How are you doing today? I am fantastic.
Surprisingly the weather gods appear to be in an exuberant mood. The hot, arid summer breeze has given way to a mild gush of wet winds rich with the smell of freshly tilled land. Nothing beats the intoxicating scent of damp soil, opening her arms to embrace new hungry seeds willing to be infused with pulsating life.
Such minute changes always fill me with new hope of better times. Most of the time, my dreams get crushed, and the results of change are disappointing, yet I never let my expectation of a better day wither and die.
Talking about better days, we have already discussed in detail how we are responsible for not only our growth but also the growth of others around us. A simple act of being responsible spirals our lives upwards along with the lives of our loved ones.
The only hindrance in our path to glory is a victim mindset. It won’t be an exaggeration if we blame all of humanity’s troubles on victim behavior. What concerns me is a sharp rise in the victim mindset over the past decade.
Playing a victim is one of the most dangerous games. History has enough proof to substantiate this claim.
The Nazis were few of the earliest to play the victim card. Early in his membership in the Nazi Party, Hitler presented the Jews as behind all of Germany’s moral and economic problems. He blamed “money-grubbing Jews” for all of Weimar Germany’s financial problems. He also drew upon the antisemitic elements of the stab-in-the-back legend to explain the defeat in World War I and to justify their views as self-defense. In one speech, when Hitler asked who was behind Germany’s failed war efforts, the audience erupted with “The Jews.”
The Nazis blamed all of their troubles on the Jews.
The radical feminist blames men for all of her insufficiencies.
After more than 70 years of independence, the intoxicated Indian blames all of their troubles on the colonial Britishers and glorious Mughal emperors.
Dumb Americans consider their incompetency a by-product of immigration. They want their jobs back, which they do not want to do.
The victim mindset is not new behavior. The ancient Romans and the Greeks also displayed similar traits. However, their model was still a little refined than the crude blame game of today’s laypeople.
Ancient civilizations blamed the gods for their failures. They understood that their actions must have shattered ethical and moral framework and worked on ways to be more competent. They, too, relied on odd measures such as sacrifices and wars to please the gods. But at least they did not blame others for their shortcomings. They displayed accountability and ownership, a few of the most desired traits of humanity.
Modern society has a majority of weak and incompetent people who, instead of choosing to be responsible and accountable for their actions, shy away by blaming others for their failures. This will be our topic of discussion for the day.
The rising brand of weakness
A TV reality show is airing. Participants do their best as per their abilities to entertain the audience. The audience response is integral to their success. Like in the gladiator arena, the audience cheers only for the bravest and the courageous. However, the past decade has seen exceptions to this rule of thumb.
Today’s audience is mistaking mirroring weakness as compassion.
After every performance, the participant gets a chance to engage in a ‘soulful’ conversation with the audience to garner their support. Ideally, the participant is supposed to highlight their competencies, such as hours spent under training, how they mastered their craft, what motivates them, their dreams, and aspirations. All of these are crucial elements to be considered for forming a well-informed logical decision of who’s the best.
However, the game has shifted.
Now all of these participants race to influence their audiences emotionally by sharing a heart-wrenching story of poverty and hardship with teary eyes.
I call foul!
You cannot use your misery as an excuse for others to like you. Trust me, such liking doesn’t help you in any manner in the long run. It will only garner you temporary favors.
Soon enough, someone else with a more dramatic story will out shadow your tale of suffering, throwing you back to the well-deserved bottom.
Weakness is not a desirable trait. It might get you a few temporary wins, yet you will never taste success in the long run unless you grow more competent.
Imagine I write at the top of my blog: I belong to a destitute family, and I have struggled my whole life. Then I will rope in a few tales about my father’s alcoholism and my mother’s ill temperament. I will also throw in sexual abuse in the mix, which generates a lot of pity. And finally, I would urge you to read my blog because, as you know, I am so ‘miserable.’ Your act of kindness will offer me respite. Now, the weak among you will fall for the gimmick and shower me with support.
You are stronger than you think.
Stay strong, buddy.
We are with you, buddy.
Never give up.
You are beautiful.
My blog comments section will be filled with such a pathetic display of colorful, supportive comments.
The strong among you will still be untouched by the suffering I endured. You will judge me on the basis a writer’s art should be. You will not care a dime about my misery. For you, what would matter will be my writing style, my narrative abilities, my vocabulary, ease of understanding, and my content. The strong are well adjusted emotionally. They understand the importance of competency in judging someone’s skills. They do not fall for emotional drama.
