“While being battered always hurts, an important survival mechanism I’ve acquired over the years is to both thrive on rejection and hold on to compliments. Rejection enrages me, but that ‘I’ll show you!’ feeling is an extremely powerful motivator. I’m at a point now where I’m afraid that if I lose it I’ll stop working. On the flip side, there’s nothing like a meaningful compliment from someone you respect. In my youth I was a miserable student and rarely did my homework. My fourth grade teacher once pulled me aside and let me have it. She said, ‘Talking to you is like talking down the drain; you don’t hear anything. You think you are going to make it through the rest of your life because you are charming. You think you don’t have to do all the work—but you do.’ I remember looking up at her after this tirade and saying, ‘You think I’m charming?'”
Read the rest of his Fast Company piece here.