Your approach towards life will determine if you live a great one… or a not-so great one.
Pretty obvious advice. But for some reason a lot of people don’t always follow it. There are some people who make it their absolute duty to be as miserable as possible and drag others down with them. When life hands them a raw deal, they’re not going to have any friends to come and help them out. There’s nothing worse than drowning in the middle of the ocean with no life raft.
They can’t help it though – it’s just an unfortunate habit.
Hopefully, you haven’t gotten into the habit of “waking up on the wrong side of the bed” every day. It’s fine to do it once in a while, but when you start to make it a habit, then we’re not doing so hot.
The following five are a short list of negative attitudes. These are what I believe to be very, very deadly states of mind to carry around. If you have these negative attitudes, it will prevent you from being successful, it will prevent you from seeing the good in life, and it will stop any progress towards living an unconquerable life. This list of negative attitudes isn’t exhaustive – but changing even one of them can make alllll the difference.
What is the opposite of hate? It isn’t love. It’s indifference.
When you’re indifferent, you don’t care. “You don’t give a fuck” (or IDGAF) as the kids these days say. For some reason, people have bought into this notion of appearing not to care about anything, warping it into a perverted version of stoicism.
Why is it so widespread? It’s because we’re scared to show our hand. Being vulnerable is hard. So we pretend to seem as if we operate on a higher plane of existence where we’re untouchable.
Well, I’ve tried this and I’ll tell you: it doesn’t work. You slowly become a miserable human being on the inside.
Why it matters: Indifference is a negative attitude because it completely saps your drive.
In order to achieve anything in life, you need desire. Sometimes, that desire needs to be white-hot. You can’t do that when you don’t care. If your dad was indifferent towards pursuing your mom (or even visa-versa), you wouldn’t be here.
You need to give a fuck. Your future depends on it. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself living where you don’t want to live, driving what you don’t want to drive, working where you don’t want to work!
I’m sure you don’t want that.
Envy is a very, very, very toxic emotion that will rot you slowly from the inside out until you become a hollow version of the person you once were.
Envy has taken otherwise great individuals and twisted them into unrecognizable versions of their former selves.
Why it matters: This one personally scares the living daylights out of me. This emotion is so insidious that I feel bad even writing about it.
Envy is a killer of dreams, empathy, and time. Envy takes everything and gives nothing back. It is pure selfishness. It makes you feel as if you have nothing to offer the world and makes you forget about your own talents.
Envy will suck the life out of you in a merciless fashion. Don’t indulge in this, it’s like looking at Medusa straight in the face. This negative attitude has destroyed more friendships than anything else.
Envy CAN be used as a force for good – a cause to go higher…but most people don’t use it in that manner. They use it as fuel to light the fire that will be used for their own destruction rather than the fuel that can be used to propel them into the stratosphere.
When you feel yourself becoming envious – take a deep breath. Wish that person well. There’s always more to the story. If you knew what was going on behind the scenes, you would not feel that envious.
Things aren’t as they seem. That person may have the appearance of a great life on the outside but they could be disintegrating on the inside.
When you indulge in this negative attitude, you give up all of your control to circumstance. You become a victim.
Other vernacular includes: Bitching. Moaning. Groaning. Belly-aching.
Some examples: “I hate my job. My boss is such a fucking dick.” “She only goes after the assholes. Never the nice guys.” “Why does this class have to be so hard? Why can’t he just curve the test?”
I have heard (and expressed) variants of these over the years. It does nothing.
Why it matters: When you indulge in the negative attitude of complaining, you let the day run you. You don’t run the day. You’re always the fucking servant, not the master. You engage in a victim mentality, in effect requiring people to feel sorry for you in order for you to feel better. You’re an energy vampire. You don’t add positive energy to the mix, you take it away and you do so selfishly.
If you find yourself being a complainer, realize that everything that happens to you isn’t by chance. There’s always some cause. It may not be readily apparent, but it’s there. That’s how life works. Also realize that you can change your circumstances. It won’t always be easy…but hey. You can.
If you hate your job, level up your skills in your spare time and find a new one. If she only “goes after the assholes”, find another girl to pursue. If the class is hard, meet with the professor in office hours and ask them to patiently review the material.
All in all, you just need to “suck it up”. You need to become “antifragile”. No one likes a sore loser with a negative attitude.
Bitterness could be wrapped up in envy, but they are both two different leaves stemming from the same branch. Being bitter arises from a feeling of being “slighted” or “wronged” in some way. You can’t get back at the aggressor. It makes you feel completely powerless. The end result is yet again…feeling like a victim.
When someone is bitter, they have no problem taking it out on other people or lashing out, because they still feel that they’re in the right.
Why it matters: You put blame on the other person. Someone is responsible for what happened to you. Someone must pay. And you will not rest until they do.
This is lame. This is not how self-reliant people act.
When you are bitter, you carry around the past with you. It’s like you’re carrying a dead, rotting, 250 lb. carcass. Emotionally, you are a wreck and you can’t focus on what really matters. When you are reminded of that past incident, you flare up.
Little do some people know, you can just drop the carcass. You can just let it go. Let it go. Just forget about it. Move on. You can’t change it. If you don’t, you’ll hate yourself and others will too.
This is a very subtle thing, but it can be deadly because it adds up over time. You make one self-deprecating comment, then you make another. Then another. Soon, you’re doing it all the time. Soon, you’re seeing yourself as the one at fault. All. the. time.
Comedians often use themselves as the basis for self-depreciative humor. If you’re a terrible joke, it’s probably not best to do this because it can backfire horribly on you.
Why it matters: Self-deprecation outside of humor comes from a lack of confidence. Do it enough, and subconsciously you hijack all your self-esteem. This negative attitude can be catastrophic down the line.
The Destruction of Negative Attitudes
It’s very, very difficult on the upswing in a world that is very negative. I liken it to gravity. You have to push to stay afloat. You must constantly fight to always find that silver lining, to do away with negative attitudes. One way to do that? Say thank you.
As I said before, you have a lot to be grateful for. Gratitude absolutely KILLS negative attitudes. When you see the silver lining, you start to see the negative situation as a seed that can be turned into an advantage.
One way to establish gratitude is to write down a running list of things you’re grateful for. No matter how small. Soon, you’ll start to see your advantages. Soon the haze of indifference, envy, complaints, bitterness, and self-depreciation will dissipate. The negative attitudes will diminish. You’ll look out into the clearing and say:
Damn. It feels amazing to be alive.
And I’m telling you, it’s an awesome feeling.