You know what I’m talking about — the one going on in your head. The soundtrack to the “I Can’t Believe They Did This To Me” movie that plays in your brain when something doesn’t go your way.
We’re all guilty of it, to some degree. We all have a part of us (that gigantic ego that follows us EVERYWHERE) that is outraged, mortified, horrified at the horrible things done to us. We all feel sorry for ourselves at times.
I‘m not going to argue about what was done to you. Maybe it was terrible, maybe your anger is justified. Maybe we all should be amazed that you’re not curled up in a little ball, rocking yourself to sleep. I’ll give you that.
But I just want you to ask yourself this question: Is it useful anymore? Is your anger over whatever happened truly productive now? Has it built anything of merit? Is it continuing to help you? Or, when you really look at it, is your anger hurting your efforts to do something worthwhile in this imperfect world? Is it making your life better? Or is it making it worse?
And, are you happy? Really, truly, holy-shit-I-can’t-wait-to-get-out-of-bed happy?
If you’re not, then you need to make some changes. The Pity Party and the Holy Fuck I Love Life Celebration can’t happen in the same place. It’s like two gigantic weddings in one small room. Nobody can dance if the floor is covered with people sobbing. In much the same way, your self-pity and your ambition are fundamentally incompatible. You can’t achieve greatness if you’re spending most of your time licking your wounds. (And when I say “greatness” don’t confuse it with money, or status. Many are great who have lesser quantities of such markers.)
Kay Yow, the late NC State basketball coach, said this: “Don’t wallow in self pity. You know you will drown. It’s okay at moments to have some pity, but swish your feet and get out.”
Swish and get out. And then get back to building your most amazing life.