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 knew a woman who was beautiful. Although, she saw the world in terms of attraction and attention. Everything from job offers to getting discounts at restaurants to dealing with a nagging customers.
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 measured herself through her beauty and attractiveness. And naturally she measured her self worth and people in it by their beauty and attractiveness.
I once knew a dude 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 at work, to the poor service he got at hotels, to the people who didn’t laugh at his jokes.
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 gauged 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.”
Chances are you take note of it through some combination of all of these things, but one in particular matters most to you. One stands out and determines your happiness more than others.
I realize now how important it is to measure ourselves by defining a “personal measurement of success”. A key to this success is when 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 more external our metrics for our own value and self-worth, the more we screw everything up for ourselves.
The Perspective Lens we look though for ourselves is the Perspective Lens we see the world.
If you gauge your life by your family relationships, then you will measure others by the same standard – how close their family is to them. If they’re distant from their family or don’t call home enough, you’ll judge them as deadbeats, ungrateful or irresponsible, regardless of their lives or their history.
If you measure your life by how much fun and partying you can have, then you will measure others by the same standard – how much fun and partying they have. If they prefer to stay home and listen to Tony Robbins lectures every weekend, you’ll judge them as inhibited, scared of the world, lame and soulless, regardless of their personality or needs.
If you measure your life by how much you’ve gotten around and experienced, then you will measure other people by the same standard. Naturally- just how worldly they’ve become. If they prefer to stay home and enjoy the comforts of routine, then you will judge them as incurious, 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 (or lack of faith) in a higher power. If we measure ourselves by our intellect and use of reason, then we will judge others through the same lens.
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 why hardcore 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 synthetic drugs into their hinny to make it as hard as a turtle shell.
This isn’t to say that judging is wrong. There are plenty of values worth judgment. I judge people who are violent and malicious. I judge a person for the energy they emit. Hell, I judge Police offers who speed up to catch up to me to give me a ticket for speeding. But that is a reflection of who I am. I judge fitness and health within myself. (Honestly I don’t take drugs) But I’m no perfect health but. I still use fake sugars, and drink three Monsters a day. But these are traits that I will not tolerate within myself, therefore these are traits I’m wary of and I will perpetually trying to modify. Hypocrisy grinds my gears and when I do it- I grind my own gears.
But this is a choice I am making. This is a choice we are all making, whether we realize it or not. And we should make those choices consciously and not on Habits.
It’s why people who think they’re ugly look for all of the ways people around them are ugly and why people who are lazy and slack off look for all of the ways others cut corners and slack off as well. 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 “Perspective 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 perspective lens’s 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.
Comment below and give in to vulnerability let me know what Perspective Lens you’re Wearing.