There was a time when emotionally unstable people were considered an anomaly. A person was judged on how better they handle their emotional outbursts. A Viking king sobbing in front of his court members deserved a beheading. A leader can’t be weak. A weak leader will create a dull, immoral society.
History stands witness that even during wars, the brave never engaged in plundering and rape. It was always the weak. Weak waits for rare opportunities such as wars to indulge in deviancies.
It is essential to understand that incompetent people are way more dangerous than others. They are rich in self-loathing enabling whiners around them. They will always have malice behind their actions.
A strong person with high standards of personal excellence threatens the existence of a mediocre individual. The average individual will go to any possible extent to bring the strong down.
Once again, history is filled with such instances – whether it be Julius Ceaser being stabbed 23 times by the weak senators, or Socrates being poisoned.
Before we proceed, please note that incompetent people are treacherous beings. They should never be trusted.
Classic victim behavior in feminism
The radical feminists are the poster girls of vindictive, resentful, incompetent weaklings. Their entire philosophy is based on the illusion that men have an advantage in the world because of the manner our society is structured. They preposterously claim that for eons, men have subjugated women, never offering them an equal opportunity to rise.
No one will deny the fact that women had a terrible disadvantage before the 60s and 70s. This fact remains undisputed.
Yet, the fallacy in the logic is men being responsible for this disadvantage. If women were subjugated by men for so long, how did geniuses like Cleopatra, Mary Shelly, Laxmi Bai, Mother Teresa & Rosa Parks rise to fame? These are just a few examples. History is filled with competent women who held all sorts of positions in the so-called men dominated society. Women were writers, artists, painters, emperors, and pirates. Every possible domain one can think of, able females registered their supremacy.
Before throwing in the victim’s argument of how men have ruined women’s lives, one must introspect. There is no denying that men and women are equal in terms of skills. Any skill which a man can hone, a woman can excel in the same too. Yet, one cannot deny the evident biological differences.
Before the birth control pill took over the world by surprise, women were disadvantaged by mother nature. Childbirth was tough to avoid. A human child takes nine long months to be born. During pregnancy and few years post-pregnancy, females had to depend on men for food & security. Even if they wished to be independent, they didn’t have many options. This dependency could have become toxic and encouraged men to mistreat women.
There are multiple theories about why patriarchy emerged. Patriarchy dictated almost every civilization. Scholars till date are investigating reasons behind a universal acceptance of patriarchy. Until the scientific community reaches a consensus, feminists should at least avoid blatantly blaming men for their suffering.
In my personal opinion, if feminists really want revenge, they should destroy forests, water bodies, and mountains. They should try hurting mother nature. Men had no role to play in a female’s misery. Men and women equally were scorned by nature for whom an animal is as deserving as a human being.
Women had a lower upper body strength, which made them less effective in hunting. In the hunter’s gather’s setup, a woman was better suited for roles indoors. When society progressed, capable women who choose to work did face initial difficulty, but that’s how change looks like.
Change is tough. Change takes time. Centuries of practice cannot be changed overnight.
If I request you to change your daily routine on a day’s notice, how well will you fare?
Something as simple as changing your waking up time will take you 66 days to master. How can you expect a social change to be implemented overnight?
After the birth control pill, things changed drastically for females. They were quickly integrated into the workplace. In less than 50 years, women are holding topmost senior positions in finance and banking, which were earlier considered to be reserved for pot-bellied cigar-smoking bald men.
Undoubtedly, their journey has been unpleasant. But so is any change, initially. If seen in a historical context, the last 20 years have witnessed a remarkable growth in equality.
Yet, a lot many women still want to play the victim card to hide their incompetency. If you have excellent professional and interpersonal skills, you can survive any boardroom discrimination. Also, discrimination is not limited to women. Men who do not take smoke breaks with their managers are less likely to be considered for senior-level positions. How will you beat this?
Do you want another movement for non-smokers? Do you want non-smokers to blame the smokers for having the upper hand? Will you entertain such claims of discrimination?
No one in their right minds will.
For centuries men and women have held hands together and survived the sufferings of this world. The entire idea of a family is men and women are a single unit responsible for able and competent children.
I used to attend a creative writing class in SACAC, Hauz Khas, New Delhi. After my certification, I organized a few creative writing workshops. The response was overwhelming. Boldened by my newly found success, I approached my instructor for an opportunity of a guest lecturer.
