People like to victimise themselves

They like to be the busiest — “I’m so busy!”

They like to be the most stressed out — “I’m so stressed out!”

They like to be the one who slept the least — “I only had 3hrs of sleep, for the whole week!”

They like to be wronged — “I was unfairly treated!”

They like to think that they have the toughest breakup — “He/she treated me like a doormat!”

They like to think that they have the toughest job — “My job sucks!”

They like to think they are the poorest — “I have no money!”

The list goes on. It never ends. It’s a toxic mindset that resolves around scarcity, negativity, and victimhood.

They are the victims of their stories.

You know the quote “People want to see you doing well, just not better than them?” That’s one of the most detrimental mindset anyone can have.

Picture this, an executive puts in 60hours a week produces the same output compared the another executive who puts in the standard 40hours. Guess you should know who will cry victim by now. Now 60hour exec wants 40hour exec to work as much and 40hour exec wants to share how he/she works so the output can be compounded but victimhood theory is preventing it from happening. Resulting in the situation withering like a graceful flower all because selfish 60hour exec had a victim mentality — “I want everyone to suffer what I went through just because I had the toughest life there is in human history.” Depressing, but alarmingly true.




If we refer to Dan Harmon’s story circle above, which is a format what most stories uses, we understand that the victim is stuck cycling between stages 1-3. There’s discomfort and dissonance between being uncomfortable, feeling inadequate, and dipping into unknown territories.

But stage 4-6 is what really matters. It’s what separates victims from heroes. The hero accepts the reality. Adapts to circumstances by figuring out what it takes to get out of it. Sets out on a journey that will bring them out of the shithole. Despite getting what they want, they have to pay a price. The price usually means saying no.


Stop living in victimhood, start being the hero of your own story. That requires going through obstacles and pain. Nothing worth having ever comes easy. Almost everything requires a price, and the price is hard work.

Start cultivating self awareness. Try to catch yourself thinking in the victim mentality. Then try to get out of it. Also, don’t forget to pull others out of it. After all, we live in a society and everyone needs help from others every once in awhile.


How to get out of it? Ruby recommends 4 steps:

  1. Acknowledge you are playing the victim (probably the hardest part)
  2. Acknowledge the role you have been playing in your life
  3. Take ownership (own your shit)
  4. Create change

Let me leave you with this: Own your life, own your story. And never ever lie to yourself.

Photo by Xavier Sotomayor on Unsplash

Believing the phrase ‘everything is just a google search away’ is hurting your success in life

What you are getting into: 664 words, 4mins read + 4mins video

critical_thinking

Photo via Pexels

“It is shortchanging our intellect if you believe everything is just a google search away.” — Nicholas Carr

Internet is changing our brains.

The world we live in is hyper connected. A lot information is just a google search away. Hundreds of thousands of content are created every single day. Billions of emails sent per day. You won’t even be able finish YouTube videos uploaded a day in your entire lifetime.

google_search

A google search typically yields millions of web results. We typically read a few articles and start forming an idea of what’s happening. So, have you ever questioned if the top few results are manipulated by SEO experts and therefore the content you googled were ‘false’? The first few results may not be the absolute truth. Same goes for news publications (countries’ news censorship) and social media. It’s content are carefully crafted for the mass public, think public relations.

social_media_endless_scroll

Studies show that the average person spends 50mins on Facebook every single day. If you sleep for 8hrs, work for 8hrs, spend 2hrs on basic survival and hygiene like eating and bathing, 50mins of Facebook time is 13% of your free time. That’s not even counting commute time which the average person would have. If the average person spends 13% of their free time on Facebook, with the recent rise of fake news, how do they form an educated and informed opinion?

deep_thoughts

Disclaimer: I am not against the plethora of information available on the internet. It serves us well. It helps us to connect with people all over the world. Thus making everyone even closer, and humanity a little better.

Ask yourself honestly, when was the last time you spent time doing nothing, without getting bored?

When was the last time you spent some time daydreaming?

When was the last time you read a book without distractions? Enjoyed a good book without the constant buzz of notifications?

And when was the last time you had an opinion without googling for answers?

