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Naysayers and Shortcuts to Winning and Succeeding

Oh, the naysayer. Each of us knows this brand of strange creature. You know one or two of them yourself. We call them "naysayers." No matter how terrific an idea may be that they are presented with, these people invariably have something unpleasant to say... about the idea, and/or the person who presented the idea. Day after day, you'll find these self-styled critics putting down someone else's thoughts, ideas, and actions.

I'm impelled to observe that I cannot remember meeting one single "naysayer" who had achieved whatever it is they were derogating... nor one successful person who had this type of negative attitude... not once in all of my travels. A fellow famed for his wisdom wrote, "We are offended by a fault in someone... only after, or because, we have identified that fault... in ourselves."

Perhaps this is why we are often unwilling to open up to potentially valuable advice and suggestions from others: it's easier to do so than to face up to the fact that we haven't gone ahead and fixed up that particular area of our lives. After all, if we downgrade the suggestion, or the person issuing it, we successfully avoid looking at our own performance AND effort levels. We'd rather fix the blame than the problem, yes?

Rich Little, high school football star crippled in an accident, realized how much he disliked being with himself. Asking questions, he found that most people turn on the radio or TV, and otherwise avoid spending time with themselves & determining WHAT needs fixing or improving, and creating a plan for doing so. This encouraged him to develop a course on learning how to get along better with self AND others, how to better prepare for job interviews, & how to set plans for one's life; but when he sought financing from various foundations, they all laughed at his multi-page applications, pointing out that he had no college degrees, or other "credentials" for justifying a grant. FACT: 95% of the people who read this would "take the hint" after 30 different foundations rejected their applications. But not Rich. He waited until seventy five foundations said "No." That's when he REALLY buckled down & got busy. Thirty more turned him down...40 more, & yes, fifty.

A total of a hundred and forty foundations called to tell him it was a "no go." Do YOU have the fortitude to keep on going in the face of so much failure? Rich did. When the Kellogg Foundation called to tell him "Sorry, Rich, there's just no way we can see you starting this type of program for eighty thousand dollars," his heart sank yet again.

The voice on the phone continued. "Rich, it seems to us that a program like this just wouldn't work with eighty thousand dollars; so we're giving you $150,000 to start with."


Last I heard, Rich Little's program was being taught in more than 5,500 high schools around the world!! He simply had no time to pay heed to the "naysayers." There's a profitable lesson for all of us here.Mom used to tell us kids, "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all."The next suggestion I hear? I think I'll just stop without saying much, beyond "Thanks," or, "I see." If the advice or suggestion seems to apply, or have value, I'd be silly not to take some action upon that advice. If not, I have no trouble remembering the phrase, "If it doesn't apply, let it fly."

More importantly, I'm inclined to look at whether or not the person issuing the advice or suggestion has recently, or ever, applied the recommendation themselves. If so, I'm certainly inclined to ask for some more details... because I've no wish to be a naysayer.

Whenever she'd hear one of her five children degrading or making fun of someone else's efforts/dreams/input to a subject, my mother would quickly say, "Don't knock it... unless you can do better."

Isn't it funny how our mother seems to get wiser... as her children get older?


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