What does 1980’s ‘Popeye’ have to do with creativity and criticism?

1980’s “Popeye” starring Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall is a bad film. The chorus sings off-key or flat, which is pretty terrible for a musical, and Williams mumbles his way through the role eliminating any sort of comedy that would have come from his adlib skills. The lone bright spot is Duvall, who was seemingly born to play Olive Oyl. (You can read my longer review, which is criticism and not being critical, at Penguinate.weebly.com.)

Normally, as a Penguinator, you don’t want to criticize anything. While criticism may make you look smarter, it can snuff out a person’s creative spark. Engage in too much criticism, and you may find your own spark for creativity failing.

We don’t want to discourage creativity, but there are times when it’s important to be critical. The not-so-subtle difference between criticizing and being critical is that being critical is designed to help the person get better. Criticism tears people down; being critical helps to build them up.

The next time you’re about to point out the flaws in someone else’s idea, be sure that your helping the person to build up on the idea. The spark you save may be your own.

Be active: Nurture your own spark. Turn off your inner editor until it is needed.

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