Wednesday, February 17, 2016

90/10

Sometimes I think there's a perception that people who have it together and enjoy life have had it easy. 

We can't compare who has had it easier or harder than us. We're all on our own journey. It's important to have perspective, sure. I think someone always has it worse than me and someone probably has it better, too. I'm not the only person in the world who has an issue I'm struggling with. 

Suffering and struggle are part of the human condition. No one gets off scott free and not one of us is a special snowflake unique and alone in our suffering. We are never the only one suffering, and out of the many people on this earth someone else has likely gone through the same thing. Part of growing up is figuring out a way to deal with life in general. People close to us will die or get sick, we will fail people around us, we will fuck something up, we will get in accidents, we will battle ourselves. The world doesn't stop. 

I think we like to use you don't understand as an insulator to ensure we are alone in our suffering or as an excuse to prolong it. People understand more than we'd like them to.

I operate by the 90/10 rule, which works best given my personality and how I overcome things and keeps me from being two things I hate: the martyr or the victim. I believe life is 10 percent of what happens to me and 90 percent of how I react to it. The path I take out of the dark place depends on my attitude. Sometimes it takes me longer to find the path out but the fact remains that my attitude is always my choice and no one else's. For a time, I might be able to blame circumstance for things that are wrong, but eventually I will need to see my own part in it: my choice of attitude. I can't lay that on anyone else. 

I should note that I'm not in any great struggle or period of suffering...this is just something I think about.

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29 comments:

  1. I'm trying to respond. Type, delete. Type, edit. I think what I feel is the combination of the fact that we all have our own journeys and struggles, AND there are always others that probably have it worse. It's not a competition. Physical ailments and disease seem to be an easy example. If someone's mother dies of a sudden heart attack and another person's mother dies of long-term, bone-crushing cancer...one loss is not any harder or worse than the other. Or say someone grew up with physical abuse in the home, and someone else grew up in hardcore poverty. One of those struggles doesn't outweigh the other. We could make this list go on and on, couldn't we?

    That being said...I have battled with depression for years. And, I do battle. I fight it. We tumble. We go hard fought rounds. But there are definitely days I feel that it is beating me, no matter my attitude.

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  2. Some situations are just a battle (to echo what Erin said). I think part of growing up (i.e. not being 25 anymore) is learning how to cope with life in general in a better way. Good days, bad days, etc.

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  3. /I 100% agree with you. I like to operate by the 90/10 rule as well. And I try to remember to always be kind to strangers (unless they are being total asshats) because you just never know what they are going through at the time. A smile or compliment might change their whole day.

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  4. Agree. It takes time to learn. Sometimes the hard way. In my previous, younger years I was judgemental and full of myself. I complained a lot. Now, such a better life because I am way grateful for every little and big thing. I send the lights when people are treating my people badly rather than send anger. Live and learn. Everyone has a story.
    Love. Your. Momma.

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  5. Wow, Steph this is so true and I definitely agree with the 90/10 rule. This post really gets me thinking on the subject of you never really know what other people are dealing with, so be kind to others. It's important to learn not to pass judgement when you interact with someone that may not be super chipper, because they may be having a really rough day at home. Sometimes a simple smile or thank-you goes a long way. Thanks for sharing this today.

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  6. I 100% agree with your philosophy, attitude is so important. We all struggle and have things we deal with, we can either be debbie downer all the time or try to spin the smaller things into silver linings.

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  7. Attitude is everything. It can either make you or break you.

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  8. Being in a very dark place right now, I'm having trouble coherently responding. Because while I know that it's my choice how I respond, and I hate being either a victim or a martyr, when I'm in this place, it's hard to make the good choices to get out of it.

    I do, however, fully believe that I'm the sum of my circumstances and choices, not one of them specifically. That's what keeps me going. That, and realizing that the cloud will lift at some point and I'll go back to feeling normal.

    Having depression makes me a little more sensitive to what others are going through. Not that they have it better or worse or whatever; just that everyone has bad times no matter what face they might show publicly.

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  9. Thanks for sharing this. Having the right attitude about things is so important.

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  10. Yep - preach it. I was sitting here convicted this morning about things i've been whining about & then heard the news of a friend who just recently found out she has cancer, & her dad died last night. & she's still putting out goodness in the world. ... perspective on life is a must.

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  11. one of my favourite quotes is something like you should never compare yourself to others, someone will always be worse and someone will always be better, and you will end up vain or bitter. or something like that. i apply it to everything i possibly can. like when i get crabby or complain, i know other people have it worse than me or have 'suffered' though what i have. i definitely think life is 90% how we react to it, and knowing that, or thinking i have some control or whatever, instantly makes me feel better.. does that make sense? anyway.

