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Why you think the world is against you, and why it might be true

Why you think the world is against you, and why it might be true

I used to have some version of this running through my head. It's not an uncommon thought or idea amongst the depressed and angry to feel like there's some sort of cosmic force opposing you at every turn. Nothing seems to go your way, whether it's knocking over a glass, not getting the promotion you wanted or getting rejected by someone.

Obviously, even the most self centered or depressed would probably concede that the universe itself is not somehow against you or actively trying sabotage your happiness. But I certainly needed to constantly remind myself of this early in my recovery from depression.

In regards to getting rejected, after a rough patch in the dating scene a few years ago I can recall telling a therapist that I was actually convinced that there was what seemed like an unseen "smell" coming off me. Even with quite modest expectations, I was getting shot down with alarming frequency. The therapist rightly assured me that there was no "smell" coming off me, I was a nice, normal guy and to take it easy on myself. 

And she was right, in a sense. But I eventually realized that I did have a smell coming off me, but more inside me than out- the subtle, yet toxic stink of a person with a bad attitude. 

Despite years of self improvement, I still, fundamentally, had a bad attitude about life. I still looked at the worst in people and myself instead of the best. I thought all the time about what I didn't have instead of recognizing all the joy, wealth and opportunity that was already in my life. When you're in that frame of mind, you only see the bad. I could list a thousand different flips of perspective I've made over the years.

Our existence is largely open to interpretation. Both with ourselves and how we choose to see the world and when your attitude sucks, it's easy to write a negative narrative. This narrative about yourself and how your life sucks and the universe is against you helps to justify you not making the difficult changes you need to make (can't win, don't try). Perhaps even more damaging, it blinds you to practically solving problems.

So when you have a bad attitude, in a sense, the world is against you. 

You think you're knocking over stuff or getting rejected because you're cursed or "destined to be unhappy". Maybe you just need better pictures for your dating profile, or you shouldn't leave glasses too close to the edge of the counter. Hard to see this stuff when you're suspicious God himself might be working against you.

It is simplistic, and there are many paths to get there, but flipping your attitude from negative to positive is the most valuable thing we can do. It will allow you to overcome and thrive in ANY situation. You'll be bulletproof against the inevitable loss, pain and confusion we face in life. If you don't believe me, check out some of the writing of holocaust survivor and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl.

You have more of a choice in this than you think. Even if you're in the grips of depression, give it a shot- try and look at your depression as an opportunity. If you get out of it like I did, you'll be able to appreciate just enjoying everyday life on a level that "normal" people NEVER could. And if you're successful, killing it at life, ask yourself why you're not willing to simply take a positive perspective on everything coming your way. If you're not, there's some deeper issues you need to look at.

Get this figured out, and all you'll see is beauty and opportunity in the world. You'll only see the people or employers that want you, not the ones that don't. Just as  importantly, you'll have a clear and rational idea of why they don't.

And you won't be wasting your time whining about what's gone wrong when for most us, when you think about it, almost everything goes right.

-GC

P.S. Check out Navy SEAL and podcaster Jocko Willink talking about his approach to difficult situations and attitude in general-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdTMDpizis8

 

 

 

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