Thursday, November 21, 2013
"He was a self-made man who owed his lack of success to nobody." ~ Joseph Heller
THANKS FOR NOTHING! Who ever heard of an unsuccessful "self-made" man? Does anybody set out to become a failure? Well, of course not, but a lot of people who end up that way often end up finding fault with their circumstances or the people that surround them. What is so honorable about Joseph Heller's man is that he doesn't blame anyone for his admitted lack of success. And just because he hasn't reached the summit, it doesn't stop him from feeling like a self-made man or taking full responsibility. He's still confident in himself and accepting of his situation. We should be careful, however, not to confuse acceptance with apathy. Accepting the way things are does not make us weak, because acceptance acknowledges the difference between the things we can change and those over which we have no control. Blame and apathy are the benchmarks of someone who has relinquished their control.
Part of the secret of taking the sour with the sweet is applying your own perspective and coming to grips with your control or lack of control over the circumstances and the results. If you screwed up, well, so be it, as long as you personally accept your responsibility before someone else tries to make you feel incompetent. And if it wasn't your fault, why in the world would you let someone try to convince you otherwise? Eleanor Roosevelt has been attributed with wisely observing, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." This explains the implied confidence of the gentleman in today's quote. He's not "successful," yet by blaming no one but himself, he avoids the contempt and derision of his peers. In other words, as long as you are comfortable with yourself and your decisions, no one can touch you.
Follow your bliss!