I know this woman who always has an answer for everything. The answer is usually “I am this way because…” and then she ends off with either “that’s how I was raised”, “my parents abused me”, “my schooling screwed me over” or something else to that effect. The point is that nothing is ever her fault. She can always pinpoint exactly what messed her up and take pride in the fact that it was not her fault and there is nothing she can do about it.
When I first met her, I felt really bad for her. She had a terrible upbringing and she was faced with terrible circumstances which made her turn out the way she did. After getting to know her a little better, I noticed that she was taking this a little too far. She was taking incidents that happened way in the past and applying them to her everyday life.
I thought about this woman recently when I was having a conversation with a friend who was telling me that she was having so many problems in life. Her school screwed her over by not teaching her properly. She says that they even apologized for doing such a poor job. She is having problems at home but they are all her parent’s fault. She had problems with her friends but the problems were all for one reason or another. This story sounded very familiar.
When I started thinking about it, I realized that we all have a little bit of this inside of us. We don’t want to be wrong or at fault so we blame other people for everything that happens to us. It is all pathological, after finding something to blame a failure on, we are somewhat comforted to know it is no longer our fault and anything that comes from it is not our responsibility.
I had this problem for a little while. It was ingrained in me to blame first and then figure out what just happened. I found myself blaming everyone and everything for anything wrong in my life. I got messed over by some of my teachers in high school and I blamed my failures on them. Later in life I realized that I can blame all I want but it won’t do me any good and it doesn’t affect the person I am blaming in the least. All it did was make me more comfortable with my failures since in my mind, they were not my failures, they were someone else’s.
The major problem with that is that failures are good and if you blame everyone else, you are losing out on the opportunity to fail. You are giving yourself a double whammy by not allowing yourself to benefit from your own failure and at the same time keeping yourself in the position to fail again. It becomes a never ending circle where you blame something for your failure, you don’t learn from it and then when it happens again, you are still at the same level and continue to blame the same thing over and over again. You might be 90 years old and blame your bitter life on a 2nd grade teacher who held you back for a year. Does that make sense? Letting one person or action control your entire life, even decades after they are gone?
In an earlier article I wrote about why failures lead to success. If you fail and learn from your failure, you elevate yourself to a higher level where you will be able breeze your way through the situation if you are faced with it again. If you do not claim the failure, you will not learn any lessons and the next time you are faced with the same situation, you will once again continue to blame.
The two people at the beginning of this article need to grow up and take the credit for some of their failures so that they will learn from their mistakes and be able to raise themselves to a higher level. After all, wouldn’t you prefer to learn a lesson, move on and live a happy life than spend your time blaming your miserable life on someone else?
If you don’t learn your lesson, then it is all your fault!
I am a typical person more or less that has always tried to get away with doing the absolute minimum to get by. In school, I did my assignments last minute, I barely passes some of my tests, I crammed for everything and didn't care about retaining any information. I always wanted to be successful and get lucky but my problem was that I thought that luck and chance were synonymous. One day, all that changed when i found out that there was more to "Luck". I learned that it was possible to make your own luck and that people that were "lucky", all had very similar characteristics. I made a conscious decision to become one of those lucky people and the world started to open up. It didn't happen overnight and I'm still not there yet but at least I know what to look for and what to do. Recognizing the opportunities to get lucky is only the beginning of the battle. Now I have to train myself to jump on every opportunity and one day be truly "lucky".
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