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Sometimes You Shouldn't Listen

Chapter 57 of the book Self-Help Stuff That Works

by Adam Khan

WHEN WINSTON CHURCHILL was a young man, his father concluded that Winston was "unfit for a career in law or politics" because he did so badly in school.

Barbra Streisand's mother told her she wasn't pretty enough to be an actress and she could never become a singer because her voice wasn't good enough.

Conrad Hilton, who created a business empire with his Hilton Hotels, once overheard his father say to his mother: "Mary, I do not know what will become of Connie. I'm afraid he'll never amount to anything."

When Charles Darwin was getting ready to set sail on his five-year expedition on the Beagle, his father was extremely disappointed. He thought his son was drifting into a life of sin and idleness.

George Washington's mother was a harping, complaining, self-centered woman by all accounts. She belittled Washington's accomplishments and didn't show up at either of his presidential inaugurations. She was always whining that her children neglected her, and she was especially enraged when her son George ran off to command the army for the American Revolution. She honestly believed it was his duty to stay home and take care of her.

In his youth, the late Leonard Bernstein, one of the most talented and successful composers in American history, was continually pressured by his father to give up his music and do something worthwhile, like help out in his family's beauty-supply business. After Leonard became famous, his father was asked about that, and he answered, "Well how was I supposed to know he was the Leonard Bernstein?!"

People may criticize you or make fun of your ideas or actively try to stop you. Often their efforts are only attempts to protect you from failure. But failure is only a possibility if you stop. If you keep going, a "failure" is just another learning experience. And besides, giving up on a heartfelt aspiration is worse than failing. "Many people die," said Oliver Wendell Holmes, "with their music still in them." That's true tragedy.


 


So listen politely to the worries and criticisms of your friends and family, and do your best to put their minds at ease, but then carry on. Listen last to your own heart. You know yourself better than anyone on earth. Make sure your song is sung.

Listen to your own heart. Don't let your music die with you.

Self-Help Stuff That Works makes an excellent gift. Order it now.

Why do people in general (and you in particular) not feel happier than our grandparents felt when they had far fewer possessions and conveniences than we now have?
We've Been Duped

What is the most powerful self-help technique on the planet? What single thing can you do that will improve your attitude, improve the way you deal with others, and also improve your health? Find out here.
Where to Tap

Would you like to be emotionally strong? Would you like to have that special pride in yourself because you didn't whimper or whine or collapse when things got rough? There is a way, and it's not as difficult as you'd think.
Think Strong

In some cases, a feeling of certainty can help. But there are many more circumstances where it is better to feel uncertain. Strange but true.
Blind Spots

When some people get smacked around by life, they give in and let life run them over. But some people have a fighting spirit. What's the difference between these two and why does it make a difference? Find out here.
Fighting Spirit

next: Just Keep Planting

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2008, October 25). Sometimes You Shouldn't Listen, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, November 26 from https://www.healthyplace.com/self-help/self-help-stuff-that-works/sometimes-you-shouldnt-listen

Last Updated: March 31, 2016

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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