He chose a female instead of me.
I trusted his judgment. I realized in his eyes, or in reality, the said female was more competent for the position.
I could have easily played a victim role.
I could have claimed elderly men give more opportunities to females. They don’t judge people by their skills but rather than looks.
I could have gone more ugly. I could have shouted discrimination. I could have easily concocted compelling stories twisting a few facts to substantiate my claims.
I chose not to. Because I know I am a competent individual. If I didn’t get the position I wanted, it means I need to work on my skills. She must have been more skilled than me.
This is a sheer fact feminists are ignorant of. Yes, there will always be people who would discriminate. Fight for equality is a never-ending battle. Yet, instead of blaming your inadequacies, if you are blaming the system, you have already lost. You are not willing to invest more time to hone your craft, and you have turned negative. A negative mindset is a toxic mindset. Toxic people are harmful both for themselves and for the people around them.
If you are a feminist, I will request you to edit your narrative and include that everyone is discriminated in some manner or other. The only way to battle discrimination is by being more capable, not by blaming others.
Raising your voice against discrimination is a necessity. But before doing so, at least read a little of the history and get your facts straight.
Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, these legends did not fight discrimination with ignorance and false claims. They fought discrimination with facts, with knowledge, with competence.
Victim Behavior Among Obese People
Obesity is on the rise. Every corner is filled with delicious mouth-watering treats. These treats are laden with unwanted calories. An unhealthy diet clubbed with a poor lifestyle is making people fat.
To my utter disgust, a hashtag has recently started trending. George Floyd’s murder has risen people to unite for racial equality. #Blacklivesmatter is a way to show solidarity for victims of racial justice. However, this hashtag has been morphed as #fatlivesmatter.
I am all pro-life—every life matters, including those of animals and insects. And yes, fat lives matter too. Many people are suffering from obesity due to thyroid disorders and diabetes, to name a few. They should not be mistreated. For that matter, no one should be mistreated.
Yet this devastating new trend is exceptionally toxic.
If you cannot bear the burden of taking care of yourself and end up getting obese, how is it the world’s fault? The world always rates people in terms of attractiveness. Research on the halo effect reveals our cognitive bias towards attractive individuals. If a confident, squared jaw able-bodied person claims something, it will be listened to with more ardency in comparison to the same words being spoken by an unattractive speaker.
So what’s the goal here?
Are we planning for another social reform to eliminate every sort of cognitive bias human beings have?
Just for the record, it is impossible. It cannot be done.
Our psyche is structured in a manner to include cognitive biases. Yogis achieving nirvana also have a tough time steering around their prejudices. How would a layperson accomplish this?
Obese women blame attractive females for setting unrealistic standards for beauty. I admire beauty. Beauty is food for my soul. Beauty, for me, is not limited to physical attributes. Every complexity aligned with order is beautiful.
Trigonometry is beautiful. So is geometry.
Music is beautiful, so is poetry.
Yet, I despise fat people. The idea that someone cannot make time for their physical self whose whole purpose is to experience this rewarding life is disheartening.
If allowed to rate someone who does yoga, workout, and is extremely fit and a couch potato, I will definitely evaluate the attractive person higher. Now, how is it bias?
When we are talking about physical attractiveness, a fat person is bound to lose. They will get fewer options for finding a suitable mate. It is evolutionary. We all like to spend time with attractive people, provided they are good-natured human beings as well, that goes without saying.
On the other hand, if I have to rate someone’s work skills, then obviously, I won’t be haloed. If a fat person has better managerial skills, I will choose them over an attractive person.
Instead of blaming the world for their inadequacy in maintaining their physical self, fat people should probe inward to start a journey on the path of fitness. The world will include you, surely. You won’t be left out, but in this lifetime, you cannot change the world view about fitness. Physical fitness is an attractive quality and will always remain so.
Victim Behavior among Drug addicts
I have paid my dues when it comes to addiction. I suffered from chronic substance abuse disorder.
Even today, whenever I go out partying with my friends, there’s always an oddball who insists on me drinking. I try to make people understand I no longer enjoy getting intoxicated, especially the kind of high which alcohol induces.
The young, vibrant guys try to tease me by making assumptions that I probably don’t handle alcohol well. My response always is, if I start drinking, the bar will get empty. They laugh and then move on.
