It’s Easy to Get Discouraged

mantis Getting discouraged is easy. There are negative people all around us, and it’s hard to pick out which ones are being constructive and honest versus those who are being jerks. What I find interesting is just how easy it is to let their opinion scuttle my mood for a while. That’s sure a lot of power I’m giving them. It’s easy to get discouraged.

Not Rocket Surgery

One repeat criticism of my work is that I’m not telling anyone anything new, that it’s all common sense. That’s actually reasonably true. You don’t spend time with me, read a few lines, and then smack your forehead and say, “I’ve got it!” Most of my ideas are basically reminders for us to do the things we don’t do, but know we should.

I’m okay with this criticism most days, because it’s true. I’m not innovating by creating new methods. I’m innovating by holding us to the standards of treating people like they’re human beings instead of prospects or targets. It’s not rocket surgery, as my Boston friends say.

Don’t Need a Pep Talk

I didn’t write this post to get your kind words of support. To be honest, I’m pretty confident that I’m headed in the right direction. For everyone telling me that I’m not all that interesting, I’m evidently the number 1 uninteresting guy writing about marketing.

What I wrote this piece for was to tell you that it’s easy to look at what you do as uninteresting, or unimportant, or just the same old thing. And maybe there’s some truth to it. If I look out at the top social media blogs right now, a good many of them are covering all the same software applications and a lot of the same stories. Maybe we could all dig a little deeper to innovate more.

But don’t let that stop you, if you’re following a vision, and if you’ve got a sense of where you’re headed.

Michael Jordan worked on the uninteresting task of pushing a ball through a net. Eleanor Roosevelt worked on the uninteresting task of writing articles and visiting people. Mohandas Gandhi worked on the uninteresting task of sitting down and saying no.

Me? I’m a typist. I’m just typing and talking about typing. And I’m not all that discouraged any more.

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  • Ken Morrison

    I don't know if you connected these dots on purpose:
    After your first paragraph, my mind started drifting to my favorite middle school teacher's poster with this quote:
    ” No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

    I think it is cool that Roosevelt made your top 3 uninteresting people list.

    After seeing my teacher's poster the first time, I had to EncylopediaBritainica Mrs.Roosevelt because I wasn't the sharpest cookie in the knife drawer back then :)

  • Chuck Passarelli

    Stay the course. I for one will keep coming back.

  • VaradhKrish

    We used to say it is not “rocket science”. why is it called “rocket surgery”? just curious….

  • Ray Brown

    Hi Chris I've just finished listening to Trust Agents via Audible and I am encouraged. We have just launched a new website based on social learning in the customer management space. Your thoughts and ideas aligned with ours in almost every way. Your post and the comments reminded me that not everyone will be positive. The key I think is to remember that how you feel is a choice. The same comment/event/action can result in disappointment, motivation, offence etc – just try to remember it's always your choice

  • Joy Johnson

    Thank you for writing this. It's something I struggle with constantly. I'm critical of others because everything just seems like regurgitation. In fact I view it with such negativity that it is very hard for me to write anything myself. The unreachable high standards of original thought, or at least an original twist of some kind on an old thought that I set for myself were incapacitating. Then it dawned on me that all human thought, is built on something else – someone else's ideas – someone else's thoughts. So for any one of us to withhold our own interpretation, or our regurgitation, so long as it's not just plagiarism, really might be depriving the world of the magical combination of words that fuel the imagination of the next Einstein, Edison, or . . . Brogan.

  • tpompa

    I am so late, but you do add a ton of value. Even if the core of what you write about is known by most of those in this space, it does not mean that you do not add value by reminding us of those things, or by sparking thoughts that lead to new ideas, or by just being you.

    For example – in my current position I am bombarded with negativity, and it is my job – a new job at that, and I have to sit back and remind myself that there will always be negativity and those people that will complain; and part of my job is to engage and educate, and you can't change the way people are. So when I checked your site after about 2 weeks of being too busy to stop by, well this post really hit home with me, and that adds value.

    I also agree that we should never think that everyone else knows or can do what we are doing. I can't tell you how many blog posts I haven't written, because I saw a similar one out there right before I was going to sit down and write, or how frustrated I have gotten with others because I expected them to be able to do exactly what I was able to do after sitting down and showing them, because after all if I can do it anyone can. So that part resonated with me as well.

    For as long as it works for you, I hope you continue to do what you do, and not let others discourage you.

    I am leaving a quote below, and although it is a bit repetitive, it is one of my favorites.

    “People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway. If you are successful you will win some false friends and true enemies; Succeed anyway. If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway. What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway. The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you’ve got anyway. You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; It was never between you and them anyway.”

    Mother Teresa

  • ♥Elsie

    Hello Chris! As I was writing my latest post, I remembered this lovely post, so I had to come by and say thank you. I wrote about 'sorta' the same topic from the yogic perspective (being a yoga teacher and all). My favorite thing that you touched on was the “Don't need a pep talk.”

    I agree. There are times I simply want to express, not to get a pat on the back or to have people tell me how great I am and that whatever criticism I receive isn't “true,” or it “doesn't matter.” I value people's self expression, especially when grounded in truth. I'm not in this world to live a life where I seek to confirm what I already know or what I already am, but to affirm, grow, and have the courage to shift and change…and innovate.

    I seek to deepen the conversation :)

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  • yuregininsesi

    my discouragement depends on the weather and how many times my biz phone rings. keep on it, Chris — you're keeping many of us sane.

  • anushka

    Myself Anushka Singh ,I am 26 yr old and I am working in a media co.. I am in relationship with a boy from last 8 months.Its a long distance relationship. I live in delhi and h lives in kolkata.He is a graduate and he is handling his family business.In the beginning of our relationship its gng gr8 but afetr that i dont know what is going wrong between us.He told everything about us in his family and they also agreed with this,hey dont have any issue with our relationship.But in my family no body knows anything.

    My query is like my boyfriend started avoiding me, and discourages me alot. He praises another girls in front of me and at that timeI really felt bad.He started saying that he need a space.I started loosing confidence on my self. he likes attractive people alot ,he said that if i vll be with attractive people i vll get positive vibes with them and if i vll be vth ugly people i vll get negative vibes. He sometimes discriminate also. I told him that v both r in relationship so v have to do adjustments and compromises, but he used to say taht i vll not change ,u have to change.
    He is a younger child in his home.So.He is a pampered child.he is a very short tempered guy.sometimes his parents vll also get sacred by his anger.

    I am also a younger child in my house, but i know my limits.He was having a very bad past relationship and he used to say that whta i have suffered from my past relationship i want that u should also suffer from that.The way that girl behaved with me I also behaved with you like that sometimes.

    I really hate him now. trust me he really discourages me alot. recently i cut my veins but he dont care about that. he didnt asked how z ur hands now.

    I want to get out from this and i want that he should realise his mistakes and faults.He should realise my absence.

    Please help me i really need a help i dont want to become mad and i really dnt want to get into depression .

    I lost confidence on myself.

    Tell me how sholud i ignore him ,avoid him.


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