag. She made no comment that night.

The next morning, right before she got in her car to head off to work, my wife turned back and – standing there on our front steps – said, ‘Ang, don’t forget your dream.’

And that dream of mine – drowned by demands of reality – came back to life. As my wife drove off, I took the class schedule out of my bag and slowly, deliberately tore it to pieces. And tossed it in the trash.

Sometime after, I obtained funding for my screenplay, and began to shoot my own films. And after that, a few of my films started to win international awards. Recalling earlier times, my wife confessed, ‘I’ve always believed that YOU ONLY NEED ONE GIFT. Your gift is making films. There are so many people studying computers already, they don’t need an Ang Lee to do that. If you want that golden statue, you have to commit to the dream.’

And today, I’ve finally won that golden statue. I think my own perseverance and my wife’s immeasurable sacrifice have finally met their reward. And I am now more assured than ever before: I must continue making films.

You see, I have this never-ending dream."

Blueroselady:
Never ever listen to naysayers that belittle our dream.
Perhaps, we do not have someone close to us who has the attitude like the Ang Lee’s wife.
You must protect your dreams.
Share your dreams to kind people who have achieved what you want.
They will share with you how they achieved it.
Do not share your dreams with naysayers.
When everything fails,
remember that as long as you are still alive,
you can fulfill your dreams
.
Sometimes,
you may have to struggle for years like Ang Lee,
you may have to take a detour,
but a dream that keep on coming to you,
is a message from God / the Universe on what you are meant to be and to do in your life.

For me,
I re-realize that I love to learn so much
(through reading, socializing, traveling),
then think and analyze,
then appreciate and feel,
and write and share my thoughts.

One of my big major dreams is
to write and share thoughtful, helpful, inspiring writings
to over a million of people
and they benefit (even in a little thing) from my sharing.

In order to achieve my grand dream,
I feel that I need to gain diverse experience,
so that my sharing can be thoughtful.

Sometimes,
as a human being,
I do have the concern of financial security,
because I have dependents,
to feed, to nurture, and to love.
But I decide that I am going to take the risk.

Now,
I am taking care of my baby,
and in a few months,
I will prepare myself for the next career,
in order to realize the grand dream.
Please support me.

See also:
How not to listen to non-constructive criticism?

If you find my writings are helpful to you, please donate to me by clicking here.

Written by blueroselady

March 25, 2013 at 7:10 am

Posted in career, choice, family, funding, movie

Tagged with ,