What they fail to realize is the brazen truth behind my words. There was a time I was so fascinated with alcohol, I used to survive on it. Beer, whiskey, and scotch were like breakfast, lunch, and dinner for me. I used to drink 12 pints with one potato. I have lived such periods periodically in my life. The substances used to change, but the lifestyle remained the same.
When my liver gave up, I substituted alcohol with weed. When my lungs gave up, I replaced weed with cocaine. When my nostrils gave up, I was about to move towards my veins. Luckily, the universe intervened to mend my ways. Else I would not be alive to share this anecdote with you.
I have a pattern of behavior. Whenever I begin something, I make sure I see it to the end, whether it be pleasant experiences like workout, bicycling, and reading or bad habits such as procrastination, unhealthy eating habits, and substance abuse.
This – go all the way or don’t even start – strategy has helped me a lot. It has made things a lot easier for me. I abuse stuff to the core, which in turn makes me hate harmful activities. I am not recommending this strategy to you, but yes, for the record, it does work.
Drug addiction is definitely a growing concern for humanity. Earlier it was difficult to find a drug to abuse. There wasn’t an abundance. Now the spectrum has shifted. Every 3rd person you meet can hook you up with a peddler. Movies and television have glorified smoking, drinking, and drugs to such an extent that clumsiness has become the new cool and discipline is frowned upon.
You can do an experiment.
Go visit a college.
Gather a few students and ask them their plans for the weekend.
9 out of 10 will share their plans to party. One loner will tell how he plans to fix his room as it is at present unorganized.
Compare the hooting for the nine and the booing of the one.
The tables have turned.
Cool people do drugs till they lose everything and become uncool.
While uncool people work hard till they become prosperous and then they are termed cool again.
Undoubtedly drug addiction is mostly not a choice. It is a means to escape from a traumatic past and an uncertain future. Kids with unresolved childhood issues are more prone to turn to addiction than those with a healthy family and nurturing upbringing.
Research studies indicate, if a lab rat is kept in isolation, it chooses cocaine over food. However, when the same rat is united with other rats, he gets back to his usual ways. He prefers to do rat things over drugs.
This changes everything we know about addiction.
This clearly indicates if we can create a purposeful life, our psyche will choose to invest energy in productive activities rather than stay hooked to substances.
I personally transformed my life by finding meaning in my day to day activities, so I can vouch this shit works.
Drug addicts must revisit their flawed narratives about their misery.
Once again, I am not nullifying your pain or suffering. I am deeply empathetic to all the bad experiences which push one towards addiction. But the question remains the same. What will we do about it?
We can’t give up on life and tap out.
Yes, we are a by-product of our surroundings.
Yes, childhood abuse and trauma are responsible for our irrational behavior.
However, for how long will we play the victim card.
Today if someone dies of addiction, they are not only going against the default human nature, which insists we must survive, but they are also adding more misery to their loved ones.
If you can’t induce happiness in other people’s lives, at least don’t be a reason for their sorrows. Least one could do.
Addiction can be fought with the right set of habits.
You will need to restructure your life.
It will be difficult, but it is doable.
Considering yourself as a victim of surroundings and circumstances will get you nowhere.
Victim behavior among Nihilists
I love nihilists. It takes balls to be one.
A nihilist believes that life is meaningless and has rejected all moral and religious principles. I admire nihilists because it is the first step towards finding our true selves.
One cannot restructure their life without wrecking it first. Only when you have destroyed yourself, you can rebuild a healthier self. Every age-old structure must be brought down to create a better version.
Nihilists have a unique narrative. They believe because life has no meaning, any action they take is meaningless. This philosophy helps them escape the drudgery of life. However, they pay a massive price for the same.
A nihilist would not even wake up because what’s going to change – nothing!
At many levels, nihilists are absolutely correct. At least they are wiser than those who fancy a false utopian narrative, which claims riches and success can make people happy. Nihilists are way ahead on the curve.
The only fault with their way of thinking is the sheer fact that their lifestyle increases their misery. We have already established multiple times in the past that life is endless misery. Our goal is to do our best to minimize it.
Imagine this – you and your wife split up. Shit happens! People whom we used to love more than our life turn into bloodthirsty monsters. Getting away from them remains the only choice.
Now even after splitting up, you and your wife can choose to remain friends so that you can provide a nurturing platform for your kids to grow, or you can prefer to continue fighting for the rest of your life and poison your kids’ minds with toxicity.
