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No Matter What, Get Up!

Falling down is imperative. It teaches us the harsh reality that life always travels through failure. Failure is the partner of success. A companion that may seem distant as we learn from past mistakes and grow. But failure is inevitably looming, hoping that the next time it shows up, will be the time it keeps you down for good.

Oftentimes, increasingly in today’s society, failure seems an obstacle too large to overcome. Something has occurred in the past 10–20 years that has made “trying” a less desirable option than wallowing in “what if’s”. The emergence of a digital age has seen the sun set on over-coming adversity through resilience and hard work; instead choosing Twitter & Facebook to scream into an abyss of echo chambers that reinforce self-indulgent beliefs that “it’s not your fault”.

Social media has become the drug of choice for a majority of the western world. For many, it is their therapy session or a connection to a community they haven’t been able to develop in real life. During a pandemic, these platforms become a bigger crutch that encourages people to look for those that make them feel better about their situation by collectively blaming the government or systemic social issues for the world’s problems. In many respects, those issues are the culprits, but where there is a fair application of those targeted grievances, many people use these tactics to blame everyone and everything for all of their problems.

Why would someone take accountability when there is an unlimited amount of shit to throw at an unlimited amount of targets for an unlimited amount of reasons? That’s what social media provides every user; a constant stream of things to complain about, to blame, and to distract from looking in the mirror and objectively assessing one’s shortcomings.

Why would you consider yourself anything other than a victim, when there are oppressors around every corner and inside every post that makes its way onto your timeline? Anyone that thinks differently or succeeds in spite of your objections must be the enemy and the reason for your failure, right? There is no correlation between your lack of effort and your current state of being, right?

Screaming into a screen, even if it’s only your fingers doing the screaming, is for many, better than doing the actual work required to get some task accomplished or to improve your physical, mental, or financial health.

Pointing the finger is a double win for people with this mindset.

First, it says “This is not my fault, I’m a victim.” and second, it identifies exactly who is to blame — someone else, someone successful, someone dedicated, someone ravenously determined to look their demons square in the face and fight. It removes all responsibility on the individual to take ownership of their mistakes and shortcomings. It removes self-awareness and with it, any opportunity for the individual to have the most honest conversation required at a moment of crisis; the one with themselves.

Being self-critical is one of the most valuable traits a person can possess. With honest self-evaluation, the ability to assess one’s own strengths, weaknesses, fears, and vulnerabilities can be transformational. A pathway to enlightenment through honesty has tangible effects on the individual as well as those around them.

This is the road to growth.

The inability to be self-critical is the same as relying on prayer or The Secret to change your fortunes. A positive outlook without work is the same as blaming your problems on someone else when life doesn’t work out the way you wanted. It’s all about the external, it’s always out of your control and it’s never your fault. What they don’t tell you in The Secret, is that the actual secret is relentless hard work. Anyone that has read The Secret and become successful is because they used the lessons and applied them with hard work.

You never hear someone say, I earned my financial independence after reading The Secret, then thinking about success, it just happened.

When has a prayer ever stopped a poor family from being evicted?

You can put all the positive vibes into the world that you want, but if no action is taken, no outcome is manifested. And this is what so many people are missing — the work.

You want to say you’re busy? Post the weekly screentime of your phone, tablet, and pc. Give up the goods on your TV schedule. Be honest about how much aimless scrolling and double-tapping you do.

You’re not busy, you’re lazy.

And because you’re mentally lazy, physical laziness sets in and more bad habits develop, like blaming others for your shortcomings.

Instead of assessing the issue, accepting responsibility for the failure, analysing what went wrong, and putting into action tangible solutions to ensure the problem isn’t repeated; people nowadays look for someone or something to cast the blame upon.

In contrast to this attitude, I think of the hero in the movie who’s been beaten and pummelled into submission, and instead of getting up and fighting back they get up, go home and blame the villain for beating them unfairly and blame God for not giving them better fighting ability.

And roll credits.

There is something to the hero archetype we’ve read about in stories. The character shows fortitude, determination, and resilience, and they are revered for overcoming the obstacles that stand between them and becoming a legend. Yet despite having the blueprint and having an infinite amount of knowledge and guidance at our fingertips, people refuse to put in the effort.

Look at the BLM/Antifa protests that have plagued many US cities for the past year. These people don’t want tools to create solutions, they want what they think they’re owed and they want it now…or else.

Rather than focusing on building up, they prefer to tear down and leave in ruins the work of others because they feel unfairly treated and marginalised. When the truth of the matter is that actually, they want handouts. Look at the mugshots from the arrests.

Social media has made us soft, and it’s made us addicted to phony results. 100 likes, 200 shares, a celebrity retweet. These metrics don’t mean anything, don’t improve anything, and add zero value to anyone's existence.

Chasing viral status in a digital world is a sad thing to watch because the results for the overwhelming number of participants is the continued obscurity with the whiff of potentially developing an effort-free life and feeling that it’s those people over there that are causing the failure.

What they’re missing is the key. The key is consistent hard work.

People are more interested in shielding their kids from that which builds character, than exposing them to something awkward or uncomfortable. We require germs at a young age to build our immune system and we need failure to build character. Participation trophies, winnerless competitions, allowing gender identity to dictate the landscape of athletic endeavours is all to the detriment of those taking part, even if it appears to be done in the name of fairness.

Life isn’t fair.

The sooner a person reconciles this point, the sooner they’re able to realise that only that which goes in is paid out.

Hard work is an investment in the process, failure is an investment in character, persistence is an investment in yourself and success is the outcome of sustained effort because the path to success is not linear.

The point is to keep going, by any means necessary.

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