To think that we are not y because we don’t have x.
We’re not happy because we don’t make enough money. We’re not as creative because we have too little time. We’re only insecure because our life is filled with uncertainty.
It’s easy because it feels good to play the victim. When you think like this, you take comfort in the fact that your problems aren’t actually your problems. They’re external. They’re someone else’s. They’re a problem with the world around you. So you stay the same as long as the world and people around you remain unchanged. And you use words like “deserve” and “want” and “unfair” to justify your position to others. Phrases like, “why does this always happen to me?” tumble out of your mouth.
The opposite mode of thought is uncomfortable. So you avoid it.
Insecurity, anxiety and fear are the products of your own mind. They are, to put it bluntly, completely your fault. And if you say they’re not, you’re both a liar and a coward.
So you can’t help getting angry? So you can’t stop yourself feeling bitter and cynical? Tell me, are you a human being? Someone with the power of thought and reason and self-control?
Here’s another way to think about it. Does someone with whatever you claim to desire most have problems? Sure. Their specifics may not be the same as yours, but they still have problems. In fact, the higher you climb, the more basic and human the problems become. Anger. Sadness. Insecurity. Jealousy. Dissatisfaction. Restlessness.
Someone with less than they desire and someone with everything they could ever want have similar problems. The difference is one of degrees, not kind. So do you think the cause of their problems lies in what they have? In the means at their disposal. No.
The rich and the poor, the successful and the not-yet successful live different lives but share similar issues. Which means that the cause cannot be related to their means.
This is energising. Because it means that you don’t need a to solve your problems. You don’t need b to stop feeling like shit every day. You don’t need c to be happy or feel fulfilled.
You just need to realise that the problems you have right now aren’t going away. They’ll stay with you through success and failure. They’ll linger on. They don’t care about your power or influence or socio-economic status.
So stop attributing these problems to something outside of yourself. Stop playing the victim and blaming everyone else for your circumstances. Sure, it feels good. But for as long as you continue to do it, you’ll never have peace. Or serenity. Or get any respect from people who can see through your cocoon of lies.