3 Minute Monday
I’m in Dubai.
Decided to fly out on Wednesday – like hopping on the last chopper leaving Saigon.
It’s hot, I’m a bit pink, but it’s super nice to be out somewhere with sunshine.
I’ve brought my entire podcast kit too, so the show goes on.
AND I’ve also got George Mack with me, so Mental Models 104 will be incoming soon from a high rise pool soon.
I had a conversation with Seth Godin this week which was amazing.
So many of the things he brought up really resonated, but in particular his comments on criticism have stuck with me.
The key insight here is that all criticism is not the same.
And for the most part, you can ignore pretty much everyone’s opinion.
If your doctor tells that your health is terrible, you should listen to him.
If he starts telling you that your singing voice is terrible, it doesn’t matter.
The fact that someone found two AirPods and starting listening to my podcast does not mean that I should care about their opinion.
The same goes for the fact that someone saw a post you made about your business or a photo of your ideal wedding venue or your plans for a career.
Who are you seeking to serve?
Your own highest potential?
Or random humans in the outside world who you don’t know, don’t care about and aren’t experts in the field you’re trying to excel in?
Criticism often sounds like thoughtful, useful insights.
We presume that critics have our best interests at heart, and are qualified to comment.
It seeps into the gaps in our confidence and makes us question whether we’re doing things the right way.
But the people criticising us have a million motivations and influences, and almost none of them are aligned with our best interests.
Had a bad day? Recently divorced? Stressed from work? Not slept enough? A bit gassy? Disappointed with your sandwich? Jealous? Resentful? Bored?
… The reasons for people’s criticism comes from a myriad of places, none of which are relevant to us.
Seth took comments off his blog 15 years ago.
He stopped reading Amazon reviews of his books 10 years ago.
And his writing has gotten better since then.
Because he’s no longer writing caveat after caveat or putting tons or justifications in to try and appease the people who will inevitably find a problem with anything he says.
“A 1 Star Review on Amazon doesn’t tell me that I did a bad job, it tells me that the wrong person read my book.”
He’s convinced me that stopping reading the comments on YouTube would be a good idea.
(Deprogramming my chronic checking of the YouTube Studio App is going to be a different challenge)
Here’s some examples for you…
In the space of 2 weeks I was accused of being a right-wing enabler, a leftist grifter, someone supporting the racist President Trump, someone suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome, insightful, clueless, life changing and a waste of space.
Episodes where there’s entire 15 second pauses of silence to let the guest think have comments saying they wish I’d not interrupted as much AND ones saying that it’s paced far too slowly and is boring.
Maybe they wish the show was more like Joe Rogan, or Sam Harris, or True Geordie.
That’s fine, those guys are over there, go and enjoy them.
I’m over here. This party is for my people. If you want to get on the bus, welcome aboard.
But when I’m driving toward a destination I know I want to reach, I shouldn’t be swayed by passengers who’ve never driven a bus complaining about the journey from the back seat.
The bottom line is that you can’t please everyone, and somehow if you did, you’d have nerfed all of the interesting elements that make your work worthwhile in the first place.
We allow critics to erode away the sharp edges which bring our work to life.
If you aim to avoid criticism from everybody, you will end up pleasing nobody.
Have faith in the work you’re doing.
This week’s upcoming episodes:
Sevan Mattossian – the guy who made parenting cool on Instagram explains how to raise superhuman kids. Awesome insight for anyone who has, or intends on having children.
Diana Rodgers – the author of Sacred Cow gives the case for eating better meat. Do vegans live longer? Is meat dangerous? Find out.
Rob Bell – the paster of a megachurch discusses why everything in life is spiritual and whether science and spirituality can work together.
THINGS I’VE LEARNED
Politics is the new religion.
The religious crusades of the past had nations hating nations.
Now citizens within nations hate each other.
(Share this on Twitter)
Our brains filter out more information than they let in.
An interesting goal is to live life more nakedly than this.
To see how much information there is to experience.
To completely remove the filter.
Psychedelics are one route to this, but not long-term viable.
Watching your mind and not being attached to your thoughts will give you the daily gains of psychedelics without the psychotic breakdown.
Now Trump has gone, who will people hate?
We personify our discontent onto individuals.
It’s easier to blame a person than accept that the world is complex and mostly out of our control.
Everything wrong with the world was Trump’s fault for 4 years.
Who is the new scapegoat?
Reverse Your Criticism
When you notice yourself criticising someone or something, take a moment to consider why this thing triggers you so much.
Often you’ll realise your dissatisfaction comes from a place of personal projection.
You dislike the people and things that you see the least gracious elements of yourself in.
Ask what it is about yourself that could be reflected in this situation.
Criticising makes no difference to the world, and now you’re in a negative mindset.
Liberate yourself from the Criticism Prison.
I confessed to Douglas Murray about losing my conviction during a podcast episode with Sargon, it’s kinda interesting…