ERIC KIM NECK STRAP x RICOH GR II // Kyoto, 2017

Dear friend,

In order to succeed in life, you must learn to ignore nay-sayers.

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PDF: Nay sayers


What is a nay-sayer?

First of all, what is a “nay-sayer”? A nay-sayer is someone who always says “nay” or “no” to your ideas or dreams, without giving you any constructive ideas how you can actually realize your dreams.

Exploring the psychology of nay sayers

Honestly if you have friends, family, or colleagues who are nay-sayers, they probably aren’t being sinister. Rather, they might just be risk-averse individuals who are afraid of seeing you take a risk. They might be nay sayers because they’re risk-assess in their own lives (they prefer to take the safe option), and they don’t have the same appetite of risk as you do.

Or they may be envious that you’re taking an interesting risk in your life, and they want to secretly see you fail, because if you succeed, they will feel bad about themselves.

Another idea: nay sayers have poisoned minds, and they lack self-confidence, because they’ve been told their entire lives that they lack talent and ability. Perhaps their parents were also nay-sayers.

Break the chain

Identify the nay-sayers in your life, and slowly start to distance yourself from them. Nay sayers are dangerous, because they start to subtly infect your psychology, and prevent you from pursuing your dreams in life.

But also be wise. Don’t label everyone as a nay-sayer. There might be some of your friends and family who might give you cogent, rational, and useful advice. But always take the ideas, opinions, and feedback from others with a grain of salt.

If you have a truly innovative idea in life, of course everything is going to think you’re crazy. For example, imagine the early days of Airbnb and Uber— wouldn’t you have been seen as crazy to rent a room to a stranger, or ride in the car of a stranger?


Yay sayers

Rather, spend more time with yay or yes sayers. People who offer practical and constructive ideas to help you achieve your dreams.

In improv comedy, there is a concept called “yes and…”. The basic concept is that these improvisation artists will figure out how your even “bad” idea can be made into a good idea. The basic idea is that every bad idea might have even an ounce of a good idea— you just must figure out how to best effectively leverage that idea, transform that idea, or choose the best nugget of gold from that idea.

I don’t think there are really “bad” or “good” ideas. Rather, it is about execution, timing, hustle, drive, and a little bit of luck.


Help others realize their dreams

So friend, if you’re trying to become a photography entrepreneur, start your own business, or take a nontraditional or nonconformist route in life, cut the nay sayers from your life.

And for yourself, learn to be a yay or yes sayer. Figure out how you can empower your friends, family, and help them realize their dreams. Don’t tell them why their ideas will fail, rather offer potential solutions which will increase the likelihood of their dreams being realized.

BE BOLD,
ERIC


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