In August of 2009, Usain Bolt became the fastest human to ever cover 100 meters under their own power. He ran the distance in 9.58 seconds, easily besting his previous record of 9.69. It was an astonishing feat of speed, power, and coordination. He was superhuman that night.
Not long after, I remember reading an article online about the race. Someone commented on the article saying, “Imagine how fast he could run if he didn’t have such an upright posture.”
I remember pausing to re-read the critique. Here was one of the most impressive track and field accomplishments (if not the most impressive) the world would probably see in next 20-30 years and some anonymous online troll was being critical – was suggesting that they had a better understanding of what excellence looked like than Bolt himself. It was actually a comical remark.
Here’s the point: There are critics everywhere.
Your event was too long. Your direct mail was too flowery. Your phonathon caller sounded like they were reading the script. You name it, there are folks who think they know best.
Simply put, some people will offer unsolicited advice. Learning what advice to heed – which critiques to pay attention to – and which to politely disregard is an indicator of your professional excellence.
Usain Bolt ran just fine, thank you very much.