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Blog: What's on my mind

Don't hurry, be crappy

Posted by Raj on January 25, 2012 at 2:30 PM

     "I've been afraid of changing, 'cause I built my world around you" - Fleetwood Mac


     In life we see great discrepancy. This one is rich, that one is poor, this one is immersed in daily drama, that one has smooth sailing.

     What is the cause of these differences? Can one shift from one position to the other?

     We humans are experts at rationalizations. We are great at coming up with explanations for things. Usually, we are quick to own success and disown failure. A person will claim that his musical talent came from his own hard work and practice, while his failure to ever get a gig came from disloyal band mates, crooked club owners and a stupid public.

     That is ego talking. People talk like this to tell themselves that they are good and the world is bad, or some such nonsense.

     One result of this act of lying to oneself is a distorted view of reality that impedes progress and change. If your lack of gigs is due to club owners, bandmates, and the public, what can you do to get a gig? You have to change a whole lot of people before you can do a show.

     This same outlook can affect every aspect of life. If you have lots of volatile relationships, you can blame the people you interact with, or God, or bad luck; but you will be better served by looking at yourself and seeing what you are doing to bring this about.

     Often it is nothing conscious or intentional. you are just doing what you have always done and getting what you have always got.

     We sometimes hear the phrase "He is his own worst enemy". This phrase is true for almost everyone, not a select few. The guy who wants to be admired makes a fool of himself showing off. The guy who wants to avoid failure never takes a chance on anything, so his whole life is a failure. The guy who wants to feel good about himself looks for flaws in himself to correct, and ends up feeling worse than ever.

     This is typical of emotional suffering. What we do to make things better often makes things worse. We dig ourselves deeper and deeper into the hole. If someone suggests that we stop, we react by thinking that if we stop it will all get worse. The guy who is correcting his flaws is terrified at the prospect of allowing them to flourish.

     In most cases, though, this is exactly what is needed. To work on acceptance. To stop seeing everything as a flaw. The same is true for all of the other stuff. We all know that the show-off is much more admirable when he lets his guard down and gets real. We know that the guy who loves and loses is less of failure than the guy who never dares to love.

     We need to stop trying to change other people, the world, and ourselves until we understand and accept. We need to take a moment to challenge our critical beliefs about the world and see if there may be a better way.

     Yes, as a participant in the rat race you may feel the need to lie and criticize and impress. But who says that is the only game in town? I say that you can tell the truth, accept others exactly the way they are and not try to impress anyone.

     I also say that you will be happier, others will think better of you, and you will be less troubled. 

     If you have an ongoing problem in your life, stop and look at it and make sure that you are not the one causing it.

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