Written by Eric Waisman
I hope everyone is doing well. It’s been a while huh? Looks like I’ve slacked off writing you in August and September. I blame me, but maybe we can make that an attractive thing, let’s find out.
I was having a deep conversation with a new friend in the middle of a Nevada desert and he was telling me his life story, it was a story of success, and adventure and a life most people only dream of. Later on in our conversation he mentioned, very matter of fact like, that he overcame two dark periods of his life of alcohol abuse and a strained family relationship. He then said, “We are how we react.” And that hit me like a ton of bricks. He blamed himself (took responsibility) for the dark times too. My friendship and connection to him felt like it shot through the roof.
My point is that blaming ourselves for our mistakes can be way more attractive (and productive) than blaming others. Sometimes people don't realize they are blaming someone or something else because it is so general of a thing (i.e., blaming the economy as the reason you have a job you hate.) And yes, there are times where other people or things do deserve blame, but keep this in check.
The beautiful thing that we don't usually realize is that if we take some or all responsibility, and work on the challenges in our life it not only makes us wiser, but also importantly, it can shorten the duration of the "mistake"…and humans are forgiving. Most people won’t even know unless you talk about it. But let’s find a worst-case example of a lot of people finding out. David Hasselholff!
David Hosselholff has had a killer career. He also had a killer “mistake” of alcoholism, where one short video changed how we may have viewed him forever. However he took full responsibility and took on the challenge of cleaning up and if he walked into a room that you were in you’d probably feel a positive excitement rather than shame. He’s awesome! His career continues to boom. One could argue the bout of vulnerability and infamy made him better in some ways.
Today we are as harshly as ever blaming others and the world around us. And WORST of all we then actually start to take our frustrations of our mistakes and poor life navigation moments out on other people, even people we don't know. I am hoping and asking that we can look at low moments in life as a positive stepping-stone, in ourselves AND support it in others. Something I see a lot of with our students here at Jaunty is that it doesn’t take long to get on a great track…and most people will never even know (or care) about our past shitty tracks.