Posts Tagged ‘looking in the mirror’

  1. Worrying about things you cannot change: Truth be told, there is very little in this life that we have direct control over, and worrying about things we cannot change is like trying to push over trees in a petrified forest.
  2. Assuming the worst about people: There is good and bad in every person.  If we look for the bad, we will find it; and if we speak to the bad, it will speak back to us.  (Note:  It works the same way for the good in people.)
  3. Talking with other miserable people about the things that make you miserable: Indeed, misery does love company, and while there can be some minor relief involved in “venting” our frustration, commiserating generally keeps both parties firmly stuck in the mud.
  4. Refusing to believe in moral victories: It’s popular in our culture to say things like, “there’s no such thing as a moral victory”, which is supposed to let everyone know that the person saying this is a “winner”.  But real life doesn’t play out that way.  Most of us can ill-afford to miss the joy of the little victories in our lives (e.g. our kid catching the fly ball, or getting a big hit, even though their team ultimately loses the game), as we holdout for some mythical trophy that will likely never appear.  A key to genuine happiness is finding the value and beauty, even in the most difficult moments.
  5. Constantly striving for something “more”: While many might try to rationalize this as being “goal-oriented”, constant craving is actually a torment (akin to dying of thirst in the desert).  Within this pattern, the act of apprehending a goal immediately destroys its value (i.e. “Been there, done that, got the t-shirt”).  People who always want more will forever remain one step away from satisfaction.
  6. Sharing your inner most feelings, thoughts, opinions, reactions and dreams on social media: The problem with this pattern is three-fold.  First, it tends to keep a person self-absorbed, as they constantly have to review and evaluate their “status”.  Secondly, it tends to stir up offense toward anyone who might disagree with (or “dislike”) their status.  And finally, it too often gives untrustworthy people access to information that they should never have.
  7. Frequently looking back and second guessing the choices you’ve made: We don’t know what we don’t know, and looking back with the benefit of hindsight totally changes the context of a decision.  Too often we idealize what might have happened had we taken a different path; not accounting for all the unforeseen ramifications that may have accompanied such a choice (e.g. George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life”).
  8. Taking it upon yourself to hold other people accountable for their failures: Trying to act as another persons conscious is exhausting, and keeps us in a mode of constantly finding fault.  It makes people want to avoid you, and to point out your faults to you.
  9. Studying yourself in the mirror: Considering the commonality of eating disorders, drug addiction, and cosmetic surgeries amongst those considered to be the most beautiful within our culture (e.g. super models), it seems that no one is ever really satisfied with what they see in the mirror.  Even those rare few who might be enamored of their own reflection for a period of time eventually become a slave to maintaining that image.  Ultimately, the quality of our lives will be dictated by what lies beneath our skin (i.e. our heart, mind, soul, and spirit).
  10. Using the negative things people have said about you as motivation: While I realize that people like Michael Jordan have used this approach to accomplish great things, I’d submit that holding on to anger is poison to the soul, and that it sucks the joy out of even the most dazzling achievement.

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