It’s always nice to have support and receive advice when tackling a project or challenge. However, it’s just as important to recognize that not all advice is good advice.
Too many people today are discouraged, deterred, or manipulated by the criticism, predictions, or negativity of others. While advice and input can be worthwhile in many situations, they can be extremely detrimental in others.
- Listen to the input.
- Weigh the pros and cons.
- Determine what will be helpful.
- Seek additional input.
- Focus on the positive.
- Disregard the negative.
- Take action, be flexible, never give up.
Over the decades there has been much advice offered by highly educated and experienced people to those attempting a new and improved approach to a variety of challenges. While education and experience can often be powerful attributes, they don’t always guarantee success. In some cases, it can be just the opposite. Consider “Sacred Cows,” “NIH” (Not Invented Here), “We’ve Always Done It That Way” and other attitudes that so quickly stifle progress.
Here are a few examples:
“I cannot see any nation or combination of nations producing the money necessary to put a satellite in outer space.”
~ Sir Richard Wooley, Astronomer Royal, 1957
“Television won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.”
~ Darryl F. Zanuck, head of 20th Century Fox, 1946
“No woman in my time will ever be prime minister.”
~ Margaret Thatcher (prime minister), 1969
“No flying machine will ever fly from New York to Paris.”
~ Orville Wright, 1908
“That is the biggest fool thing we’ve ever done. The bomb will never go off.”
~ President Harry S. Truman, after being briefed on the Manhattan Project in 1945
“I cannot conceive of anything more ridiculous, more absurd, and more affrontive to all sober judgment than the cry that we are profiting by the acquisition of New Mexico and California. I hold that they are not worth a single dollar!”
~ U.S. Senator Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, 1845
Successful people throughout history have never been deterred by the negativity of others. To achieve true cutting-edge progress in any endeavor, apply the seven step process noted above.