It’s like shovelling snow while it’s still snowing. If I can move the snow off the driveway faster than it comes down, I end up with a clear driveway.
What if you work hard, pay your dues, do the right thing, help others, and still don’t get a break?
This cliché (in my mind, a cliché is something that is so commonly quoted that it becomes easily and uncritically accepted as truth) is dangerous.
The point of such radical honesty is supposedly so the recipient can see the error of their ways and improve them. In theory, it makes sense. When a defect is pointed out, you don’t waste time bitching, you fix it.
The prisons we build for ourselves are not in some remote outpost with dynamite filled walls. They come in the shape of commitments we don’t want to keep, possessions we don’t need, people we don’t love, work we don’t want to do, obligations and debt we struggle to endure.
“Look upon your soldiers as you do infants, and they willingly go into deep valleys with you; look upon your soldiers as beloved children, and they willingly die with you.”
Why do you feel worse breaking commitments to others than you do breaking commitments to yourself? Why do you shudder to think of disappointing another but happily continue to disappoint yourself?
Promote the psychological sense of ownership without forfeiting actual ownership. To do this for example, with a manager, you need to make them feel pride at the companies success (as if it were a direct result of their efforts), and feel shame and embarrassment at the companies failure (as if it were all their fault).
Be brave. Take a chance. Smile.