Just Beyond the Walls

One of my relatives called me a self-absorbed pig today.

Okay, that wasn’t the exact phrase they used; it was more like repetitive use of the terms “selfish”, “self-involved”, and so on for seven days straight.

Generally, I would deflect the criticism but when you hear something frequently, you start to wonder if it’s true. Perhaps the lesson here is to be extremely thoughtful about what audio you allow in your vicinity. I took it differently though.

I asked myself if they were right. Was I just some ego-centered piece of spider doodoo? Now, letting criticism in to any extent can be a dangerous game, but my “mental walls” usually help me keep perspective in these situations.

What are you talking about Micah? No one knows what the hell mental walls are!

Let me explain: my mental walls are the thoughts and behaviors I use to repel negativity.

When I hear something I don’t like or I perceive as negative, I introduce a positive perspective, or imagine spending time with the people I love the most. Also, I edit the amount of information I give to people based on our relationship. Everyone does this, right? No I don’t usually tell the bus driver the long story of my first crush (I haven’t even told YOU ALL – I gotta’ get to know you better first).

I take this whole ‘editing information’ thing a step further though. I tell my plans and purposes to an individual provided they have two qualities:

1. I trust them

2. They are a POSITIVE influence in my life

It doesn’t matter whether you’re my twin brother, or a stranger on the street, if the you don’t meet those criteria the amount of information you will get out of me will be limited.

Why do I do this?

Because I’ve noticed that when people engage intimately with one another, especially for an extended period of time, they pick up some of the traits and habits of their company. And I want the best habits and traits I can imagine coming into me.

This system is awesome because it allows me to objectively listen to criticism. I like criticism because I can get ideas for self-improvement from another person. But sometimes criticism is just crap – which is where this “mental walls” come in.

Let me note I did not come up with the “mental wall” concept, Napoleon Hill alerted me to it; I just figured out what I wanted my qualifications to be.

So I’ve figured out how people can pass my walls, but sometimes I am not careful. Sometimes I let the walls down when I shouldn’t. Today was one of those days.

I was off guard really. So in my own head was I that venom got slung at my cheeks before I even knew what was going on:

“You’re so selfish! “

“I can’t understand how you people just watch someone struggle without even asking to help!”

“I would at least OFFER to help!”

Once my relative was done, I looked down. “Perspective Made Easy” was on the my mahogany desk and I was improving my knowledge of art.

Was I being selfish?

Yes I could have been doing something for another person. Yes, another family member was working hard and would have appreciated help.

Should I have stopped what I was doing?

When do the needs and desires of others supersede your own?

I may write a story that digs deeper into this question, but here’s what I’ve got so far

I’ll help immediately if it is time sensitive and/or I am not focused on something else. Know that if I am deeply engaged in one of my stories, if I am in the middle of improving myself, or if I simply need to relax my mind and body, that only an emergency will bring about immediate action. If not, come back later. Ask for my help. I’ll leap up from my desk, and with a smile in my heart say

“Without a doubt!”

Micah Markray

May 13th, 2017

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