Monday, December 28, 2009

Do critics help the world?

Thank you for the great comments!

Please answer any number of the following 4. As always there are no wrong answers.

1- Do you believe in using critics as fuel to push your own efforts forward? Shoving success in the critics face?

2- How do you feel about the statement “the greatest source of learning often comes from our harshest critics”?

3- How do you view the quote “the world is happy to give you their definition of failure” as it relates to criticism?

4- What viewpoints do you have regarding the subject of criticism?

Extra viewing - reading bellow:
JK Rawling of Harry Potter fame inspired #3– It is in 3 parts.



  1. Merry Christmas Tom.

    That is just a family song we sing to my grandson. xoxoxo

  2. I think I usually tend to be my own worst critic, which helps a bit. Although it does hurt my feelings when I get a good sound critical thrashing, my skin has toughened over the years. I generally don't listen much to critics myself when it comes to making choices about music, books, movies etc.

  3. Happy Holidays!
    Those are tough questions; can I pass?

  4. nope..they serve no purpose...there is no constructive criticism..all criticism is unconstructive..I've enjoyed things that the critics blasted and not enjoyed things they loved...I have my own brain and I'll use it thankyouverymuch.

    I do think there is a place for discussion, suggestion and education.


  5. I hope to open enough to listen..tough enough to hear, patient enough to learn, loving twoards my own thoughts after critisim, and still be comfortable in my own skin.

  6. Criticism in some form can be good. However, those who criticize themselves tend to learn more than from those who criticize. So, to me, critics are just blowing more hot air than we need in the atmosphere....maybe they are the true cause of the global warming? ;)

  7. I think that when it comes to whether criticism is helpful or not depends on the person being critiqued. For some people I'm sure it can be a driving force towards success. For others it can be a catalyst for lost confidence and ultimately failure.
    Like most things, you can't make sweeping generalizations of what is good or bad for all people, but rather consider what is helpful dependent upon an individual basis.
    That is if being helpful is the goal of the critic. Sometimes the exact opposite is actually their goal.

  8. I think harsh criticism is a great motivator, but must be used carefully. I've seen people completely shut down or give up when faced with it. I've experienced both reactions, depending on the situation, but agree with the statement in #2 (I might replace often with sometimes).

  9. The article "The Science of Success" by David Dobbs in latest edition of the Atlantic Monthly, cites a study done with mothers trying to read to their active toddlers.The researchers video taped the mothers daily and compiled videos of their best moments, when the children did pay attention. They then used these teachable moments to retrain the mothers to use the behavioral cues that supported the positive behaviors.
    The fields of social psychology and now positive psychology are studying just theses quesions of why things go right, instead of wrong.
    Is there a place for criticism? Most probably-but the right balance needs to be achieved. Until I know what the balance is, I will continue to sing the song from the hit show The Producers: "Where Did We Go Right?"

  10. That was an amazing video! She is brilliant.

    Do you believe in using critics as fuel to push your own efforts forward? Shoving success in the critics face?

    I definitely don't believe in shoving any success in anyone's face, there is a thin line between arrogance and self esteem. I think whatever fuels you to do well is fine. As long as you know, you can are the only one that can let anyone make you do anything...

    How do you view the quote “the world is happy to give you their definition of failure” as it relates to criticism?

    There are many people in this world that *think* they know what you need, however, they don't know all the circumstances. They are quick to say whatever makes them feel good. Unfortunately a lot people are thinking selfishly when they criticize others. Everyone is different and experiences things differently.

    Extra viewing - reading bellow:
    JK Rowling of Harry Potter fame inspired #3– It is in 3 parts.

    She is amazing - that speech is inspiring.

  11. Critics definitely help the world. There is always room for improvement, and sometimes a critic is necessary to help others see that.

    Critics can be polite or rude. Even the rude ones can help motivate people to success.

    In my field I always welcome constructive criticism so that I may improve, especially since there is little room allowed for mistakes. So I will take any criticism I can get. What is worse is someone letting me make mistakes without any help.

    In my dance, I listen to critics, but that doesn't mean I have to take everything to heart. I realize that I have a certain dance style and some people simply may not like it, and that is okay too.

    In conclusion, criticism is generally good in my book.

