Why Piers Morgan and Simon Cowell Are Important To Dreams

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Catherine Hughes

Director of the 8 Women Dream Project at 8 Women Dream
Catherine’s dream is to make 8 Women Dream the premier online publication for women looking to pursue their dreams. She is a published author, a freelance writer, and a guide for those who want their dreams to come true online. Catherine would someday like to be invited to speak at TED about her observations about her 8WD project inviting women to take a chance on their dreams. Wine was required... Catherine posts on Sunday evenings and fills in dream stories as needed. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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Clapboard and Director's Chair by Steve Greenberg @ art.com

If you’ve ever sat through a session of America’s Got Talent or American Idol, then you are familiar with the judging personalities of Piers Morgan and Simon Cowell.

If not . . . then I would describe their judging as something akin of an over-bearing Italian grandmother combined with the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding yelling, “why you wear THAT thing?!” in front of two hundred of your closest friends in the middle of your wedding.

Painful?  Maybe.

Is it the truth, cruelty … or just grandma/Morgan/Cowell projecting their childhood crap on you because of some deep dissatisfaction in their everyday lives while they chase  perfection?

Both Morgan and Cowell have taken their share of public flogging for their honest opinions on these talent shows.  Some say they’re brutal.  Maybe.  But whenever I watch them judge I think how lucky the contestants are to have someone tell them when they may suck.

Can you imagine how hard that is?

Sometimes dreamers fall so much in love with their dreams that they lose all sense or perspective on themselves and the ability to self-regulate their decisions.  It’s hard to know when you suck.  Or maybe you just need a little fine-tuning.

I agree that it is hard to tell when you think you need to get better at something feels like you might be selling yourself short.

How do you look in a mirror and know where you really are with your dream?

This week my son and I started preparing for his entrance into the 11th grade.  No I am not that old.  This has caused me to be in the living room more than usual.  That boy has a lot of socks.  Looking through his clothes with him and figuring out what he needs to start the year gave me a chance to watch Piers Morgan on America’s Got Talent.

I was shocked to find myself agreeing with Morgan most of the time …  a contestant needed more coaching;  another should perform in a different venue — like their bedroom; and the last one needed to lose the group and go solo to make it.

It’s easy to see when it’s not you … huh?

My son decided this summer to try out for the linebacker position on his varsity football team.  This week at football camp the coaches and fellow players told him he’d be a better defensive end.  My son is as strong as a refrigerator and loves to tackle quarterbacks. He’s a science nerd who just happened to inherit his height and size from the Paul Bunyan side of my family.

I guess these are qualities that make up a good defensive end.  I just thought that it meant that they could devour a leg of lamb in one sitting.  He’s built to lift Big Blue Babe with one hand and contemplate frictionless rotation while adjusting his glasses with the other.

His coaches and fellow players see him differently than he sees himself.

The first two days he came home from camp and went straight to bed.  I could tell he was upset.   I hate it when my son behaves like I did when I was a teenager.  I could only press him so far to tell me what was going on.  He refused.

I finally nagged my ex-husband enough to go to camp after work and observe what was going on.  It turns out trying to become a linebacker was harder than my son thought.

Should he give up on his dream?

The solution sort-of presented itself on the third day when he made a big play as a defensive end that all the players and coaches noticed.  His father said he was amazing.  He wasn’t so amazing as a linebacker.  As a defensive end he came home strutting like a peacock.  The answer to your dream can often be found in how your dream is making you feel.

My son had to decide if the work to become a decent linebacker was worth sacrificing the opportunity to happily make many great plays this season in another position.  Everyone saw where his real talent was . . . except him.

We can screw up our vision sometimes, pushing ourselves in one direction until something sets us straight.

This is the moment that we need our own Simon Cowell or Piers Morgan in our lives who will give us not only constructive criticism — but information on how we can improve if we are serious.  It’s hard learning to accept what you hear and weigh it in your head for a while.

These judges have been wrong.

Your ability to hear what your personal dream talent judge has to say about your dream is only information.  If you allow yourself to take the constructive criticism in and roll it around — without taking it personally — it may force you to make changes that create your big dream.

Then who knows where playing defensive end will take you.


  • Michael Strutz

    Simon was there for Carrie Underwood and just look at her now. I think it pays to listen to feedback. She is the hottest female country singer today. Piers does a great job with expecting the best from contestants and behaves like as a gentleman. You have to have guts to speak honestly, and honesty that will help the person – not hurt them.

  • Ken

    What’s a Piers Morgan? :-)

  • Brian rocks on the field and I’m so glad he found the support for a position that makes him super happy. Happy teenagers are important!

    I know now that there are things I excel at that I would have completely blown off even a few years ago, just because I didn’t think they were “me”.

    Now the concept of “me” is very fluid. Thanks for the great story – H

  • Michelle

    Touching story about your son Cath. We are so proud of you, your life and what you do to help improve the lives of others. You are an amazing person. You’ve always been able to monitor your progress, take feedback from others and turn it into something more.

  • Lisa Powell, Author & Serial Traveler

    Hey Cath, great story about your son :) I agree that we all sometimes need to get a nudge in one direction or another, validation or feedback to figure out which way to go… For years I felt so sure I’d be the Mayor of Troy, and while I still could be someday, I feel that honestly my personality and talents are more suited to blogging, writing, traveling, teaching… I’m SUCH a free spirit and think I could feel trapped by needing to report in to my constituents and be available 24-seven. But for a long time, that WAS the “Big Dream”… Fortunately I’ve always received great feedback on my writing, and it has given me the courage to pursue that dream…

    That said, my writing coach didn’t hold back about changes I needed to make to my manuscript! ;) And that was hard to hear on one level, and perfect on another, because I KNEW the book needed lots of work… Keeping at it!

    Love you so much Cath! <3 xoxo

  • Yeah it’s hard to say if it is narcissism or confidence. But I think to be successful you have to be able to accept feedback and get out of your own way. thanks for the comment Lynn.


  • lynn fincher

    Piers Morgan and Simon Cowell can come across as narcissistic, as if the shows are about them instead of the artists. I agree with you tho. An artist has to take criticism to be able to check in at where they are at compared to where they need to be to be successful. Sharon Osborne is my favorite judge.