Support not critique

Seth Godin suggests that, when it comes to creativity, “the brave need supporters, not critics.” This made me think of my advisor in college. Steve pissed me off a lot. When I’d come to his office, confused over the direction of my concentration, he wouldn’t sit me down and critique my course list like a normal advisor. No, not Steve. He’d usually pause a moment before rushing out the door and say “I know you’ll figure it out.” Like I said, he often pissed me off! I usually figured he was just blowing me off for a wine tasting or something. “What does he mean, I’ll figure it out?,” I’d rant. “His job is to help me figure it out!” I’d fume for a few days until (damn it all!) I’d figure out the problem on my own, and he’d be proven right. It wasn’t until after college that I realized what he was doing. Steve realized that I didn’t need a critic, I just needed a supporter. Left on my own, I was capable of creatively handling all the problems I was facing, just as long as some one reminded me that I could.