Did you ever notice that we all are told since childhood that the habit of embracing criticism is the stepping stone to success? But nobody ever tells us how exactly you embrace criticism. If you look at the greatest leaders of all time and the greatest change-makers of all time, The one thing you will find common in all of them is their ability to take and act upon the criticism that they receive. The Great King Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, was one of the greatest kings who ever lived in this country and he was primarily known to take criticism from everyone. For him, it really did not matter whether it is coming from an ordinary villager or the prime minister of the state himself. A modern-day example of the same is Elon Musk, you know what, Elon Musk was once asked at a conference as to what is the most difficult thing in his life. Now, considering the fact that he is already doing crazy things like colonizing Mars and making reusable rockets. You would think that his most difficult thing would be related to either one of these crazy things that he is doing. But you know what he said, and I quote, To make sure every people happy. To give you a deeper understanding of the same idea of criticism and how much it is important in life, I want to take you back to 1846, Europe.
For those of you do not know, this was one of the darkest times in European history when in there was a major disease that was on the rise. This disease was called the black depth of child bed wherein as soon as the mothers gave birth to their children they used to die out of something called the Puerperal fever. And just like the Covid-19 death toll today there used to be a consistent increase in the deaths of mothers. And even after years of research and millions of dollars into spending no one could actually find out what exactly caused this problem. But amidst all of this chaos, there was this one guy by the name of Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis. He very openly started criticizing the doctors and was screening out the solution in every way possible. And he did everything in his capacity to get his word out and prove the solution to the world. But you know what, nobody listened to him and the entire society, especially the doctors they called him the mad person, and his poor man died in a mental asylum. But you know what, after years of Research and Development, One fine day, after multiple references, the doctors actually tried out a solution Guess what? The Puerperal fever was gone like this you know what his solution was? It was a three-word answer WASH YOU HANDS. As it turns out, Dr Ignaz had made an observation that the doctors were doing the deliveries in the afternoon after conducting the autopsies in the morning which is why the disease got passed on from the dead bodies into the mother’s body which is why even healthy mothers were dying out of the puerperal fever.
So all they had to do was wash their hands and instruments with chlorine and one of the deadliest diseases in history could have been eradicated very very easily. Today, Dr Ignaz is considered to be a legend and he is regarded as the saviour of mothers. but all throughout those years while the doctors were too proud to admit their flaws, god knows how many mothers went inside the ward hoping that they would be able to see their babies only to come off in body bags. God knows how many children in that generation grew up without a mother just because of the futile ego of the doctors who consider themselves next to god. This is the reason why feedback and criticism is very very important. This story also tells us that criticism is a double-edged sword. If taken the right way, it will lead you to greatness, and at the same time, if not taken the right way, it will become the graveyard of your success.
So, now the question is, in this big bad world while we have got only a few genuine well-wishers and on the other side we have got these dedicated haters who will go out of the way just to pull you down and then we have got these people who often sugarcoat their answers just to keep their image regardless of how pathetic your condition is. How do you exactly filter this chaos and take the feedback that really matters? The answer to this question comes from this called the Culture Code Wherein Daniel Coyle talks about the method which is used by one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time who goes by the name Gregg Popovich. And this method is very famously known as magical feedback. And you can use this magical feedback technique by asking three questions to your critic. Eventually, you will realize that you are getting constructive feedback.
What do you think I did right?
What did you think I did wrong?
If you did have done it how would you make it better?
Once you begin to ask three questions, automatically you will begin to receive constructive feedback from your critics because these questions help the viewer navigate through both the good and the bad and urges him or her to think about the new possibilities for improvement which is what brings constructive feedback.
Once you get all these answers, it’s time to jot them down and work on treating what works best for you and work on what is not. Then comes the most important questions of all How did you exactly process this feedback How to choose the right critics? and how do decide whom to listen to and who not to? Well always remember, people, that there are 4 broad categories of people who will criticize you. The first category of people is the haters. These are the people who will criticize you just to pull you down. and if you start taking them seriously it will mess up with your focus and stifle your growth. So, block them both from your life and social media and it will work wonders for you.
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