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Don't Let Criticism Destroy Your Dreams

Updated: Apr 13, 2023

There is a story going around the web about how Albert Einstein, in one of his classes, worked through the 9 times table and made a mistake when he got to 9 x 10 ( = 91)

“And all his students ridiculed him.

Einstein waited for everyone to be silent and said: ‘Despite the fact that I analyzed nine problems correctly, no one congratulated me. But when I made one mistake, everyone started laughing. This means that even if a person is successful, society will notice his slightest mistake.”

Whether the story is true or not, I have an Australian version of this story.

Back in 2001, I attended a dinner with Cath Burns and Scott Cunningham with a Tabcorp chief executive.

We were discussing the topic of “outages” when Scott reminded the executive, “Didn’t Tabcorp have a major outage on a recent Melbourne Cup day?”

I gave Scott a dirty look like, “Don’t mention the war!”

The executive paused for a second before responding, “Yep, it happened over 7 years ago, and even though it hasn’t happened since, I still get reminded about it every day!”

The misattributed Einstein quote concludes with this word of advice:

“So don’t let criticism destroy your dreams. The only person who never makes a mistake is someone who does nothing.”

Kudos to Tabcorp for getting through another Melbourne Cup day!

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