Your ability to ruin even the best of circumstances stems from something you’d likely rather not acknowledge: your subconscious. When you’re born, you don’t come preinstalled with internal dialogue; instead, you cultivate it over time into a master narrative of self-sabotage. As a child, you approach the world with genuine curiosity. But somewhere along the way, you replace that universal integrity with something stubbornly individualistic.
As philosopher Martin Heidegger put it, “Every man is born as many men and dies as a single one” (a profound statement to stick in your proverbial pipe). People often complain about children being selfish when in reality, children find meaning in everything going on around them, not just in themselves. Only when you grow older does everything become about you and you alone. The problem with this mode of thinking is that it primes you to get stuck in emotional rollercoasters whose brakes haven’t worked in years.
The more effort you expend trying to make yourself happy, the more you reinforce the fact that you’re unhappy, to begin with. So, you “settle” for the fiction of having changed yourself for the better, when, in fact, all you’ve done is succumb to the clickbait of your ego. Consequently, you focus more on “fixing” rather than “improving” yourself. To put an end to this cycle, you must be fully committed to ending it — now.
The Blame Game
People tend to blame everyone and everything for their problems, rather than blame themselves. Regardless of whether you’re right to blame others (to say nothing of the thrill of being able to attribute your problems to outside forces beyond your control), the blame game keeps you stuck in the very problems you’re attempting to overcome. But here’s the rub: Everyone is subject to forces beyond their control. As such, you are essentially playing the victim card on a table already filled with victim cards.
Much of this has to do with what Heidegger called “thrown-ness,” by which he defined everything into which we are “thrown” as individuals. Whether it’s your genetics, nationality, or physical stature, you’ve been thrown into this world as you are — not by choice but by circumstance. And if you’re ever going to live beyond the grasp of that which you’ve been thrown into, you must accept the hand you’ve been dealt with. There are many things you simply can’t change. But you can change how they affect you. In other words, pull your subconscious from the background into the foreground.
Otherwise, it will control you from behind the scenes, while you prattle on about fate. A lot of this becomes clear if you think about the nature of truth. Someone who grew up in a trailer park without a father might blame those circumstances for their current failures in life, but that’s a truth they’ve spun out of convenience and under which they’ve cowered like a frightened animal. You tell yourself that you’ve lost the will to achieve, so you just coast through life, convinced this is all there is. So, that’s it? You’re going to throw it all away for a feeling? Welcome to the club.
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