Life is not what people say about you but what you choose to listen to

“At the end of the day, it is not about what people say but what you hear” – William Hung

She bangs, she bangs, oh baby when she moves, she moves. I’m pretty sure most of you (maybe over the age of 20) have heard of this sensational, former American Idol contestant, William Hung.

About a year ago, I watched a private speech given by William online and it made me see life in a more positive light by having the courage to not be afraid of judgements from others. His ability to channel negativity into a positive energy is commendable and it inspired me to share it.

In his speech, he mentioned that his parents said, “it is okay to fail as long as you have tried your best” and that was why he was able to summon his courage to tell Simon, one of the judges of American Idol, that he had already given his best and had no regrets about it. But, what really inspired me was when he talked about how he used the criticism that he received as one of his sources to motivate himself.

After broadcasting his audition on national television, his name went viral and his website received eight million hits in less than a month. He was invited to appear on commercials, television and was also given a USD 25,000 record deal. However, he said that none of this would have happened if he had given up and it was really easy for him to give up due to all the negative criticism at that time.

So what he did to motivate himself was to choose what he wanted to hear. When people said, “William Hung is the worst singer in the world” he heard it as “keep going, because your next fan could be right around the corner” and when people said, “William Hung portrays the biggest Asian stereotype” he heard it as “don’t worry about that, you can be their positive role model.

Life is short and we should all live our lives to the fullest. We don’t have time to listen to comments by others that do not empower us. Although it is true that William did not start out singing like Michael Jackson or any other power singers in the music industry, but at least he had the courage to put himself out there to fulfill his dream. We might not be the best at what we want to do but with perseverance and the desire to improve ourselves, we can learn to become better at it.

I feel that people are often quick to judge and comment on others – as if they forgot or were unaware that not everyone is perfect. We should not be defined by what people say because all we need is to have hope and focus on figuring out how we can overcome our challenges in order to move forward in life.

William’s speech made me realize that we hold the power to control what our minds think.

We should not be afraid of the judgements from others and have the courage to embrace ourselves for who we are and work towards our dreams with hope.



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