This morning I came across a news feed on my YouTube feed it was by The Young Turks and it was focused on CEO pay, specifically the disparity between CEO pay and the pay of the average worker. The commentary in the news video was focused on how unfair the disparity of the average CEO pay was from the average worker pay. Here is the problem I have with the video, am I to imply that in the event the average pay for CEO is reduced significantly that this would improve the average pay of workers?
Most people who are asked this question would answer no, this is because subscribing to the belief that the success or failure of others affects my success taps into a primitive mindset which desires to relieve me of any and all responsibility for any unfavorable conditions I find myself in. The problem with not seeing myself as responsible for my circumstances, is that it leads me into seeing myself as powerless to change my condition.
One Size Does not Fit All.
I enjoy playing puzzle games and the thing with what makes a really good puzzle game, is that there are more than one way to solve the puzzle. This rule also applies to our everyday lives. If I were to engage the hosts of the above-mentioned video about why I disagree with their stance, they would immediately point to the number of reasons why the average worker is unable to get a chance to achieve economic freedom. They will say things like, “not everyone can go to college” (this is true), or that minimum wage is not a livable wage (also true). However if I were to retort with the statement that there is no problem we cannot work through, I will be accused of living in la, la, land. However the reality is that not all paths towards success is the same, as a matter of fact success means completely different things for different people. Most people have been brought up to believe in a one size fits all paradigm, starting in the home and reinforced through institutions of learning. Most people do not know themselves, most people have a poorly defined sense of identity and as a result will continue to hold unto a beliefs and values that do not truly define who they are. In truth, no arguments can solidly be made to support the notion that only way to economic achievement is through college. Generally speaking, there are multiple paths to multiple goals, and every goal has more to one path towards reaching it.
You Have More Power Than You Think.
As children, our powers are limited. It has been hard wired into our brains that fitting in with the beliefs and values of our immediate family followed by our community will increase our chances of survival. As adults we become solely responsible for what we choose to believe and keep believing. While it is true that there are a number of unpleasant things that could happen to us, likewise there are also a number pleasant things that could happen to us. The reality is that the number of pleasant things that could possibly happen to us are increased three fold when we actually take steps to make our desires a reality. When we focus on other people having things we desire, which we do not have, we become susceptible towards buying into beliefs that limit our potential to excel.
So the next time you come across any bit of news information that tells you how unfair life is, and how others have more leverage than you, ask yourself one question; “how does this help you?” If it is more income you are trying to bring into your life, your efforts would be best spent looking up information that tells you specifically how to bring in more income into your life. Or, how to retire in x amount of years, or how to fund your child’s education and so on and so forth. A video on how unfair life is, is not really telling you anything new, instead it is keeping you grounded in old thinking that has most likely not worked out for you to date.
So here’s wishing you live your life to the best of your potential.
I participated in a live interview this morning with the Huffington Post Live, with focus of the conversation being on the relevance and social acceptability of public apologies. From my standpoint, whether you are looking at the Paula Deen usage of racist slurs, Lance Armstrong’s dishonesty with doping, Rob Ford’s defiance about his drug use to the recent tweet and follow up apology by Justine Sacco, the entire process of public apologies has become bastardized.
Once a public figure makes a hurtful and insensitive comment, with a prompt follow up apology, it is a literal assault to the sensibilities of the public. Most people realize that the apology is not sincere and is only being offered under duress to save face. More importantly the apology distracts from more important issues that the public should be looking at. Such as workplace bullying, whether kids are influenced by doping in sports and corruption in politics to name a few. Mainstream media outlets habitually distract from these topics through a process of shaming and blaming the public figure who dared uttered such comments.
On a personal level, if someone rejects me or thinks ill of me because of my skin color or heritage, that’s truly their problem, not mine. My participation in ridiculing or shaming any offender of hurtful comments solves nothing, and for those in my position who thinks it helps them feel better, I would say that they have fallen for the “jedi mind trick”, in short we have bigger fish to fry.
On a positive note, I came across a story about how group turned an insensitive tweet that went viral into a positive outcome. How? By channeling the outrage to focusing and challenging people to help a greater cause.
Here is a copy of the video of the interview, after watching please share.
Ugo is a psychotherapist and life coach.