I just finished reading a very interesting article
about how we make decisions in our lives. Now, while at the very heart of it I understand where the author is coming from and what he is trying to say, I really do disagree with the thinking behind it. Don‚’ get me wrong, I fully understand that this line of thought is very popular in European culture but it really does far more harm than good. Allow me to explain:
In the article the author explains that we all have three “leaders”that compete with each other for leadership of ourselves. WOW! This is the basic premise of the article and while in professional circles and amongst the psychologists of the world this may sound great, it is far too complicated to really produce any result of note when applied to the average Joe trying to get ahead in life. As most things we find that try to help us, it really looks great on paper but in reality only lays the ground work for us to blame “someone else”for our own poor decision making. It gives us permission to be a victim, in this case, of three malicious “leaders”vying to control us and once again throw the proverbial “blame” ball in someone else’s court.
Ok, now before everyone starts bashing me and saying how unsophisticated, uncultured, unfair, blah blah blah, I am for saying this, just keep reading (you’ll probably actually be right, but I digress).
We are not made up of different self’s, leaders or what ever you want to call it. I would like you to reread that sentence again, please. Learn it, live it, love it! It is us, our one and only us, who makes the decisions around here. We fight with ourselves constantly over doing what is right or doing what is wrong. If you are over weight and are faced with having to choose between a beautiful, chocolatey, lovely brownie or a steamed carrot, it is you and only you who makes the decision of which to eat. Only you know what is right from wrong in a particular situation, and trust me YOU KNOW what the right thing to do is. You always do.
But Ed, that’s soooo uuuuuuunnnnnfair. Life is unfair, get used to it. There are circumstances and blah blah blah that we have no control over that lead us to chooooooose the brownie. STOP IT right now! I’ve heard it all before and most of it from myself. I have been KING EXCUSE for a long long time. You can make all the excuses you want, you can make up all the little devils sitting on your shoulder you want but at the end of the day, its YOU who makes the decision. You, yourself and you. Look in the mirror and ask yourself how often you lie to yourself, how often do you make up excuses or extra personas to allow you to take the easy route. If you do this little exercise, I bet you’ll be amazed at what you discover.
Steve Jobs, Bill Gates or Mahatma Ghandi didn‚’ have three little leaders making decision for them I’m sure and I would bet my last Euro that if asked about this they would say they decided for themselves without the help of any internal devils. They simply decided what it was they wanted, what it was they wanted to achieve and accepted nothing less from themselves. You too can have whatever it is you want but only YOU can decide what is, no one else can do that for you not even the any of the three little leaders…ehem ehem ehem.
Having said all that, I still think there is some good in the article that we should pay attention to. For instance, the last paragraph has some good advice and something we should take to heart. I agree that trying to exceed ourselves will provide all the things he says it will and I would only add that taking responsibility for your actions will only enhance those effects. Remember, look in the mirror once in a while and aske yourself if you are being honest with yourself (hey maybe that’s what he meant???).
Here is the like to the original article but your gunna need to be able to read spanish! Take a look at his site as it does have some genuinely good stuff on it but remember it’s you who decides and don’t let anyone tel you otherwise!
Just want to comment on some of the comments following the article.
The first one says that “you can only have a fulfilled life by being yourself”. Well guess what? I beg to differ…You can only live a fulfilled life through being honest with yourself, by living the life that you have decided you want and by living in accordance with the values you most strongly hold and know to be right and just. It is you who decides to be honest with yourself. It is you who decides the life that you want to live and it is you who decides what your values are.
This is a good one.
Another person says that maybe it isn’t three but just two “tyrannical” dictators that antagonistically stop the “true” leader from flourishing. Nope. Sorry that’s NOT and I repeat NOT it either. However I might venture to say that this kind of thinking has more to do with not living a fulfilled life than little “Stalin and Fidel” have. It is us who decides at every moment what to do and what not to do. If we are looking for fulfillment, look no further than the in mirror and you will find all the answers you need right there. Make a decision right now to be honest with yourself. Look yourself in the mirror and take responsibility for your actions and for living in accordance to your values and you will see fulfillment come on it’s own.
And finally, Silvia has got it!!! Read the last comment. She nails it!