There seems to be an unfairness about the nature of life. Famous people, such as John F. Kennedy, have stated in the past that life is unfair. Many of us grow up with these ideas and allow them to become an underlying theme for our lives. We don’t question such statements, as they were given to us by role models from history or popular culture. In my personal experience, it once became a way to justify many of my flaws, but is this true? Is life truly unfair? I don’t think it is entirely accurate. Bear with me.
We can view life with diverse perspectives from what we think we see in front of our eyes to viewing through a microscope. Is it the skin that we observe? Or is it a colony of walking cells? Let me clear my vision.
MY OLD IDEAS OF UNFAIRNESS
I recall moments of sadness when I thought I hadn’t been given equal opportunities in so many areas of my life. From struggling with overweightness, having a poor body shape, not having Harvard parents to motivate my talents, not obtaining the professional opportunities I dreamed of, to not achieving the success I expected as I tried entrepreneurship, I perceived unfairness in life. Often, this sadness became frustration then anger for life’s injustice, for what I believed was uncompensated hard work.
While it seems accurate that victimhood is real, it’s nature isn’t permanent. Victimhood occurs once, in one moment in time, but it has an expiration date. What we decide to do after a specific experience or circumstance is entirely up to us.
After my frustration took a toll on me, I chose to take responsibility for my actions; then I realized my perception of the unfair life was perhaps not entirely accurate. It was just a matter of a narrow vision.
Let me share with you some fragments of my story to illustrate this idea.
I always thought I had inherited my dad’s flat derriere, at least that’s what my mother said. Overweight-ness ran in the family; it was as if having big hips was our family stamp.
I married someone who is opposite to me. He’s naturally athletic, or so I thought. He always weighs the same, no matter which days or how many months or years have passed. He has no college degree, speaks only one language, and he only read the books he was assigned to in high school, yet he’s a successful entrepreneur, and he’s fit and healthy. On the contrary, I had worked my butt off in college to obtain my degree, I had learned three languages, and I read at least one book per week.
Why is maintaining weight and entrepreneurial success easier for him? Why is the world so unfair? As a believer in God, it didn’t make any logical sense to me. I couldn’t understand this unfairness in the simplest things.
After close observation, I was able to see the reasons for my husband's success. His secrets were simple; they consisted of two main things: 1) discipline and 2) choice of an active lifestyle.
Brian Tracy, the author of the book The Power of Self Discipline, refers to it as “no excuses.” So I decided to put it to the test. For the following months, I set a goal to work exclusively on discipline by applying it to activities that I always wanted to do but felt too old or not good enough to do. I placed no expectations or goals but just the experiment itself. It was merely an exercise in developing discipline. I was astonished when it worked! In three months, I had achieved my dream body! And my career as a writer and speaker had blossomed.
Now it was time to work on the second trait, choosing an active lifestyle. So I focused on selecting every hour of my day to be active. This option meant keeping myself moving hour by hour. It was a real challenge, as it required the reinvention of a new "me."
The first change was waking earlier than usual; so, at the first sound of the alarm, no excuses, I was up. I made my bed before anything else and chose two significant changes: food and becoming active. This new strategy meant changing my entire diet for a healthier one, applying discipline to it, and selecting activity rather than convenience. I would park far away from the supermarket entrance and walk a bit more, I reduced my home cleaning assistant from two days a week to one day every other week, I chose the stairs every time instead of the elevator, and I decided to wait and see. Just as watering a garden, in only three months, my skin changed. I was told I was looking ten years younger.
Another great book came to my hands, The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. As I read it, it clicked in my head, and I finally got it. Life was fair after all, even though we don’t want to hear that. It’s a simple as “We get what we put into it.” It’s a matter of choice; it’s a matter of love versus evil where evil is the feeling of victimization and love is the choice of moving on, regardless of our perceived limitations.
We might see room for lots of apparent unfairness, but it may be because we can’t yet see the big picture. While a level of injustice still exists and many unanswered questions remain, much can be done to grow. Could it be possible that we just can't see far enough?
After all, aren’t sadness, anger, or horror seen in the faces of people? What happens when I hold these emotions for too long, can they become stamped on my face? Instead of unfairness, can this be the result of our actions and beliefs?
PAYING THE PRICE
Everything we want to achieve in life has a cost, but not everyone is consciously willing to pay it. Change today the view of the unfairness of life, and instead ask yourself.
How much does it cost what I want to achieve? What is the price I need to pay for what I want to achieve?
Am I willing to pay the price for achieving my dreams?
Am I willing to make the required effort to achieve my desires?
I am convinced that we are the result of what we think, what we feel, what we eat, and our lifestyle and this affects our entire lives.
We might realize we are not victims, after all, we are just not ready to pay the price for what we want.
This philosophy is the message that I bring to employees in my presentations. I encourage and empower people to realize that we’re all making a lifestyle choice by the hour and that they possess an enormous say and power in their everyday decisions. This superpower is what makes humanity great.
I am Elba Mueller; my purpose is your evolution.