I hate my job! I hate my boss! I hate my relationship! I hate my life!
When you are in that wagon, surrounded by people crying this out, you tend to join in. You don’t want to be the one voice that mumbles, “I love what I’m doing, where I’m going, and whom I’m with.” The others could kill you.
Misery loves company, but off late, I think we just like being miserable. It is so easy and convenient to blame anyone or anything else. It is your manager, your girlfriend, your parents, your neighbor or your car, your pay check, the government! It is everybody and everything, but me.
I have watched the movie Never Back Down a few times. Not a particularly great movie, but it does have this one dialogue which irked me when I first heard it. In the scene when the coach and the boy are having a moment, the boy asks the coach about what can be do when he is pinned down by the opponent. The coach insists you can always turn the situation around.
The boy argues, “But it’s not always possible to change the situation”, and the coach replies, “It is. You are responsible for the outcome.”
The boy the asks again, “So, it’s on me?” and the coach says, “Yes, it always has been.”
I definitely didn’t like the notion that I am responsible to control the outcome of the situation, especially when I cannot control all the element in that situation. And, in my most overwhelming moments, I don’t want that control, I only want to retaliate.
But in my tantrum lies the truth. I am always in charge of controlling the outcome, but I just don’t want to take that effort.
We rather sit and whine, complain, discuss, bitch, fume and fret about things and people in our lives that we don’t like. But why do anything to correct it. Why even believe that we can? Why, indeed.
The ego is always so seductive, it’s little whispers of “What’s in it for you?” and, “Why should you make the first step? and the murmured assurances that, “It won’t really change anything anyway…” work like a charm. We let ourselves get convinced that we don’t matter in a situation we confront daily, deal with daily, lets it affect us daily, and are mere recipients.
I am guilty to all of this. But I am also guilty of acknowledging that I’m kidding myself. I do hold the onus of changing things. I have the power to bring about changes, in my mindset and also in dealing with the situation.
I will continue to have a job that does not full satisfy me, I will continue to have co-workers and managers who lie and do not value or respect me, I will continue to have friends or people in my life that betray and disappoint, I will continue to live in a country that is heading towards disaster and I pay money to the corrupt. All of that will continue, but I can change what I do in that situation.
I can find a purpose for my self, my existence, that is more than being a mere recipient. I can find comfort in what I do and do it well, because that is my legacy and pride. I can find meaning in my actions and guidance to others, rather than wait for someone to recognize my value and appreciate me. I can sit back and say, “Let those fools ruin themselves”, or take a stand and say, “I will show them how it needs to get done, wherever I can”. I can make my presence in that situation matter. I can refuse to be pinned down.
In any battle, there are two outcomes, you win or you lose. The winner is the one that doesn’t give up because the winner knows, after losing, he or she cannot claim that they didn’t have control to change the situation. All of us do.
And now it’s on you. It always has been.