12.30.2011

We All Fall Down...

Accept this one fact, and your life will become instantly easier:

You will fall.

Just like accepting you will get hit in a fist fight, once you're done worrying about whether or not you might fall and just accept that it IS going to happen, you can go about the business of actually trying new things and going about doing something with your life that makes you happy.

Once you stop being afraid of the inevitable, you can concentrate on the rest of what it takes to move forward.

And when you fall? Well, the natural inclination is to say "Get the fuck up." But reality disagrees with that, in my experience. If you just snarl and get up and start plowing ahead again without thinking, at least for a moment, about what went wrong and how not to do it again, you'll likely just do it again.

So no. No need to be a hardass about it. Take a moment. Indulge in the most natural and, frankly, satisfying instinct we have as human beings: feel sorry for yourself. Analyze what went wrong and blame yourself for it and cry if you want to. But spend no longer than you absolutely must for that instinct to show up and for you to recognize it and get past it.

Just as falling down in life is inevitable, so is feeling sorry for yourself. So you need to accept that part of it too, so you can concentrate on moving past it as quickly as possible and getting back to life.

That's the thing that separates the successful from the self-pitying whiners. Everyone -- EVERYONE -- goes through the cycle of fail - pity - move on. But the whiners' method of moving on is to let everyone in the world know why it is they couldn't pick themselves up and dust themselves off and go back to it, while the successful get past the self pity and use it as motivation.

Because pity is the single worst thing that can ever be felt about you. When people pity you, they see you as incapable. It's not your fault. You're not able to take control and fix it.

And when you feel it about yourself, you can very quickly get caught in a downward spiral which leads to self loathing. And you don't want to go there; not if you want to actually enjoy your life. So the trick is to let it happen, and then the moment you begin finding all those reasons you're weak and can't handle life, get stronger there.

The old saying is an old saying for a reason: a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Failure exposes those weak links. It's up to you as the owner of the chain to identify them and fix them.

Or, just let the chain of your life lay broken and mangled in the dirt. Either way; it's up to you. But know that at the end of your life, you're going to realize that you're the only person on Earth who was ever capable of fixing yourself.

Use the self pity to do that. Find those weak spots. Double and redouble your efforts to get stronger where you are weak. Take the time it takes to repair and rebuild and move forward; don't waste a second longer than you must on it. Just like in the gym, before you can get stronger anywhere, you must figure out where you are weakest and get stronger in those places.

As it turns out, just like in the gym, most everyone starts off weakest in their heart. And so, that's the first place you should focus on getting stronger. And that's what this and all the rest of my December posts have been about. And I hope they have helped.

We all fall down. When you do, remember what the old Japanese proverb (and Courage Wolf) says:

"Fall down seven times, stand up eight."