Welcome to this month’s newsletter. I would like to discuss a simple way I have discovered that can help us catch ourselves in the moment of feeling like a victim (I call this the Victim Moment), and more importantly discover how to snap out of it quickly. The reason why this is so important is that I have found out that decisions made in a "Victim Moment" are usually not very good for us.
First of all, please let me clarify that I am not talking about victims in the context of victims of war or natural disasters, victims of automobile accidents or victims of violence. What I am talking about here are those moments we have all experienced from time to time when we feel the need to blame someone else for something that has happened to us.
To explain, let me first simplify all of your relationships into a single relationship that can exist at any given time: that is the single relationship between YOU and YOUR WORLD (YOUR WORLD being everything that is NOT YOU). This is how I would define a VICTIM MOMENT: it’s the instant when you feel that YOUR WORLD has done the wrong thing to YOU. At this point you have just fallen into a VICTIM MOMENT. Let me break this down further for you.
YOUR WORLD can change its appearance according to your circumstances, for example it could be:
- Your spouse when you are at home;
- Your work colleagues when you are at work;
- Your boss if you are an employee;
- Your employee if you are an employer;
- Your business partner if you are in a business partnership.
You may have noticed that wherever you are, YOUR WORLD follows YOU around! There is really nothing else sitting between YOU & YOUR WORLD. Just in case you don’t believe this, if you happen to find anything else that you feel exists in-between YOU & YOUR WORLD, all of it belongs to YOUR WORLD! ☺
So if you take a quiet moment to think about this: there are really only 2 entities in your entire known universe at any given moment: YOU & YOUR WORLD. From this you can almost assume that one would be the mirror image of the other. Based on this assumption, we can say that when YOU fall into a VICTIM MOMENT by blaming YOUR WORLD, YOUR WORLD should also fall into a VICTIM MOMENT by blaming YOU as well.
Let’s examine whether this is true by examining some VICTIM MOMENTS shared by YOU & YOUR WORLD. For example:
- YOUR WORLD = Your spouse when you are at home: so when you blame your spouse, they blame you as well.
- YOUR WORLD = Your work colleagues when you are at work: so when you blame your work colleagues, they blame you as well.
- YOUR WORLD = Your boss if you are an employee: so when you blame your boss, they blame you as well.
- YOUR WORLD = Your employee if you are an employer: so when you blame your employee, they blame you as well.
- YOUR WORLD = Your business partner if you are in a business partnership: so when you blame your business partner, they blame you as well.
With this viewpoint in mind, we now have a typical chicken and egg situation. Which one of you, between YOU and YOUR WORLD, should get out of the VICTIM MOMENT first? Whichever you choose, the result will most likely get both parties out of it. Obviously there are two approaches here:
- You can tell YOU to get out of your VICTIM MOMENT;
- or You can tell YOUR WORLD to get out of its VICTIM MOMENT;
Both approaches can possibly achieve the same desirable outcome. But the first approach is simpler because it only needs to convince 1 person and that is YOU! While the second approach requires someone, namely you, to convince everyone else in YOUR WORLD to do something. The first approach takes a lot of courage as it risks you confronting your own weaknesses. The second approach takes a lot of work but very little personal risk as we all seem to spend part of our lives convincing others of their weaknesses to avoid making ourselves feel uncomfortable about ourselves. Mathematically, the first approach seems to be more time and energy efficient.
So I don’t want to spend too much time talking about how to practice the second approach, i.e. telling YOUR WORLD to get out of its VICTIM MOMENTs, as we are all very good at that already. Some examples you might have experienced could include:
- If your wife (i.e. YOUR WORLD) would only stop blaming you for not making enough money, you would be willing to make more money;
- If your boss (i.e. YOUR WORLD) would only stop blaming you for not putting in your best effort, you would be willing to put in more effort;
- And so on.
But if you consider the first approach, i.e. telling YOU (yourself) to get out of the VICTIM MOMENT, I have found an interesting way to do this. Try to always remind yourself that when you are in the VICTIM MOMENT, YOU are not really blaming your wife, your colleagues, your boss, your employees, or your business partners, YOU are really blaming YOUR WORLD, yes, YOUR entire WORLD! And you don’t even need to be religious to know that this is mad.
So every time I find myself falling into a VICTIM MOMENT and trying to blame MY WORLD, I try to remind myself of Mark Twain’s famous quote: "Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first."
Until next month, happy investing & stay out of VICTIM MOMENTS!