So as it turns out, keeping up a blog is more difficult than I thought it would be. Kudos to those that do this weekly, or daily! It’s not like I don’t have a wellspring of inspiration to pull from, but most of it stems from frustration or annoyance, and I know you don’t want to read that all the time, do you? We should get some positive every once in awhile. Well I wish I had some for you today, but I feel that this is probably something to which a lot of you can relate.

How often do you feel like you are held to hypocritical standards? Chances are, you have dealt with this at least once in your career or life. You are given advice or feedback that is so contrary to the nature of the individual dropping this nugget of wisdom on you. For those of you who have experienced this, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how dejecting it can be, especially when you are obligated to abide by their feedback.

Look, I’m no stranger to constructive criticism. I thrive on it, actually. Without it, we would never improve.

My professors at Auburn University are, to this day, some of the most critical people I have ever known. Yet I couldn’t be more thankful for them! I wouldn’t be the designer, nay…the man that I am today if it were not for their honest and, at times, brutal critique. I respect their feedback because it is so obvious to me that they hold themselves to an even higher standard than they hold me. I respect their critique because I know that someone once gave them the same feedback, and it stuck with them.

No one likes receiving diet advice from the obese. No one cares what the addict says about self-control. We respect critique from those who have applied it to themselves just as rigidly, if not more so, than they assign it to us.

It is easy, I believe, to point out the faults in someone else. It is harder by far to look for the faults within ourselves.

It is, however, the best practice for keeping ourselves humble, honest, and always on the lookout for ways to better ourselves. We should always strive as creatives, as professionals, and as human beings to constantly hold ourselves to a higher standard. If you are afforded wise mentors along the way who can help you get there, great! Please do not, however, sit around waiting for them! Be introspective, be self-aware, and always be improving on your own. If you do that and the day comes that you are responsible for someone else, or their work, you will be able to unashamedly pass on your wisdom without fear of contradicting yourself.

Don’t promote the “higher” double standard. Be what you expect others to be, and practice what you preach!

– Hunter Crawford