I really blew it and everyone knows it. I’ve written a lot about Failure. I might’ve even deluded myself into thinking I am destined for a degree in: Failure.
I’m like Dr. Failure. I know exactly what you need to do if you want your roommates to hate you, if you want to get your license suspended, if you want to isolate yourself and lose friends, and also be the best money waister ever.
I once was a king at doing all this failure work and then I realized something.
Failure is a perspective.
Let me explain….
I mean I once had a classmate who was beautiful. Although, she saw the world in terms of beauty, aesthetics and attention. Everything from job offers, her idea of a good movie having a strong looking male lead, to getting discounts at restaurants by fluttering her long eye lashes, to dealing with a nagging customers by sweet talking them and playing the victim.
If someone was rude to her it was because they were intimidated by her beauty or their own lack of beauty. If someone was kind to her it was because they admired her beauty and wanted “get in her pants.”
She defined herself through her beauty. And naturally she measured her self worth and people in it by their beauty.
I once knew a dooder who was a loser. He was socially awkward and nobody liked him. He saw the world as a popularity contest, a contest that he was perpetually losing. Everything from how much he earned in tips at work, to the poor service he got at hotels, to the people who didn’t laugh at his jokes, and even the poor letter grades he got on tests weren’t because he didn’t study. Nope. It was because he believed the teacher just didn’t like him.
If someone was rude to him it was because they realized how much cooler they were than him. If someone was kind to him it was because they saw how much of a loser he was and took pity on him. Or perhaps they were just bigger losers than he was.
He equated himself through his social status. And he measured the world and the people in it through social status.
I read an article about the ways that we choose to measure the value of our own lives by Eric Barker. “Some of us measure our life through money and accolades. Others measure it through beauty and popularity. Others measure it through family and relationships. Others measure it through service and good deeds.”
I have a little confession: That Dooder was me.
I realize now how vital it is to weigh ourselves by defining a “personal measurement of success”.
So how do you do this?
A key to this success is identifying where you compare yourself. So you’re looking through that social media of yours and no matter what you’re scrolling through. It could be someone just booked an episode in a Tv Show, signed a mortgage on a new house, bought a Gym, or maybe signed a book deal, if it makes you jealous then you may have not clearly defined your “personal measurement of success.”
The “personal measurement of success” we look though is everything that will make that little once happy face of yours super sad.
But no fear. Perspective is here.
Let’s say you measure your life by how much you’ve gotten around and experienced, than it’s likely you will measure other people by the same standard. If you prefer to stay home and enjoy the comforts of routine, then you will judge people as unfocused, ignorant, unambitious; regardless of what their aspirations really are.
Why This Matters
If we believe that we’re hard workers and we earned everything we have, then we will believe that everyone else earned what they have. And if they have nothing, it’s because they earned nothing.
If we believe that we’re doomed for poverty and deserve minimum wage jobs, then we will believe that others are destined for minimum wage paying employment as well. If we believe our value comes from faith in a higher power, then we will view others by their faith in a higher power. If we measure ourselves by our intellect and use of reason, then we will judge others through that same perspective.
This is why people who are entrepreneurs tend to think that everyone else should be an entrepreneur as well. This is why people who are atheist tend to believe that everyone should be atheist. This is whyhardcore actors try to logically argue about not following the crowd and instead advocate to “follow your dreams.” It’s why racists often claim that everyone else is racist too. They just don’t know it. It’s why fitnes buffs justify their obsession to the gym by saying “fitness is saving me money on the hospital bills bro” even though behind the scenes their injecting large amounts of testosterone into their hinny to make it as hard as Leo’s turtle shell from TMNT.
This isn’t to say that judging is wrong. There are plenty of benefits worth judging. I judge people who are mean and malicious. I judge a person for the energy they emit. Hell, I judge that guy who injects foods into his butt- cheeks to make himself strong and look like Zues himself.
But I know I’m not perfect. I still use fake sugars, and drink three Monsters a day. And I workout Constantly to try to also achieve a super human look.
So why do people who think they’re ugly look for all of the ways people around them are ugly and why do people who are lazy and slack off look for all the ways others cut corners and slack off as well.
It’s just how we’re hard wired. It’s why corrupt officials choose to be corrupt: because they assume everyone else is as corrupt as they are. It’s why cheaters choose to cheat: because they assume everybody else is going to cheat if given the chance too.
Many of us inherit our own “Persipective Lens” not through conscious choice but through the shaming we’re subjected to. I love the quote, “Everyone is either trying to prove or disprove who they were in high school,” because for many of us, our “personal measurement of success” are defined by how people viewed us growing up. We develop a fixation in one area of our lives because it’s the area which we felt people judged us the most. The high school cheerleader who is afraid to lose her looks as an adult. The poor kid obsessed with becoming rich. The loser who wants to throw the biggest parties. The slacker who wants to prove to everyone how smart he is.
A big part of our development is to recognize our own fixation, to recognize how we measure ourselves and consciously choose our metric for ourselves.
But another big part of development is to become aware that everyone has their own way of seeing things. And that Perspective is likely not going to be the same as ours. And that’s (usually) fine. Most lenses people choose to wear are fine. Even if they’re not the same Lens you would choose for yourself.
You may view the world through career values, but most people do not. You may view the world through the lens of attractiveness, but most people do not. You may view the world through the lens of family values, but most people do not. You may view the world through the positivity and optimism, but most people do not.
And that’s simply part of being human. Accepting that others measure themselves and the world differently than you do is one of the most important steps to consciously choosing the right relationships for yourself.
It’s necessary for developing strong boundaries and deciding who you want to be a part of your life and who you do not. You may not succeed, but this doesn’t make an absolute failure.
So What do I do Logan?
You must accept that you cannot change a person’s values for them. Just as we must choose our own perspective lens by ourselves and for ourselves. They must do it by themselves and for themselves.
Always remember this. If it itches. Scratch it.
Comment below and give in to vulnerability let me know what your “personal measurement of success” is.