Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Rant (Wait for it...)

We learn more from our failures than we do from our successes but only as long as we're receptive to the lesson. If we allow our emotions, those irrational tricksters, to dominate our thoughts we’re sure to miss the lesson.

And that's the only true failure in life. If we don't learn from our setbacks then we’re doomed to repeat them. We're bound to continue blaming external factors when we ought to examine ourselves instead.

When we deny our flaws, we reinforce them. When we ignore them, we give them free reign to do as they please.

Ever meet a person who just can’t find a partner? Every boss they ever had was a jerk, they always have drama in their life, and nothing—no movie, TV show, book, song, whatever—is ever good enough.

This is the critic who has accomplished nothing noteworthy but loves to pick apart the accomplishments of others.

This is the kind of person who would most benefit from applying a critical eye internally; instead, they fixate on the flaws—perceived and actual—of others and perform all manner of mental gymnastics to protect their fragile egos.

They don’t see the common denominator in all their misfortunes. Through all the failed jobs and relationships, they never bother to ask: could I have done anything to prevent this? Is there something I could do to avoid these unpleasant situations in the future?

They may not be solely to blame but they could definitely avoid reliving the same negative experiences over and over again if they took some ownership.

Most people want others to change but refuse to change themselves. This is an extremely selfish and unreasonable way of looking at the world. I suggest that, in order to enact change in others, you must first enact those changes in yourself.

Imagine a giant, incredibly complex machine composed of 7 billion moving parts that are constantly interacting with each other. If you amend how one of those parts behaves you affect how all the other parts function, even if only incrementally.

The idea that changing yourself is detrimental to your integrity—that people should “love you for who you are,” that no one has the right to demand you to change—is your ego’s strongest self-preservation mechanism. You're not your likes, dislikes, or behavior patterns: those are just masks and costumes you wear.

Changing or stripping away the costumes doesn't actually change the person wearing the costumes.

On Halloween, a day when people are encouraged to dress up and pretend to be something they're not, I think it's important to remember what you are.

Happy Halloween!

The Meme Merchant
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