There are those that nip at your heals. They’ll criticize your best intentions, and sometimes they convince others to doubt you. I have a few of these kinds of people in my life. Don’t you?
I’m not talking about friends who help sharpen you; I’m talking about people who truly hate you. Think of that total jerk who seems will never change. You have imaginary arguments with him in your head. You wrap yourself up with possible ways to defend your name or address his attacks. All your fretting won’t do a bit of good, and you know that all-too-well.
Yep, these people get under my skin, too. But one of my young authors shared an old quote with me, and it got me thinking:
“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” —Eleanor Roosevelt
Listen, if you are doing great things in life — or if you plan to do great things — you’re going to get your haters. These are illogical, insane people who will attack you for no coherent reason. Entertaining their attacks is almost an encouragement to them and it makes their hate grow.
Eleanor’s perspective keeps your head about you. I have my share of haters, and I suspect they’ll only get worse, but I’ve subscribed to Eleanor’s system. Here’s how it works for me.
If you’re doing great things, you need to constantly be focused on the ideas that drive your passion. Let these ideas fill your mind as you go through the details to making those ideas become reality.
Wendy and I have a big idea that we write about in Love in the House. It is written in the subtitle of our book: “Filling your home with the Greatest Commandment.” That’s love. Our idea is this: When a family has love in their house, they are walking the life in which they were created. Homes filled with love is the idea.
It’s hard to believe we have those who hate this idea, but we do. I’ll get to them in a minute, but let’s focus on the “average” discussion Eleanor Roosevelt cites.
Events are important. They are the little bites out of the big idea. When your idea is lifting off, you focus on the events that bring the idea to fruition.
Love in the House is an example of an “event.” We also speak at conferences, and the “events” would be the speeches we develop and deliver. Each of our family’s blog posts can be considered an event. There are many events that all drive the bigger idea.
Events can be frustrating, but they are necessary. I’ve known a few people with big ideas avoid the work (i.e. the events). That’s a mistake, and these people are usually quite unhelpful to the promotion of the idea. A simple example would be someone complaining about our book Love in the House without ever reading it.
Press through that frustration by focusing on the ideas. They make the work a lot better.
People are necessary. They’re the market. Wendy and I need to understand the young couple who struggles to love their children or else we won’t write a good book (the event) that addresses the need for love in their home (the idea). People purchase and participate in the good work of the events and promote the big ideas. Leadership is needed to keep people focused on the events and, especially, the big ideas.
But this is where the haters lie. They grumble and despise the visionaries and their so-called crazy ideas. They lash out without grace or mercy. They judge and ridicule. Worst of all, they have no remorse when big ideas die, sometimes because of their ruthlessness on the person they hate. They take pleasure in death.
You will never herald a great idea if your mind is too small to be preoccupied with the haters. I must confess, I find myself derailed by this discussion way too often. I end up preoccupied with a person or group of people who hate. I can’t change them in reality, but I fill my thoughts with how I might. It’s an awfully dark corner to be in, and I hate it when I am there.
This is where Eleanor’s wisdom saves the day…
How to Combat the Hate
Warning: Do not try to reason with hate. It is the weakest offense and will only make matters worse. “Don’t feed the trolls,” the saying goes. It will only make the hate grow and threaten the growth of the idea.
Easier said than done. Hate hurts, the haters know that, and it’s tough to turn the cheek. But letting the hater get under your skin can be debilitating to the event or the idea.
Remember what Eleanor says, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” In our case, this is how it works:
- The idea. It is in the subtitle: “filling your home with the Greatest Commandment.”
- The Events. It’s other things like speeches and conferences, but the book is technically an “event.”
- The People. These are the people who participate in the Love in the House community.
Then we get a hater jump on our website and post a nasty comment. Or we get a 1-star review on our book. Or we have a so-called friend judge us for not measuring up to some sort of standard. This can wear on you, trust me.
Well, then, turn your focus on the next event. Write another book (Wendy and I published four more books after our release of Love in the House). Better yet, remind yourself of the bigger idea at stake. When you have your head in these areas, the haters are not threatening. They are annoying, but the are also insignificant and small.
All great ideas will attract haters. It’s the way of the universe. I bet you can apply this idea to your life. If you can’t, your ideas may not be great enough. If you have great ideas and attempt to create events to launch those ideas, you will get your share of haters. Eleanor’s perspective can help you keep focus.