We all get a choice to minimize misery or transform misery into a living hell.
Imagine your mother dies. Death of a loved one, especially mother, is the most dreadful experience in an adult’s life. What could be worse than it?
There’s an endless amount of crazy in the world.
You can add more misery to your mother’s funeral. Imagine you and your siblings fighting over our dead mother’s grave about sharing the leftover estate. This action will then transform misery into a living hell.
This is what nihilists do.
They transform their already miserable lives into hell.
I empathize with nihilists. I have spent close to 4-5 years being one. But sadly, nihilism resolves nothing.
A nihilist’s worldview claims life is truly meaningless, so why try. They consider themselves cheated by religion and institutions, peddling happiness.
Get a job, and you will be happy.
Get married, and enjoy life.
Get uber-rich and stay in bliss.
Kids will add meaning to your life.
Charity will uplift you.
I call bullshit!
Indeed, external experiences alone cannot improve the quality of our life. Nihilists have figured it out.
However, instead of attempting to minimize misery by constructive actions, nihilists choose to debase their existence on the pretext that they have been cheated by the universe.
As appealing as it sounds, nihilism is not a very enriching lifestyle.
Instead of being a victim of surroundings, nihilists should work to uplift themselves from a state of misery towards a state of flow induced by creative activities. Life is too precious to waste, puking, and shitting on the bed.
Victim behavior among Indian nationalists
This is a brand new shit. In the past 6 years, Indian right-wing fanatics have woven a unique victim narrative.
An Indian right-wing fanatic, referred to as “Bhakth,” has a unique explanation for their inadequacies.
As we have seen, victim behavior is prevalent in almost all aspects of life. Yet, these nationalists have set new benchmarks of idiosyncrasy.
Feminists blame men.
Addicts blame society.
Nihilists blame the universe.
Each one of them mostly chooses to blame a single entity.
These right-wing nationalists have more than a bunch to blame.
They begin by blaming their miseries on Muslims. We all know Muslim invaders captured parts of India in the past and committed atrocities of war, similar to any enemy force of the time. What needs to be noted is these 21st-century people blame 15th-century invaders who chose to be a part of our country and contributed heavily to education, knowledge, architecture, and culture.
If left to these fanatics, they will destroy every single magnificent monument built by legendary Mughal emperors.
The shit doesn’t end here.
If the Muslim narrative doesn’t suit their cause, they move on to the colonial forces.
As with most of the countries, India, too, was captured, plundered, and had her share of misery inflicted by British colonial forces. So if there is some evil which cannot be blamed on to Muslims, it goes towards colonial rulers.
I wish the shit ends there, but sadly it doesn’t.
If Muslims and Britishers do not fill the vacuum, then comes the previous ruling party and their prime ministers.
The current PM Modi is always quick to blame every quicksand on Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru, who died in 1964. It’s been 56 years since Nehru’s demise, yet he is still being blamed for miseries of 21 century.
Taking a notch ahead, the current home minister Amit Shah blamed the opposition for poor handling of COVID-19 and migrant crisis. He accepted the ruling party’s failure in properly handling the situation, but was quick to blame the opposition and questioned them for their role. This has happened for the first time in history that a ruling party is blaming the opposition for their personal failures.
Similarly, anything worth discussing is blamed on either Pakistan or China.
I understand that the actions of a few Muslim invaders were inhuman.
Colonial forces plundered almost every nation equally.
But what are we gaining by blaming forces which have no role to play in the existing spectrum.
India should get more responsible and strong. Blaming others for failures will only make Indians more inapt to deal with future global issues and crises to follow.
The easiest way to deal with personal failure is to shift the blame on someone else.
The right way is to act responsibly and be accountable.
I hope these fanatics do a little introspection and break free from the victim loop. Otherwise, the future appears pretty bleak for Indians.
How to escape victim behavior
If you wish to achieve success or tranquility in life, you will need to shed your victim cloak and be responsible.
You are responsible for your failures.
You are responsible for your mistakes.
You are responsible for your misery.
You are responsible for your suffering.
Any good that ever happened to you was a chance of luck.
Every awful experience you went through was entirely your fault.
I totally understand that murder, rape, honor killings, and similar heinous crimes cannot be the fault of a victim. However, it is essential to interpret words in the right manner.
Even if you are a rape victim, you cannot hold a grudge against your perpetrator for the rest of your life. Such behavior is toxic and will do no good to either you or your loved ones.
Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years. On his first day, he was asked to dig a grave for himself and then lie down. While he lay down, the guards took turns and urinated on him. This humiliating act was supposed to break his spirits.
Upon his release 27 years later, Mandela was appointed the first president of South Africa. All those guards were terrified. They feared Mandela will take his revenge. Instead, Mandela invited one of those former jailers to his inauguration dinner to forgive him for his misdeeds.
“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”
― Nelson Mandela
We all experience and witness trauma. Most people who are admired for their strong will realized their strength in times of adversity. I am not claiming bad things happen to you, so you could get better. However, it is easier to cope with misery if you choose to get stronger and identify ways to improve yourself rather than looking for options to shift the blame on external forces.
It is not easy to be responsible. A victim mindset is hard to break from. However, once you realize you can shape both your present and future as per your liking just by breaking free from your past, you would prefer not to be a victim.
Imagine a child who has been failing in studies since he took his first exam. It doesn’t matter how hard he studies, whenever he appears for a written test, his past experiences overwhelm him. Despite his best efforts, he fails again.
If the same child changes his domain and appears for a new exam because he is aware this is the first time he’s attempting it, he will have no qualms. Even if he doesn’t give his 100%, he’s more likely to succeed.
This is the sole reason many individuals claim a better quality of life after taking psychedelics. Psychedelics reset our neural pathways. Every past experience, which was robustly imprinted in our psyche, is loosened. Psychedelics loosen the grip of past on us, freeing us from unwanted guilt, shame, and remorse. We are free to begin fresh.
I am not asking you to use psychedelics to improve yourself. However, we need to embrace a strategy to break free from the past.
How to break free from the victim mindset
I played a victim for long. Nothing ever worked out for me. I suffered from sexual abuse as a child, which I then used to justify my impulsiveness and addictive behavior.
I grew up in an uncooperative society, which I used to justify my contempt for social practices and institutions such as marriage, family, and tightly knit communities.
I was raised by religious parents. Very few people understand profound religious texts which are open to interpretation. Sadly every sacred text has been misinterpreted by ignorant bigots. I used this as an excuse to justify my nihilism and nihilism as an excuse for procrastination.
There is always a good reason to justify our failures. There is always a decent excuse to blame our failures on others. The only flaw with this approach is you won’t move ahead in life. If you are stagnant on a planet rotating at the speed of 1,000 miles per hour, you might very well be dead instead. There’s no point in staying where you are for the rest of your life.
It is essential to claim your true self. Restructure your life in such a manner that gives you total control over your choices. Instead of embracing life as it comes, you must create life as per your liking.
These simple steps can help you shed your victim’s skin and emerge as a winner.
- Set Goals
- Be Responsible
- Restructure your life with the right habits (Discipline)
- Stay in control
- Make conscious choices
Goal setting is the first step towards constructing an autotelic personality. Lack of well-defined goals promotes procrastination & anxiety.
Once you have set well-defined goals, you must track them regularly.
Every daily relevant action must help you get closer to your long-term goal.
My goal in life is to help the mentally ill because I suffered from mental illness for more than 30 years.
Every action I take is in sync with this goal.
My content, my routine, my conversations, my consumption – all of these contribute towards my final goal.
I am intensely involved in the pursuit of my goal, leaving no room for stray thoughts.
Even when I encounter an issue in which I could easily play a victim and blame circumstances and others, I choose not to, considering the amount of wasted time and energy in constructing such a narrative. I immediately take responsibility and identify ways to ensure similar incidents do not get repeated in the future.
I write daily journals tracking my daily progress, which keeps me vested.
Alternatively, I can stick to my previous nihilist self and embrace addiction while blaming society and an unfair world for my misery. However, such an approach will not get me any closer to my goal. Therefore goal setting is an excellent way to get rid of the victim mindset.
Set long term goals.
Break them into micro-goals.
Track your progress.
Learn from your failures.
Update your strategy
You are responsible for your physical self, mental wellness, professional obligations, personal obligations, learning curve, time, energy, expectations of your loved ones, your community, and your society. In a nutshell, you are responsible for every piece of matter you interact with in your day to day life.
If your colleagues are not meeting their targets, it is your responsibility not only to complete their deficit but also to help them come up the learning curve.
If you see someone throwing garbage on the street, it is your responsibility to pick it up and place it in a dustbin.