  12. constructive criticism is always welcome and it would pay to take it into account. however, when it's masked by jealousy or some other negative emotion, it stifles. the tricky bit is to be able to distinguish between the two...

  13. Critics can help......if they're constructive, and not unpleasant.

  14. I don't think the Rowling quote and some of the questions are referring to constructive criticism, but moreso destructive criticism delivered by people who delight in seeing others fail. That does indeed fuel me, and has for my entire life. Some of these critics you can ignore, but it's hard when you are related to many by birth.

  15. This might not be a popular response, but I don't admire most critics. They are negative people for the most part. They tend to grow huge God complexes.

  16. Tom,

    Thank you for your comment on my place. However you got to me i'd love to know. You will go down in history as the first male commenter not related to me! LOL... No pied Piper for me. We are adopting but i'm just hoping to encourage some others to contemplate a journey outside of themselves by finding true joy in serving others. I can't preach anything I don't practice. An i'm not really interested in preaching anything. Just sharing what's on my heart. And your right... People trump things anyday!

    Wish you a wonderful week. Thanks again for dropping me a note I appreciate it!

  17. Oooh interesting topic. I have always felt that you should learn from criticism, but only if it is useful.
    For instance, if someone is bashing your project without saying why, that obviously isn't going to help you and should be ignored. But if the criticism explains how your project could be better or why it did not spark well with them, well then that definitely should be taken into consideration. Otherwise, how else are you going to grow in your profession? How else are you going to learn to be better?

  18. Hi Tom,
    Thanks for coming over to my little blog...started it for my own "positive thinking" and glad others can get something out of it too. You are welcome to visit it anytime, comments are appreciated.

    As for criticism, I view this as negative comments and very difficult to learn from this perspective. It makes you feel inferior to the critic, and if you change just to please that person, you will not be doing yourself any favors. At least, that is what I've learned from my critics. In art, you should learn to give critiques, which are both positive and negative comments about your project (should not be made personal)and this is much more helpful to the artist, whether they agree or disagree with the critic. Criticism does have its place in other genres, but you should be open minded enough to let others have their opinions and leave it at that. You have your own independent mind to decide, whether to agree or disagree and always be true to yourself. That is the best way to grow, learn and improve for yourself.

  19. I have learned the hard way that the Holy Spirit does not harshly criticize, only we do. When we stop trying to do the Holy Spirit's job of conviction, then He is free to lovinly convinct and correct.

    Thanks for visiting my blog!

  20. it is always easy to hand out criticism. i have learned to make suggestion but refrain from criticism b/c i should just mind myself. happy 2010!!!

  21. I love constrictive criticism and I totally agree with No.2!

    That's another question, not so many people can handle criticism at all. I can, if it's constructive and I'm willing to learn!

    Happy New Year, cheers: Evi

  22. I have trained myself to listen to any criticism, even from a much younger person, it has helped me a lot in life, as sometimes we don't realize what we're doing.

    Thanks for visiting Secret Story Time!


  23. "criticism": it's a sorry little word, isn't it? But I don't think it deserves to be maligned; after all, there's criticism, and then there's criticism. Criticism per se is not negative. Critical is negative. Criticism is a constructive tool: it makes things better. Everyone wants to do good for some party or other but how many people actually ask the parties what they want? Or do "we" know their best interests, do we have them at heart? Some critics are tossers, not because they are critics but because they are tossers who became critics. Some critics are critical, some are not. There's a pattern emerging here....

    Happy New Year, Tom.
    Kind regards,

  24. Thought provoking blog you've got here, Tom. Thanks for dropping by the manor today. Hope to see you again soon.

  25. I loved writting this post!

    1. I think it depends on your respect towards the critic ability to understanding and providing clues
    related to your work.
    2. I think we are always our harshest ciritcs, so yes, no doubt about it.
    3. I do not like it. Do not think it is that simple and easy.
    4. It is very hard for one person to understand another, I am not sure that is even possible.
    We should rethink criticism standing from there I think.

  26. Hey Tom

    Profound ... Just my cup of tea. :)

    Here's my answer:

    Criticism is the by-product of someone else's action(s) ... Right?

    My criticism to your post is ... 'Profound.' Are you going to use this to fuel and push your own efforts forward? That's personal to you.

    It would be foolish not to listen to criticism, because some of what you hear could well help push you forward. Of course there will always be negative criticism ... but in my oppinion, that negitivity belongs to the person giving it.