When was the last time you questioned the source of information? Be it news, books, articles, podcasts, MOOCs, Youtube tutorials, messages circulated via chat apps, etc. You have been well informed about the rise of fake news and how it is being contained at the moment. Even for mass media, sometimes news publications are politically controlled too. Do you believe everything you read, especially online?

Depending on where you are and where you get your source of news, it is really important to think about the relevance, validity, context, and accuracy of the content.

Nicholas then proposed these key points to practice:

  1. Pay attention
  2. Control your mind
  3. Think conceptually
  4. Think critically
  5. Think creatively

How much of your opinions are formed based on the information you consume? How much do you consume? Are your opinions merely opinions or they are facts? Don’t confuse opinions vs facts.

lebowski_your_opinion

The 5 key points requires years of practice. If you would like, please feel free to deep dive into specific techniques. But before you do, may I suggest that you write them down, find a place to relax or go for a walk, and ponder about it — whether are you practicing them.

Now, if you have reached this point, turn off the internet if you can, and get some offline time to think. Go sit somewhere without computing devices or internet.

Get some headspace. Go back to the real world. Not everything exists on the internet.

nature_walk

An open letter to people who lacks empathy

What you are getting into: 675 words, 4mins read

Photo via Unsplash
Annie Spratt

Recently I have come across people who have absolutely no empathy. They only care about themselves. To the point where they think they are the center of the whole entire universe. They only talk about themselves. They care about nothing. They don’t care about people who have no food, no water, no water, no access to education, no access to internet, well you get the idea. Yet they think they are living the toughest life there is in the whole entire universe.

I think they lack empathy.

This article talks about empathy.


Empathy fuels connection, sympathy drives disconnection. Words from Brene Brown.

There are four qualities of empathy by Theresa Wiseman:

  1. To be able to see the world as others see it—this requires putting our stuff aside to see the situation through the eyes of a loved one
  2. To be nonjudgmental—judgement of another person’s situation discounts the experience and is an attempt to protect ourselves from the pain of the situation
  3. To understand another person’s feelings—we need to be in touch with our personal feelings in order to understand someone else’s. This also requires putting aside “us” to focus on our loved one
  4. To communicate our understanding of that person’s feelings—rather than saying, “At least…” or “It could be worse…” try, “I’ve been there, and that really hurts,” or (to quote an example from Brown) “It sounds like you are in a hard place now. Tell me more about it.”

Putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes requires tremendous amount of effort. We need to let down our guard, to feel the emotions they are feeling, to open ourselves up. In order words, we need to be vulnerable as well.

Raise your hand if you know people who are immensely judgmental. Without getting all the facts right, they jump into conclusions. I am no saint either. I too have times where I judge someone without even knowing what they have been through. This is because of our biological nature. Back in the caveman days humans require quick judgment in sensing danger. However, now that the world have industrialised, we have not shaken that innate trait off, and it is causing a lot of problems.

Even if we let our guard down and try to feel what people are feeling without any judgment, are we even good enough to communicate what we think in our own minds to them? To speak in a way that doesn’t raise their defence walls higher. To express our condolences and that we have experienced their pain once in our lives before.

What if we have yet to experience such sorrow?

Then we keep our mouths shut.

Empathy is a choice and it’s a vulnerable choice. In order to connect with you, I have to connect with something in myself that knows that feeling. Rarely, if ever, does an empathic response begin with, “At least…”

Here are some of the examples Brene gave:

They: “I had a miscarriage.”

I: “At least you know you can get pregnant.”

They: ”I think my marriage is falling apart.”

I: “At least you have a marriage.”

They: ”John’s getting kicked out of school.”

I: “At least Sarah is an A-student.”

Someone shared something with us that’s incredibly painful and we’re trying to “silver lining” it. I don’t think that’s a verb, but I’m using it as one. We’re trying to put a silver lining around it.

But this approach almost always doesn’t work. We try to sympathise by silver lining it and we end up making things worse. When trying to sympathise we may end up making the other person feel worse than they did before they approached us.

So don’t sympathise. Let’s empathise instead. Stop silver lining it. Let’s understand their plight. If we can’t, then let’s just keep our mouths shut.

Because sometimes the best thing we can do is just listen.