A colleague of mine recently said to me, “I’ve been here for three years and I’m still not where I want to be. I don’t understand why [the boss] hates me so much!”
My first question was, “Okay, so what are you going to do about it?”
“What do you mean?” she asked.
“I don’t know . . . Have you set up a meeting with them? Have you come up with a plan to get to where you want to be? Has it ever occurred to you to look for another job?”
“No,” she replied. “What’s the point? It’s not going to change anything – and looking for another job would be such a pain.”
She complained of her situation with not a single thought to the solution. And the harsh truth is that I felt no sympathy for her whatsoever.
Too easily do humans feel defeated. We settle for misery at the expense of our desires. We become infuriated at forces external. “That, over there, is to blame,” we say, pointing our fingers.
Can we not see the truth? Do we not understand how the game is played?
We are not cursed but we curse ourselves regardless. We wave our hands in the air to let the world know, “It is I, the victim.” But we are not all victims – to say so would be an insult to the real victims of the world; those poor souls born to oppression, war, and poverty, or those who suffer from disease or at the hands of their abusers.
We, on the other hand, are mostly pretenders and frauds, claiming to have no power or influence over our misfortune.
To point our fingers at anyone or anything other than ourselves is to take the easy way out.
That is the road of comfort, ease, and predictability.
“But how can I be to blame? I’ve done nothing wrong – I’m a victim here!”
It is that sort of thinking that gets us nowhere. It is that sort of thinking that makes us powerless. All the problems in our lives are suddenly because of someone else or something else. It takes the weight off our shoulders.
And so, we remain in the places where we started, never moving forward and always looking back. We stay still while our fantasies venture far beyond what we know.
When our fantasies return – excited, motivated, ready to go – we silence them with frowns and chuckles. Such ignorance to think we could achieve or succeed.
“Would if I could,” we say, “But it’s a fool’s hope! There is no gold to be had, for it is already taken. There is no opportunity, for we are bound here.”
Instead, we condemn those in charge or those with more. We hold them responsible for our pain and declare our inability to change things because of them. My boss. My mother. Our government. Those people.
It makes us feel better to complain about how incapable we are, to criticize something outside of ourselves. If we are not in control, there is no need for effort. If our lives are not up to us, there is no chance we can fail.
I don’t know about you, but I refuse to be inhibited by any force outside me.
Let’s remember that we are powerful, we are capable, and we alone are in control.