You can get upset and blame the other person or your government, but this approach won’t change the situation at hand. However, if you pick up the garbage and put it in a bin, the problem will be solved.
If you want to be a pro in being responsible, then go ahead and install additional dustbins in your locality. Take it a notch further and pool in some like-minded people. Organize street plays and educate others about hygiene practices.
Complaining and blaming others doesn’t really solve anything. Taking initiatives does. Only a responsible person can take initiatives. Get responsible, dude!
Restructure your life with the right habits (Discipline)
Once you have set goals and start acting responsibly, you must reorganize your life. If you have been working as a victim for long, the chances of you being indisciplined are very high. It is essential to practice a disciplined lifestyle to ensure your personality stays in order. Indiscipline promotes chaos. A chaotic self prefers to act like a victim. Needless to repeat, a victim goes nowhere. Even a snail goes places.
Start with waking up early. That’s the first step.
Include healthy habits in your daily routine, such as cardio workout, reading, meditation, yoga, and fasting.
One by one, quit your bad habits such as watching porn, binge-watching, eating unhealthy food, procrastination, and substance abuse.
Stay in control
Once you have incorporated healthy habits in your routine, you will get an urge to practice cheat days.
It has been three years since I started practicing healthy living. Every week or so, I get this intense craving to eat donuts or just spend my days binge-watching and getting wasted.
In the first year, I guess I used to give in to the temptation, twice every month.
The second year, with firm determination, I brought this frequency down to once a month, and this year, in the past six months, I have only failed 3 times.
You must understand we have old victim neural pathways still intact in our brains. An ounce of stimulation is sufficient to send us back walking on the same roads. Therefore, it is essential to stay in control all the time.
Daniel Kahneman, in his celebrated book – “Thinking fast and slow”, has explained two modes of thought: “System 1” is fast, instinctive, and emotional; “System 2” is slower, more deliberative, and more logical.
It is of prominent importance we do not blindly follow the thoughts which come to our mind when exposed to a known trigger of a bad habit. We must take a step back. Take some time to utilize system 2 to ensure we are making rational decisions.
Every time a smoker asks me – do I want to smoke? My system 1 wants to say yes, instantly. But I simply say, give me a minute, let me check my schedule. During that minute, I quickly run myself through the list of reasons which made me quit smoking. Aging is the most prominent reason. I love youth and beauty. I want to be surrounded by young and beautiful people for the rest of my life. If I have drooping eyelids, frown lines, and forehead wrinkles, I am positive they won’t enjoy my company as much as when I am an energetic, passionate, attractive writer. So after a minute, I refuse my colleague’s invitation for a smoke break. I know my goals. And I stay in control for the sake of them.
Make conscious choices
There are two ways to lead your life. The first one is going with the flow. You start working a job, you make a friend, the friend quits the job, you see this as a sign from the universe, you too quit the job and follow your friend’s footsteps. This might be a crude example, but this is a prevalent culture.
I know of a friend who met me and started smoking up. He then met a German woman practicing minimalist living. He began to do the same.
He then met some Goan singers. He began acting like a groupie.
Recently he met someone from the Sadhguru (a fake Indian spiritual leader) gang of hooligans. Now he is working on some Satyug (Golden Age) Project.
Due to a lack of clarity around their goals, countless people embrace life as it comes.
Others chose their next steps after thoughtful consideration.
There is no way to tell which approach works the best. You must try both the path to see which one is more satisfying for you. My experience has taught me to always make conscious choices. I prefer making my own mistakes and learning from them. You can either blame yourself or someone else. I choose to blame myself.
However, it takes practice to learn conscious decision making. If you have acted like a victim for long, you might want to try a blend of both. Go with the flow with small decisions that don’t impact your life much, such as choosing where to go out on the weekend, which songs to listen to, things to buy for home. And make conscious choices about people you want to hang out with. The art you plan on buying. Authors you choose to read. Influencers you decide to follow. As you get better, so will your decision making.
Each one among us has experienced oppression of some sort or the other. We all deal with our own set of issues.
The rich have their problems, so does the poor.
A sober person deals with unwanted emotions, so does an addict.
It’s a harsh world out there for men and a horrible life for women.
Atheists are as messed up as religious fanatics.
We all are beautifully flawed.
To create a fulfilling life, we need to stop blaming external factors and introspect. Being responsible for our actions and the people around us is a good start.
Hope this helped!
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