Prove Your Critics Wrong. An Underdogs Prologue.


I think anyone who knows me will tell you that my character has a tad of an awkward streak. Some might call it rebellious or traits of a rogue. It sounds cooler than it is. More often than not, it puts me in a bit of an isolated position in social scenarios. This stems more for my inability to keep my thoughts to myself, admittedly. But safe to say I like to stand up for what I believe in – however unpopular it can make me. Since being responsible for a wife and now a daughter I’ve had to learn to bite my tongue a bit more. That’s not a bad thing, and it certainly makes my incredibly patient wife’s life a lot easier!

I do have to say this, though. Today’s society is full of encouragement to conform to a set way of doing things. It needs people who are willing to have their own thoughts and beliefs. I’m not saying we need to be people who aren’t teachable, that would be wrong. But instead, society needs people who know don’t cave to manipulation and general consensus. People who aren’t shaken by the critics or uncertain odds but stick to what they know is true for them…

I remember one teacher at school explaining to me (in front of the class) that ‘this given subject and class just wasn’t my thing’. This was probably (to her) just a throw away statement based on my lack of performance in her class, but it stuck with me. Amazing how negative comments can do that. So much so, in fact that I worked tirelessly to make a career out of this subject. I can now proudly say that my wage in this subject has doubled that of my previous supermarket job. I proved to myself I could do it. Will I ever see this teacher to tell her? Probably not, coz that’s not what this is about. But this story does serve to prove an important point: that if I’d accepted the odds and the criticism, I’d still be on minimum wage. Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t come free of effort and work. But it does prove (at least) one of my critics wrong.

Now, since them, when presented with against-the-odds chances – I remind myself of what I believe and compare it to the criticism. If it’s constructive, that’s fine. If it’s not, and it doesn’t match up, it’s another opportunity to prove the critics wrong. And that’s where the fun begins.

Some of the best successes in history came up against heavy criticism before their success – and I often wonder if that’s the spark that caused them to overcome the odds that they would eventually face. There isn’t enough time or space is this post to elaborate on the underdog stories that have inspired me the most. So I thought I’d write a few posts about this. A series of underdogs that not only have affected my life but, in one way or another, has become part of my life.

These are the stories of people, industries and rogues who changed their world regardless of their critics. Something that may have broken them initially, but eventually sparked them on to to achieve greatness. These are the stories of the underdogs…