Posted by: seanmalstrom | December 3, 2009

Email: Do you get frustrated with some discussions?

Hello,

I’ve got a blog, and as it happens to so many other people, I can get some very opposing comments from my writing. The thing is, most of what I get, if not all, seems like very delluded writing (ex.: like people saying that the only discussion worth having is when you don’t need to get to any conclusion, to defend nothing. You just need to open your mind and hear what everyone has to say and that’s it. I feel sick when I hear this type of stuff).

These kind of comments get very frustrating because you notice that, many times, it is not that they won’t admit they are wrong but that they will not even hear nor take into account what you say! Also, most of the time, it seems like they even don’t know how to discuss (how to back-up properly what they are saying). The only motivation I get from responding from this kind of comments is if other people will read the  discussion, and that by reading it, it will help them see other viewpoints otherwise they might not get.

Otherwise, it seems like a waste of energy. It’s extremely important to have your views challanged and backed-up, but after hearing so many times the same answers from the same type of intolerant people, it really gets frustrating.

So, the question is: how do you handle this? Where do you get your motivation from?

I’ve noticed that bringing the comments (in this case, email) to the upfront like you do seems like a good strategy: by making a post about them, what people say is put in the spotlight, instead of lost in a string of comments. It’s a less secure environment, and people will be more careful with what they say. And, at the same time, you, as the owner of the blog, are in total control of the discussion.

If you aren’t being criticized, you aren’t doing anything. Remember that sentence.

Let me use a real-life analogy. Let us say you are a person with a  skinny or wimpy body. You tell yourself, “I’m tired of having a wimpy body. I am going to go to the gym, lift some weights, eat some protein, and get a body of a badass.” OK. So you begin doing it, and your body changes. As long as you stay your old self, everyone likes you and no one dislikes you. But as you strive to exit from that shell, to improve yourself, you will be stunned to hear everyone around you start to criticize you. They criticize you for growing because it brings unease to themselves that they cannot change their lives.

Let us say you want to become financially free. As you actually begin to go through the motions, people will attack you and laugh at you. You will fall down because becoming financially free is not easy to do. They will say, “See? You should have done the corporate route that I did.” Decades later, you are financially independent and they get let go as their company down-sizes. The difference is that you decided to control the financial system your life depends on where they allowed themselves to be controlled by someone else’s financial system. They are told when they can eat lunch, when they can go on vacation, what time they should be at work, what time they can leave, what they have to wear… It is a humiliating existence.

Remember the story of the Ugly Duckling? Of course the baby duck was ugly because it wasn’t a duck, it was a swan. Most people in life are herd animals and attack anything that upsets their world view. Even when the ugly duck turns into a swan, they will still deny the swan exists. They will keep saying, “It is still a damn ugly duck.”

When you see one woman criticize another woman for something like “Her fingernails are all wrong, OMG,” you might think she hates that other woman. But the truth is that she is actually criticizing her to make herself feel better. The issue is about her feeling better, not about the criticism.

Another thing to keep in mind is to don’t bother arguing with an idiot. The reason why is because onlookers will not be able to tell the difference. “The earth is flat!” “Fool! The Earth is not flat! Read some books.” “You’re just in denial that you might be wrong.” “You are insane. Have you seen the pictures from space? The world is a sphere!” You can be right but still appear as an idiot. “The earth is flat!” *smiles* “OK, whatever you say.” *walks away* That is the better response.

You should never feel frustrated by what other people say. I think the most important life lesson is to not let other people determine your emotions or sense of self. When you do this, you are imprisoned by what other people think or say about you. You are not allowing yourself to be who you really are. You are not allowing people to get to know you. This is why when someone is so discombobulated to be reacting to whatever anyone says or thinks about him, you have no respect for the person. You’re better off risking offense and having people disagree with you. At least they will still respect you. (Young men, take note on this with your dealings with young ladies.)

I’ve found that when someone tries to go to “change the world”, the person not only fails but is ridiculed and is seen as a joke. But when someone tries to “change himself”, the person not only changes and improves but so do people around him. You’ll notice many people with blockbuster works where they said they were trying to make something for their friends or to change their own lives but it ends up becoming a blockbuster product that changes the world. Those who want to “change the world” end up becoming very frustrated and angry because they cannot get that success. So they lash out.

I will agree with Oprah Winfrey on one thing she said: she described her rise because “I wasn’t scared of success.” Most people do not have success in their lives because that requires change of how they think and their own habits. Believe me, you aren’t going to become rich watching TV all night with a six pack of beer. But if someone is practicing sales and is experimenting with building companies in their free time off work, maybe. But most people do not want to work when they get home from work, they want to relax in front of the TV. This is why they remain an employee forever.

Keep the big picture is that it is about life. We have a limited amount of time on this rock so you might as well make most of it. If people want to go snarling and barking at other people through their life, that is their choice. Anger is the last thing I think. I feel sorry for them that that is the way how they chose to experience life.

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