Wow! I am surprised at how much attention and reactions I have gotten from my post on ‘The Expats Will Rule Singapore‘. I guess it must be a very sensitive topic to many people. I got over 50 comments from that post. Some people agreed with my views while others disagreed. That’s fine. It’s great to have different perspectives. What surprised me was that some people got pretty nasty and resorted to threatening, verbal abuse and name-calling.
In fact, my article has been posted on and discussed in some of the most popular forums in Singapore like CNA forums, online citizen, TemasekReview.com etc… How did I find out? A reporter from the New Paper called me and told me that my views stirred up a heated debate on all the forums. While most people generally agreed, there were a number who were ‘ flaming me’, calling me ‘crap’, ‘stupid’, ‘traitor’, ‘idiot’ ‘sucking up to PAP’ and accusing me of exploiting the poor. Basically, I was being defamed left right and centre.
Here are some of the nasty comments I got… I even got nasty comments from the post I wrote on ‘Never Giving Up’…
The interesting fact is this guy didn’t even do his research to find that I only employ 4 foreigners out of the 120+ staff I have in Singapore.
Then of course, I had my supporters…
I also got a little support from an ex-employee of mine
It’s these words of appreciation and support that give me the inspiration to keep on sharing my ideas through my books, blogs and seminars. Thanks guys!
Many people think that I am so ‘successful’ and confident that I am immune these criticism. To tell you the truth, it definitely hurts to read/hear anything nasty people say about you. One thing I have learnt to do is to accept the fact not everybody is going to like you. If you want to stand out in society and make a stand, you are got to be willing to be shot down. You have to be willing to take the hits. It’s all part of the game. Instead of getting angry and nasty myself, I usually reframe it in my mind to feel empathy and compassion for these people. Maybe they had a bad day. Maybe they are suffering inside. Maybe they need help. In a sense, I get myself to also feel thankful that they are giving me a chance to learn and become even better.
If You Want To Stand Out, You Have to Be Willing to Take Massive Rejection.
One thing I have learnt about life is that if you want to stand out of the crowd and be somebody who makes an impact in the world, you have to be willing to take massive rejection and criticism. It is the price you have to pay. In fact, you know that you are making a positive difference in the world when you are loved by people, while inevitably hated by others. The important thing is to of course be loved by alot more people than you are hated. If nobody hates you, it means that what you are doing isn’t big enough to make a mark in the world.
Think of these people who have shaped the world: Jesus, Martin Luther King Jr, Barack Obama and Mahatma Gandhi. Of course I am in no way comparing myself to them. However, I admire them and their story gives me strength to deal with the rejections I get in my life.
Jesus, the founder of Christianity and the son of god ( according to Christians) came to earth to preach love and salvation. It is no doubt that he made a huge difference to mankind. But what was the price he had to pay for it? He was not just rejected by nasty comments on his blog. It was worse. He was persecuted, beaten, stabbed and crucified by the Jews. However, instead of getting angry at them, he forgave his distractors.
It’s the same thing with Mahatma Gandhi. He made a huge difference to not just India but also to the world. He liberated India from the British and united his people. He was one of the most peace loving guys on earth. Yet he was also hated and assassinated. Martin Luther King Jr, fought for civil rights for blacks and had a dream that blacks could live in peace and equality among whites. Because he lived, a black man can become the President of the US and a poor black girl can grow up to become a billionaire (Oprah Winfrey). Again, not everybody accepted his views. He was hated so much by radicals that he too was assassinated.
To Be Successful in Anything, You Have To Take Massive Rejection
The lesson I would like to share here is that if you want to be a successful and exceptional person who makes a mark in the world, you have to be willing to take lots of rejection. You have to be willing to be criticized, hated and laughed at by the thousands of jealous critics out there.
Many people in life have tremendous potential to make a difference and live their dreams. So why don’t they? I have found from coaching thousands of people that the main thing that stops people from setting goals and taking action is their FEAR of rejection. They fear being rejected by customers, so they don’t make the phone calls. They fear criticism, so they dare not volunteer and take up leadership positions. They fear being rejecited, so they dare not approach the man/woman of their dreams. They fear rejection, so they dare not voice their opinions.
The Only Real Prison Is Fear, And The Only Real Freedom Is Freedom From Fear- Aung San Suu Kyi
If you have allowed this fear to stop you in the past, think about this… If Jesus, Martin Luther king jr, Gandhi, the Dalai lama, Nelson Mandela could face persecution, jail, intends hatred and murder, why do you let the fear of petty rejections from people stop you from going for your dreams?
Another great example is President Barack Obama. In order to become the President, he had to face tremendous criticism because of his colour and his ‘Osama- Sounding’ like name. Even after he was threatended with assasination by white supremists, he went ahead and fought for the presidency and to bring about change in the United States and the World. After putting in so much effort to save the US economy, create jobs, fix health care and regulate the financial sector, there are still people who hate him enough to call him ‘a socialist’, ‘evil’, ‘deceptive’, ‘nigger’ etc…
So if the most powerful man in the world takes crap from people, don’t worry so much much when people do the same to you. Focus on the great you are doing in the world and keep doing it. At the end of the day, the person whose judgement counts most of all is the person staring back in the mirror!