The Danger of Fighting Unfairness
One of my favorite quotes of all time is taken from a small blog post Seth Godin wrote on www.sethgodin.com. He is my example of using everything that we learn to help others.
Unfair things happen. You might be diagnosed with a disease, demoted for a mistake you didn't make, convicted of a crime you didn't commit. The ref might make a bad call, an agreement might be abrogated, a partner might let you down.
Our instinct is to fight these unfairnesses, to succumb if there's no choice, but to go down kicking and screaming. We want to make it clear that we won't accept injustice easily, we want to teach the system a lesson, we want them to know that we're not a pushover.
But will it change the situation? Will the diagnosis be changed, the outcome of the call be any different?
What if, instead, we went at it singing and dancing? What if we walked into our four-year prison sentence determined to learn more, do more and contribute more than anyone had ever dreamed? What if we saw the derailment of one path as the opportunity to grow or to invent or to find another path?
This is incredibly difficult work, but it seems far better than the alternative.
I very rarely include such a large quote into my blog, but every single word hits home for me.
I struggle with anxiety when working on my projects. I'm the kind of person that sees my entire future with every choice that presents itself. I struggle to simply take the next step without anticipating what could happen over the next five years.
What if I approached every challenge, decision, or unknown in life with the determination to dance?
I am positive my anxiety would lessen.
When I read this quote in 2014, I printed it out and placed it in my journal, taped it to my computer, and sent it to my family. It was key in making some difficult decisions in my life at that time.
I know we often talk about having a positive attitude during a tough time, but I feel like Seth Godin takes this to the next level. This is more than positive thinking, it is deciding to make our challenges worth something. It's deciding to make our messes, our message.
Where are you screaming and fighting, when you could find peace by dancing? What challenges you're fighting could potentially become rich learning experiences for you?
17 March 2016
Ho Chi Minh City
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