And when I see peers being successful, it’s not that I’m not happy for them. I am! But it sometimes register as an attack. I imagine that for every bit of success handed over to somebody else, that is one chunk taken from the success pie of the world. It’s a disgusting way of thinking, really. It’s almost as if I’m running out of success – as if it was a perishable resource that I alone can hoard. Thoughts like “Why can’t I be more like him / her?” come barging in through the folds of my brain until I go on a self-destructive mode. Not pretty.
Knowing that, I’ve taken to avoiding the Facebook timeline just to prevent the possibility of having negative feelings towards innocently successful friends. Not only does this save me a lot of time (productivity wise, it really does wonders) but it also helps me direct all my energy to improving myself…
The good news is…
- Everyone feels insecure and inadequate at some point in their lives. It’s normal, but we may need an attitude shift to fight it.
- Our chances of finding success (whatever that might mean) does not end once we lose our teenage years. And there’s not much difference between a successful kid and a successful adult, except the kid might still have to go to the pressures of high school, and adults are so over that. The workforce is where the drama is at, y’all.
- The world is not going to run out of successes. Chill out!
We are all worthy and we’re all entitled to our own successes, which we often achieve through a combination of immeasurable hard-work and a bit of luck. Let the child prodigies be prodigies. They got there because they’re probably all smarter and better-equipped than all of us. Let friends become well-off and successful because true friends are kind of obliged to be happy for other friends. Yeah.
“Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not by blindly applying success recipes, productivity lists, life hacks–or even worse, forcing these down another person’s throat. Most of (but not all) the time, you’re your best teacher.”
Living in the moment means to be mindful of the present, it means to live neither in the past nor in the future, recognizing that the present moment is both the past and the future. Living in the moment is to be fully present.
Living for the moment is different, because it gives no regard to the future, in the sense that present actions will have no future consequences.
The key is to live in the present moment while still regarding the impact of your current decisions on future present moments. In other words, we can’t live as though there is no tomorrow, because tomorrow will probably arrive and we can’t live only for tomorrow, because it may not arrive.
“I meet these people all the time: binge consumers, intentionally oblivious young people who see amassing a great shoe collection as their purpose in life. As our whole society is fundamentally challenged — war, terrorism, globalism — there is a large segment whose measured response has been self-expression through shopping and partying. They’re constructing their own fantasy world, a bubble to seal themselves off from the trauma of our times.”
For help to truly be helpful, the recipients must be ready for it — and as helpers we need to assess that readiness accurately. It’s easy to misread potential openness for an actual invitation.
We can offer help and it’s received with gratitude. But we may not know when to stop. The desire to help takes over, and we pass the point of diminishing returns and keep right on going. As helpers we need to be keenly attuned to recipients’ ability to make effective use of our help and to stop helping when it’s no longer helpful.
As helpers we may think we know what’s needed, but even—and perhaps especially—when we’re viewed as experts we need to access our ignorance and be open to the possibility that we may be wrong.
Often times people make their determinations about us based on one incident. One! It’s less about “first impressions being lasting impressions” than it is about the most extreme incident carrying a heavier weight than dozens of other less extreme incidents. And how often does that one EXTREME incident truly reflect our nature? My money’s on: rarely (unless you commit some heinous act, duh).
People like you when you’re at your best. People like you when your behavior makes sense to them.
I’m not trying to pass the blame here, and I’m definitely not denying that at times I am completely stupid and totally mean. I’m just saying I see a pattern emerging. It’s easy to be a fair-weather friend. It’s easy to hang and laugh and bake cupcakes and paint your toenails when things are easy and all is well. But few and far between are the people who won’t judge based on the behavior of the people around you, or who won’t turn their backs on you after a breakup, or who won’t turn their nose up because you’re having a particularly “drunk” month or two. A phase if you will. We all have our drunk months, our SSRI months, all-nighter months, our “oops the condom broke” months. We all say things we regret. We all do things that, on the surface, might seem crazy but when you just take the time to ask, make perfect sense.
I wish that instead of judging one another’s real lives based on an EXTREME incident, or on our less-than-strong behavior when we’re at our worst, that we instead focus on what we can give and take from one another when we’re at our best. No one wants to be disregarded based on circumstantial evidence alone… But there are two sides to every story and when one fails to recognize that, it really, really hurts.