When I was growing up if Larry Bird had told me I was a great shooter, I would have practiced twice as hard.
If someone like Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski, David Foster Wallace, or Hunter S. Thompson were alive, and called me a writer, I would be flattered, and encouraged to continue pursuing my dream with ever fiber of my being. I know this too be true because I had lunch with Charles Salzberg, who is alive and a terrific writer in his own right and he, whether intentional or not, made reference to me as an equal. It is an unmatched feeling to have someone you respect consider you a peer, even if it was just in passing.
If someone who had revealed themselves to be a gutless flake, incapable of winning when the pressure was on, called me a winner, and predicted I would go on to great things? It would fill me with an overwhelming sense of self doubt.
The fact that a quitter, a loser who I won’t even mention by name, saw something in me that fell under his misguided ideas of winning? I would seriously reevaluate the chances I had of ever actually succeeding.
You hearing me Tim Tebow? Or should I drop a relevant bible verse in order to get your attention?