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An informal, stream-of-consciousness reflection on business ideas, events and issues in modern business, modern life and with some specifics to the web-software industry by Paul Tomori, Internet Entrepreneur

The Illusion of Helplessness...
By Paul Tomori
Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 20:50:53 (EDT)

"Whether you prevail or fail, endure or die, depends more on what you do to yourself than on what the world does to you. Jim Collins, Author: How The Mighty Fail, Good to Great, Built To Last"
I have always been of the opinion that you can derive the essence of a person's philosophy by statements that they make in everyday conversation. It's when they are off-guard that a person reveals what their underlying beliefs are, whereas if you were to ask them blankly "what do you believe?", you'd get a carefully crafted (and probably untrue) answer...

Here are 3 of my favorite "revelatory" statements:

  1. "I guess it just wasn't meant to be..."
  2. "(such and such) was the greatest thing that ever happened to me"
  3. "I could have been a (such and such) if someone only would have given me a chance"

All 3 are anti-action sentiments... And, if they are allowed in as "given truths"... indisputable conclusions about life, then they actually become self-fulfilling.

All 3 are disempowering by their very nature.

They are also handy excuses for passivity and learned helplessness.

How about re-writing them like this:

  1. "I guess I just misjudged the situation and failed to take appropriate action and that is why things didn't turn out for me."
  2. "(such and such) was the greatest thing that I ever made happen"
  3. "I could have been a (such and such) if I would have dedicated myself to making it happen"

Get in the driver's seat of your life. Don't wait for the knock on the door. Don't wait for someone to recognize your greatness. Take the bull by the horns. Go for that promotion. Ask that girl out. Ask that guy out! Turn off the television and pursue your dream.

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