    The worst criticism is not getting any at all.

    Another thing. About the JK Rowling You Tube clip ... I am not a fan. I stopped reading childrens' novels at ten years old. I seek to be inspired elsewhere.

    Keep up the good work Tom. Very best of health and fortune for 2010 :)

  27. Constructive criticism is always helpful. :)
    Happy and Prosperous New Year. :)

    Best wishes.

  28. Happy New Year Tom! I love to receive criticism and feel I can learn a lot from different viewpoints. In art school we had to constantly give and receive "critiques." I do try to be respectful when evaluating the work of others.

  29. Critcism is for asses. I like praise and compliments

  30. Criticism is just someone's opinion and everyone has opinions. Some are right, some are wrong. Some are both. Some are positive, some are negative. Some are both. To say you're against criticism is to say you're against thinking or expression. Or both.

  31. Criticism is only as powerful as I allow it to be.

    I am reluctant to permit someone else to control my creative process and my own muse seems to be easily influenced by both praise and criticism. I'll have to stuff wax in her ears so that she doesn't direct me toward those ever-present rocks of destruction. The siren song of praise is to follow that tempting melody onto the rocks of people pleasing. The song of criticism leads to discouragement and hopelessness.

    For now, I'll hold tightly to my internal locus of control and consider criticism carefully.

    Happy New Year!

  32. As a teacher, I have learned that telling students what they do right is the best form of criticism. Then they build on successes rather than lament what is deemed wrong.

  33. I always appreciate professional critiques of my work. It is helpful to have a fresh perspective!

    Happy New Year!
    Julie Magers Soulen Photography
    Blog of Note

  34. Criticism is to me like salt, a little goes a long way. As always a pleasure.
    You have a brilliant year.
    Every happiness in the new year Tom.
    Warmest regards,

  35. Tom--Criticism can be invaluable...if it gives guidance of some sort. Negativity on the other hand only does damage. My critique group does a great job of telling (our opinions) of how to improve each others writing skills/manuscripts. I've had people read for me before that can only say nice things...sweet, but not that helpful. You have to trust and respect the critiquer or it is easy to dismiss their POV.

    I didn't realize until tonight that I wasn't following your blog. I've been here often as you have on my blog, but neither of us were followers. I always enjoy your comments.

    I wish you the very best in 2010!

  36. No 2, as long as it doesn't ride on a wave of sarcasm

    Happy New Learning Year :-D

  37. We tend to think of criticism as a totally negative thing such as calling attention to all the mistakes, flaws, etc. given subjectively by someone else. In my opinion that is not criticism that is condemnation. A true critique or criticism contains all the features both good and bad. I believe it is a mature and constructive way to provide options for growth and improvement. If I become offended by someone criticizing me, then I am insecure and closed to new ideas and am likely to miss opportunity to improve. If someone is being rash and unkind in their criticizing, I find it an exercise in self control, which is a very good exercise, to let them speak their mind without allowing myself to become unglued. After all that rambling I guess I would have to say that criticism is always a good thing, we all do it, and we are good at it. It's just most of us can dish it out but can't take it. Or we criticize in secret and become resentful of those who have the audacity to speak it straight to our face.

  38. I grew up in a family where there was always a lot of criticizm of other people and I think that is a behavior to attempt to build up one's self esteem as being better than others. When someone criticizes me I generally listen because there may be some percentage of truth, even if it is only 5% truth and 95% BS. But, people who make positive and uplifting comments are sure a lot nicer to work around and with. I've noticed that some people are easily offended by criticizm but becoming offended is a choice we make. We can choose to not be offended and practice forgiveness. One person chose to forgive the people who hung him on a cross.

  39. Tough one! I think that it really depends on the person. Some people respond to criticism in a very positive becomes a driving force towards their success. In others it can have a reverse effect, beating them down...I also think the public relies too much on critics, even when they are wrong...never giving the person or thing critiqued a chance....phew your blogs are very insightful, really tough questions, makes you think!!!

  40. we can do critic if we have beliefs...and we do...the way we do it makes the difference.

  41. I absolutely believe our harshest critics are our biggest teachers. We should be grateful for these people and look for what we need to learn from them. Don't diss the bastards - they are our friends in disguise!!