Everybody’s got problems they wish they didn’t have. Except most people don’t WANT help. Some time ago, I realized a distinction between the kinds of people who are out there. I started telling this to anyone who brought me a problem but seemed reluctant about taking my advice or even their own if I helped them tease out what they thought they should do. The distinction is this:
There are only two kinds of people, when it comes to problems. The people who FIX their problems, and the people who COMPLAIN about their problems.“ People who are “fixers” are eternally devoted to figuring out what their problems are, and solving them. They might not always
tackle those problems from the right angle, and they might be guilty of deluding themselves about what those problems are at times, but you can get through to them with reason if you try hard enough. They usually are willing to set aside pride, admit that the failure is theirs, and go start learning how to fix it.
People who are “complainers” are eternally devoted to seeking emotional salves for their problems. There’s a big difference between “solves” and “salves.” Complainers feel bad, but they don’t want to fix that feeling bad by fixing the problem. They just want someone to pat them on the back, tell them, “There, there, you’re doing everything right, it’s just things outside your control that made it this way,” and then they’ll feel better. But because the problems are never fixed, they need this forever. They spend a lifetime of people listening to their complaints, telling them it isn’t their fault, and blaming the world for being an uncaring, unjust place.
Now, everybody complains. I complain.
The difference between a fixer and a complainer is that a fixer then immediately says, “Okay, everything that’s wrong in my life is my fault, what do I need to change to have a better life?” while a complainer NEVER says this, or says this but then doesn’t take action to change anything, and simply goes on complaining forever
I’m sure that seems like a lot, and it might be a tall order. But mastery, while uncommon, is not so rare that you can’t find examples of others who’ve mastered whatever it is you want to master.
You can. There are examples everywhere. Mastery is something that’s becoming more and more common as knowledge explodes all over the world and more and more people start unlocking the keys to the process of how to master whatever it is they want to master.
You might’ve read this article and thought to yourself, “I am WAY too happy just living a normal life to worry about all this mastery malarkey.” In which case, I envy you, in a way. To not be burdened with demons driving you is, perhaps, a certain kind of freedom in its own right.
Or you might’ve read this article and thought to yourself, “Why should *I* have to change? It’s all those other people who don’t get it who are the problem!” If that’s the case, I actually don’t have any envy there, because that’s a very frustrating and inevitably unfulfilling life path to end up on – the world and all its inhabitants are never going to stop doing things the way they do them and start doing them a totally different way simply to satisfy the desires of one disgruntled citizen.
But you might just have read this article and thought to yourself, “This is EXACTLY what I want to be doing with…!”
And if that’s the case, well… that’s why I wrote it.
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