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  12. Well said. I'm a big believer in this theory but also for the allowance of your true, wishy-washy emotions first. For instance, during a break-up, allow yourself x amount of time (few days, a week?) to wallow, to cry, to blubber, to feel like a victim, to feel like you did everything right. But put an end cap on that. And then start looking at it in its truth. I find that when we give ourselves a second to respond naturally (even if it's just an afternoon), it gives perspective once you've walked through it. And in that time, it's easier to do the 90/10 rule like you are saying. Thanks for the food for thought!

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  13. I have that "10% of life is what happens to you, 90% is how you react to it" quote hanging in my therapy room at work. A trusted friend and confidante gave it to me a few years when I and most of the faculty were experiencing a very rough, transitional year. I've kept it up as a visual reminder that I may not be able to control what happens in my life, but by golly - I can usually control how I react to it. Having that mindset has made all the difference in my work life and even though my workplace isn't sunshine and rainbows, it's manageable. I no longer allow the drama or toxicity to infect me.

    After reading several others' comments, I know that I am quite fortunate in that I do not suffer from depression. Yes, I suffer from some mild season affect/winter funk stuff, but not clinical depression. I will not assume to know how this impacts individuals and how difficult it can make life. Having said that, I'll share a quote used (not penned) by a former guidance counselor that I had the privilege of working with for many years: "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."

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  14. I couldn't agree with you more! Yes some people are dealt a better hand than others, but there are so many success stories of people who powered through the garbage thrown their way. I love the idea of living 90/10 :)

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  15. Yep, people gotta stop complaining about their circumstances and get out there and make things happen for themselves. You can't control what you can't control.

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  16. I think I live my life by the 90/10 rule too, but I haven't suffered much. I've been heartbroken, I've had a few bouts of the blues, and there have been losses in my life, but nothing catastrophic has ever happened to me or anyone in my immediate family (knock on wood). I'm lucky and sheltered that way. I have LOTS of extended family members with mental illness and addiction. And then there are people out there that endure emotional and physical abuse. In all of those cases I can't think they just need an attitude adjustment. However, to all my friend complaining about the small stuff...SHUT UP AND DEAL. I think those people need more perspective.

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  17. I love this rule. I think sometimes we judge so quickly and it's so wrong, we just have no idea. But we also have to take into consideration that we can either let something affect us, or not. great rule!

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  18. I guess I've never thought of your 90/10 rules as it relates to attitude, but I think's that's a great way to look at it. Perhaps my view is rather Polly Anna-ish, but I just always assume that someone has it worse than me . . . not that I haven't had my struggles. I feel like I have bad days here and there, but overall I'm blessed beyond measure and never take it for granted.

    BTW - I just noted the "I SAID GOOD DAY" and that a. seems like it fits here some how and b. made me giggle because I LOVE Willy Wonka! :-)

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  19. Well said. I agree with you and that's a great way to approach life. We ultimately determine our future.

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  20. I actually take comfort when others share their stories when we have been through something similar. I can't stand playing or even being the victim. Though sometimes it is easier to shut out everything to attempt to get over something.

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  21. This reminded me of a quote I saw recently (and I"m not really a huge quote person, but I saved this one in my phone cause I liked it): "You either get bitter or you get better. It’s that simple. You either take what has been dealt to you and allow it to make you a better person, or you allow it to tear you down. The choice does not belong to fate, it belongs to you."

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  22. Thank you for this gentle reminder, I needed it. Xo

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  23. "I think someone always has it worse than me and someone probably has it better, too." This is exactly how I feel, too. I like your 90/10 rule... I've never believed that life is ALL about how we react/handle situations BUT the way you're putting it still leaves room for people to be accountable to as much of a degree as they should be.

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  24. The 90/10 rule I quoted oh I think 3 times this week & wrote in my journal January 14th. You are right no one escapes this world only seeing rainbows. Fabulous post.

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  25. Its posts like these that make me love your blog so much. Do you mind if I link this post on my blog? I love this. Definitely another "Best of" post

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  26. So much truth in all of this. "People understand more than we want them to..." So, so, so true. I need to remember that.

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  27. I love this post! I've been toying with the idea of writing a more personal post along these lines, but I haven't quite worked up the courage to do so yet. I feel like I do share a lot of personal things, but sometimes I have to take a minute to step back and determine just how much I'm willing to share on a public space.

    That being said, sharing personal struggles and triumphs is one of the best things about the blogging community. It's great to see that you're not alone in your struggles (even though it may feel that way sometimes). It's also great to see someone who overcame a major obstacle and hear what worked for them. Additionally, it can be incredibly cathartic to share some of your own issues with others. Every time I write about something like that I think, "I really hope this reaches at least one person who really needs to know they're not alone."

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  28. I completely agree. I like to know I am not the only one struggling through something as there is always knowledge to be gained from someone else's path through it. I may not take the same one but I know I will try to push and persevere through it too.

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  29. 100% agreement. How you react to what's happening in your life is a BIG factor is how things turn out and what else comes your way. React negatively and that's what you're going to continue to get.

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