We live in a society of weakness and ineptitude. One prevalent theme I see among most people in our society is this notion of how things should be, would be, or could be.
This is nothing more than living in a fantasy world.
Men of action do not live in the realms of fiction. We live in the present reality. We don’t whine about the cards that are dealt to us. We amass our fortunes, determine our futures, and snub our noses at those who tell us it can’t be done. Catch yourself whenever you’re about to say something should/would/could be different. Are you actually going to take steps to change the thing in question or are you just wanting to whine about it? If you’re just going to whine, then kindly shut your mouth. No one wants to hear your complaints. All it does is reduce your status in the eyes of other men.
Sure it sucks, but will crying about it change the cards you’re dealt?
The benefits of living in the real world and not the infantile fantasy world of the shoulda, woulda, coulda’s is that you actually get shit done. When you rid your vocabulary of these three nasty words, your entire mindset begins to change. You begin to rid your psyche of the victim complexes that society foists upon you and take charge of your life.
It is true empowerment; not the perverse sense of empowerment that most people ascribe to nowadays.
Focus instead on the 5 W’s (Who? What? Where? When? Why?) and the 1 H (How?). These six words seek information. With said information, you can begin to take control of the situation.
- Who made the screw up that lead to this problem?
- What happened and where?
- When did we first find out about the problem?
- Why didn’t we catch this issue earlier?
- How can we fix this problem and prevent it from happening again in the future?
Compare those no-nonsense questions to the typical garbage you hear from normal people:
- Jimmy should’ve known better than to do that.
- I could’ve done the job better than him.
- We wouldn’t be in this situation if it wasn’t for this old computer system.
Does any of those three
whiny-ass complaints statements help identify and solve the problem? No, so cut them out of the conversation and focus on what truly matters. Your boss will thank you, your peers will look up to you (or despise you, but we’ll discuss that at a later date), and Jimmy will be your new drinking buddy since you didn’t throw him under the bus.
Making these mental changes is not an overnight process. It takes time to build the neural connections in your brain to not instantly go into “whine mode”, especially if you’ve been doing it for years. One resource that I suggest is the Five Minute Journal. Some of it is a little too touchy-feely for my taste, but it promotes accountability while making you decide what you want to get accomplished today in order for it to be a “great day”. It actually harnesses shoulda/woulda/coulda triad for good instead of just bitching.
If you know what would make today great, why the hell aren’t you doing it?
The only downside I see with this journal is that there is no space for action items. While it keeps you honest with yourself, there’s nothing in this daily journal that pushes you to actually act on what you write down. If you do use this tool, understand it’s limitations and use your own discipline to fill in the gaps.
Give what I’m telling you a shot and you’ll be impressed with how your life will begin to change. You will no longer feel so overwhelmed, depressed, and out of control. Whenever a problem comes your way, you won’t complain about it. You will begin to think about how to fix it. Always remember:
Men control their fate. Children cry about it.