“What you think you become. What you feel you attract. What you imagine you create.” - Buddha
Have you ever met a person who is fatalistic? They complain about their position in life and blame others for their failures. They constantly focus on what others aren't doing for them and how they've been wronged, limited or discriminated against. They surround themselves with similar people, who have similar views and create a bubble of anger, resentment and entitlement. These are the same people who call everyone in a slightly better socioeconomic position “privileged.” This approach to life seldom leads to anything productive or empowering.
Recommendation 1: Stop blaming others and making excuses for yourself
Life is Random and Unfair
The reality is that life is unfair and we are not all born equal. In fact, some of us aren't even born due to complications from pregnancy or other factors. Once we are born, some of us are born with cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, thalassemia, mental retardation, down syndrome, physical deformities, or hundreds of other debilitating conditions. And then comes even more unfairness: abusive parents, no parents, impoverished community, bullying, lack of proper nutrition, lack of medical care, lack of education, etc., etc., etc. This list can get very long. If you focus on this list, you will never get past this list.
Recommendation 2: Accept that life is unfair and will remain so
There's Always Someone Better
You will encounter people who are better than you. Some will be more athletic. Others will be more intelligent. You can choose almost any domain and be guaranteed that there's a person who can do it better. When you find such a person, you have two options:
- You can embrace the fact that they are better than you and try to learn from them so you can improve your knowledge and/or skills within that domain
- You can attribute their success to their unique characteristics and environmental conditions and discount their effort and drive to get to where they are
I recommend you choose option 1.
Recommendation 3: Embrace people that are better than you and learn from them
There is No Single Truth
There's a category of people who are more concerned with being perceived as being right or knowledgable as opposed to pursuing objective truth/knowledge. These people tend to be dogmatic in their beliefs and lack the ability or will to critically examine their beliefs and actions. If you fall into this category, I would strongly recommend that you do your best to try to escape from this mental prison. The best way to do this is to shut up, listen and learn. Stop pushing your viewpoint and start listening to and considering other people's opposing views. Learn the hard sciences and the scientific method as it is responsible for almost all the technological advancement that we all benefit from. If you are stuck in a dogmatic religious state of mind, learn about other religions and systems of belief and realize that your creation story/fable is one of thousands.
Recommendation 4: Constantly examine and challenge your beliefs and actions
Your Ego is Your Problem
Lastly, in this age of social media narcissism, it's important to realize that your are = 0.00000000013. This is you divided by the global population. You are statistically insignificant. To keep your ego in check, read the following passage from time to time and remember how short and insignificant everyone's life really is.
“The first and most important thing to realize is that you are nothing more than a piece of dust in the wind. Small. Insignificant. Even if the universe became aware of your existence, it would mean nothing and have no consequences. Your sense of self is an illusion. Your sense of control is an illusion. As the wind pushes you around, you rationalize your place in the cosmos. Desperately searching for purpose and meaning. Ignoring your fragility and fleeting existence. Trying to make sense of random events. You came from nothing and will go back to being nothing. You are an ant. A bacterium. A molecule. An atom. A fraction of a fraction. You deserve nothing.”
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