Now and then I receive a message that upsets me.
It shouldn't upset me, because I know people that spend time actively trying to be nasty aren't worth spending any time on. But it still hurts. I'm human.
I've always liked to take any kind of energy and turn it into something more positive, so here's how I deal with the haters. A page for people who just need a big hug.
I don't get many of these, because of course I can bloody do it. But right back at the start when I was planning to skateboard across Australia, I received a letter from a stranger telling me that it couldn't be done, that his mates were taking bets on how many days it would be before I ended up in hospital with serious sunburn, that I'd be spread along a road by a big truck, and more.
It was so good I started my first book with it.
You can read the letter for free by clicking the cover on Amazon.
I received an email from a man who I may have met for two seconds after I gave a talk at the Kendal Mountain Film Festival in 2014, but I don't remember him. His email said that he'd put aside three months for us to adventure together in 2016, which seemed a little presumptious.
I kindly told him that I didn't ever travel with strangers and that I didn't plan my adventures so far in advance, to which he replied with at least 100 things that he didn't like about me.
He may not have been the ideal travelling companion, after all...
Man, to spend the best part of half a year writing a book and then some stranger has the audacity not to like it. That's totally fine, there are some people who don't even like Harry Potter. But when the review gets a little personal and unfair (considering the reviewer doesn't know you and is therefore making assumptions), that tickles in the wrong places.
I did like that he did it under his own name rather than anonymously, so offered him a refund on the book. He refused.
I used to be a graphic designer, but I was so bad I gave it up and skateboarded a few thousands miles. I was so bad that I know that I'm totally incapable of following through on what one chap suggested, which was, in his words: 'I've spent a long time studying your website and I've come to the conclusion that you've never done anything, except for making all of these adventures up on Photoshop."
An extra big hug for this one.
A friend of mine wrote a blog about how adventure was being used as a marketing tool for evil companies. I was nothing to do with the blog but in a comment underneath I was assumed to have been the inspiration for the blog. The insinuation was that I'd sold out.
That made me sad, so I wrote to the person and gave them my phone no. because I don't think anyone who has taken the time to talk about me thinks I've sold out. They didn't call, maybe because they were out looking for hugs.
I remember the careers advisor at school looking after thick rimmed spectacles and suggesting that my 'scores' didn't bode well for the future. 'You should probably do maths,' he said, and when I responded saying I hated maths he countered with, 'well, you have a lot of low grades, but maths is the highest of the low ones, so you should at least give it a go.'
Since then I've realised that advising people on their own careers is a job for someone who hasn't found anything else to be good at.
I wrote an article called 12 Things That Happen When You Say Yes More for www.lifehack.org.
A few days later this email arrived from a lovely man named Bradley.
Terrible advice. I prefer the advice from Warren Buffett. "The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything." Or from James Altucher who wrote the book called " The Power of No"
Sorry but yours was a post that will hurt more people than help.