Our experiences are everything, the things that have happened to us, make up who we are, but they in no way define us. So why do we continue to let them? It’s damning behaviour of the worst kind, especially with the gems of prophetic bullshit we tell ourselves like:
“I always…” or “I can never…” or “I just wish…” fill in the blank.
People use their previous experiences, circumstances and/or situations as an excuse to not put in the time and effort when they need to most. It’s often when we are so close to our goal that we give up. When all we needed to do was push a little bit more and for a little longer to achieve what we wanted.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” Viktor E. Frankl, author of Man’s Search for Meaning.
the power to live and forgive.
Posted by BuzzFeed on Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Eva Mozes Kor was one of the Mengele Twins, one of 1500 pairs twins’ (3000 kids in total) ripped from their mothers’ arms half an hour after arriving at the concentration camp. She was subjected to horrific and extensive experimentation and was one of only 200 children to survive the ordeal.
When she fell desperately ill she was taken to the hospital barracks and told by Josef Mengele himself:
“Too bad. She’s so young. She has only two weeks to live”
All she remembers, of the next two weeks, was crawling on the barrack floor, as she couldn’t walk anymore, to get water at the end of the corridor. Telling herself
“I must survive, I must survive.”
Through her sheer will and determination she survived. If a girl of only ten can survive an ordeal such as this, then your excuses of:
“I always…” or “I can never…” or “I just wish…”
Are pretty pitiful in comparison, this may be a harsh example but it illustrates the point perfectly.
Bill Burr is a stand-up comedian, and as with most comics, faced some “dark periods” what he realised was he wasn’t living for himself and was concerned with what others would think of him.
“I would be what you needed me to be. I was friends with everybody, which is not a real thing, if you are being who you are. I would adjust my shit so I wouldn’t cause any friction… using that as a game plan, eventually you’re just so going to spin away from who the hell you are.
This goes back to being your authentic self and he actually “stopped giving a shit about making it.”
Whenever Bill had self-defeating thoughts he learned to dive into intentional struggle. Getting back into drums or going to gym, interrupted the negative thoughts and replaced them with something healthy and meaningful. He essentially discovered
“How learning can serve as powerful therapy.” Tim Ferriss.
There is so much to be said for the ability to push aside the negativity, from both internal and external sources, and do something that makes you happy. It’s actually that simple though. Make the effort to make an effort, instead of letting the crap in and ruining your day.
If you consistently do that you are guaranteed success, in any goal you set your mind too. You can’t get too cocky though, humility and gratitude are the best ways to keep what you have worked so hard for. Be proud of yourself and experience your success.
As Tim asks: “Did you feel like you’d arrived?”
Bill: “I bought a house right … I had a niche following… I said to my wife ‘I know you’re not supposed to say this but I made it.’ Coz there’s a sickness in this business of like ‘no man if you think you made it then you’re gonna relax and it’s all gonna go away.’ Oh so I’m never going to be happy? I tell dick jokes and I just bought a house, I made it!”
This is a simplistic way to look at it, but it really is that simple. Buying a house, in South Africa, for the majority of the population, would change their lives. Being able to buy one doing something they love would be sublime!
We need to forgive others, and ourselves, for our experiences of the past to allow us to rise to our potential. Then we can celebrate and experience our triumphs, not forgetting where we have come from.
If Eva Mozes Kor can forgive the Nazis for the atrocities committing against her, during her time at Auschwitz, then you can forgive the people who have wronged you or perhaps even forgive yourself.
“A Auschwitz survivor gives him a letter of forgiveness, to a Nazi doctor. But what I discovered for myself was life-changing. I discovered that I had the power to forgive. No one could give me that power, no one could take it away. It was all mine to use in any way I wished. And that became an interesting thing, because as a victim of over 50 years, I never thought that I had any power over my life.”
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- Apathy: Why you are Unhappy and How to Change it. - September 21, 2017