It’s all your fault
Yes, you heard me. Whether you’re having a bad day, a bad year or a series of misfortunate events – it’s all your fault.
We like to blame the traffic for being late, our work for interfering with our desires in life or even that tech rage which is the fault of your slow running Mac.
So essentially, if everything is someone/something else’s fault then what does that make you?
Insignificant. That’s what it does.
You’re insignificant if you think all of your problems are dependent on things that are out of your control.
Let’s reexamine but this time, making ourselves not so insignificant by taking the same examples; if you’re always running late or even if you ran late just once this past month, take a step back and figure out what were the actual causes or what you could’ve done differently to have prevented it? There is always a way, seldom do we choose to see those options.
The work one is perhaps a little harder to argue with, not because it’s any more valid than our first example but because being slave to the job or “being busy” is almost worn as a badge of honour irrespective of what you’re actually busy with. I like turning to Derek Sivers every time a common sensical problem such as “working too hard” presents itself, any problem that common sense is striving hard to establish as the norm is in fact a collective inadequacy that we’re too afraid to own up to. Sivers is known as the man who always has time to reply to emails because he’s not busy doing anything and everything that comes his way. You might want to check out his Hell Yeah post to know more about what I’m referring to here.
Back to not having the time to do what you want because work keeps us occupied. As everything has gotten easier and quicker to do we have struggled harder to find time for anything at all. I wrote an extensive piece on “9 Excuses…” that is socially acceptable to use while procrastinating but the crux of it is, if you’re not able to do something that you have been wanting to for a while perhaps you need to admit that it’s not a priority. The second you admit it, at least we can finally move onto bigger and better things that can actually see the light of day.
The last example is a trap I fall into almost every single day, I am not the most composed when it comes to handling tech rage. I was reading Alain de Botton’s The Consolations of Philosophy that argued for a diagnosis of madness if inanimate objects tend to induce unmanageable emotional responses. That struck a cord with me and on a deeper level, our frustrations towards inanimate objects often stem from an underlying belief in how things should be. So it’s socially appropriate to scream at your computer when it takes more than 5 seconds to open something because you expect it to do that in 2. So not only are we certifiable but also live in a little bubble, screaming at the screen which can exhibit no feelings nor react to our disgruntled selves.
What do I do now? I have to take a quick inventory whenever I sense that I am threading close to the borders of madness; am I tired? Have I got too many programmes running at the same time? Is it connected to the wifi? I’m sure we do most of the above except the first one, why does it matter if you’re tired? If you’re tired there’s no way you’re able to see all the solutions that lie right in front of your eyes, that’s also the reason why I refuse to do anything mentally demanding once I have reached my mental bandwidth for the day. That perhaps requires some practice, knowing when you have reached your daily limit of creativity but it’s certainly not impossible to even accidentally stumble into — just stop when you’re walking backwards 3 steps for every 2 steps forwards.
I hope I have managed to convince you that everything that goes wrong is your fault but here’s the secret that makes it all better; if everything is your fault that also means you always already have everything you need to make it better. How awesome is that?
I can’t imagine anything ever being somebody else’s fault because if it is, it not only makes me insignificant but it also means there’s no hope to make it better.
I don’t know about you but I like it that everything is my fault, so are you going to continue pointing fingers at other people/things or do something about it? No matter what you choose, it’ll be your fault.
Bhavani Esapathi is a writer & speaker on all things digital within the cultural space. She has consulted with organisations such as The Goethe Institut, The British Council and is the Founder of The Invisible Labs; a social tech venture focussed on invisible Autoimmune Conditions. If you enjoyed reading this, you might also like to join The Secret Community of Creatives.