Whatever your creative occupation, even if it’s just a little different to the norm, you will be teased. Isn’t that true? I would like to encourage you if you’re being targeted with sharp statements, aimed at hurting your feelings. There will always be nasty individuals alive, but what’s important is how great you can make the cavern between you and them.
When I began my world record-breaking career in Auckland, New Zealand, I had nothing behind me to show I’ve got the tenacity of a champion. Back then, I had nothing behind me to show that I am good at managing challenging undertakings. And I certainly had nothing behind me to show that I am capable of generating substantial levels of international media. In short, I was not nearly as successful as I am now. And it was then that I had the misfortune of meeting a bully.
A rather fragile ageing man of slight build, who suffered a severe flatulence problem and whose heart was filled with anger toward life, decided to take out his pent-up internal turmoil on me. Due to living and working arrangements at the time, I was forced to associate with this insignificant social wimp, David Bartram, who was unable to mingle acceptably in social situations, who lived with nasty illnesses attacking his internal organs, and who was almost never without a cigarette in his yellow-stained hand. His son had just committed suicide, his financial problems were complex, and, because he was known to be unemployable due to his complete lack of personality, his job prospects were absolutely nil. David saw nothing ahead but a continuation of the drudge-like misery he’d been living for decades. All this meant he was about to explode emotionally, and I became the target for his venting.
Soon after he began his mockery routine, I was able to distance myself from this lonely, miserable man. That was the best thing I could have done. Over the years, David continued to wade through increasing problems which seemed to be magnetized to him, and he continued to bully others who unsuspectingly crossed his path. Although my early record-breaking days were tough (as happens when one embarks on a new venture), I gradually accumulated dozens and dozens of world record titles. Media started to take an interest in my life, turning it somewhat public. I pressed on, having forgotten David Bartram except for being reminded of him through hear-say, which confirmed in my mind that bullies never change.
It’s been 12 years. When last I heard, David remained relentlessly shackled by depression and bitterness, while I’ve invested lots of mental energy in trying to climb to career heights. Today our lives are so vastly different that you’d be hard-pressed to believe David and I once had to stand shoulder-to-shoulder, undertaking the same duties. Thanks to massive and ongoing support from friends, colleagues and a constant stream of amazing, friendly strangers entering my life, my world record career looks set to progress ever more positively.
David – the violent-hearted and persistent bully, on the other hand, has very little to look forward to. Isn’t this sad?
My message to you is this: if your work entails something on the creative side, and if you’re being mocked for the strides you’re making as you progress, remember you’ll win emotionally in the end. Bullies may strike out at you hard, but you – the creative entrepreneurial type – will overcome that sort of down-dreading in the end.
Go forth, live your creative ways and be victorious. I am, and I’m now well out of the reach of a long-gone lonely bully.