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Brooklyn Beta Opening

Note: This article was originally published at Planet PHP on 18 October 2011.
Planet PHP

Before I introduced the fantastic Viktoria Harrison on Thursday morning, I shared a couple of lessons I've learned over the years. It wasn't really an opening keynote or anything, but I thought I'd share them here for anyone who missed it. I'll try to blog a proper summary of Brooklyn Beta in the next few days.

1. Expectations are a blessing.

When a lot is expected of you, it's very easy to let the pressure of meeting those expectations get to you. In fact, it can be paralyzing, and that's not good.

What is good is that if you succeed and you meet those expectations, the cumulative impact is exponential. That's because expectations are just leftover praise. You've earned them by doing something great.

So, the next time you feel overwhelmed by expectations, just remember that if you weren't capable of meeting them, they wouldn't exist.

2. Ignore haters.

I always take more pleasure in liking something than in disliking something. That's not to say there aren't some things that deserve to be liked and some things that deserved to be disliked, but I'm never fond of disliking something.

The lesson I've learned is to be wary of those who are. The ones who seem to think that being critical is the same as having good taste. Those people almost never have good taste, so their opinions don't matter.

There's no particular sophistication required to be a critic. We know this, because children often dislike foods they learn to love as adults.

So, even if what you've done isn't so great, just remember that those who can't say so with grace, those who seem to take pride in criticizing you, their opinions don't matter. It may very well be that you've created a masterpiece, and they're just children.

If you can learn to be a fair judge of yourself, you won't feel the need to rely on other people's opinions.