Failure is infectious and tends to breed more failure. As other people interact with you, their failures will seem to work in an almost magical way to sabotage your finances, emotional state, projects, and reputation. You must first learn to expect these shit storms from others and then learn how to stay clean when they start.
One of the painful truths of life is that people will disappoint you. Whether it’s a client telling you that they will send the check in the mail tomorrow or your girlfriend telling you that she’ll love you forever, you are far better off expecting the worst (so you can plan for it) and then being pleasantly surprised if they actually do what they say. Here’s an example of how this plays out in real life…
It’s the first of the month and Eddy can’t pay his rent. He just got off the phone with a client who owes him double what he needs for rent and that client told him that he would put a check in the mail tomorrow. Eddy does the math and figures that he’ll have that check in four days. He calls his landlord and explains that he’ll be able to pay the rent on the fifth. When the fifth arrives and there is no check to be seen, rent can’t be paid. Eddy’s landlord thinks Eddy is just another lying deadbeat moneyless tenant. Eddy gets very angry with his lying deadbeat moneyless client for putting him in such a bad spot. What Eddy never considers is the very real possibility that his client couldn’t pay him because someone who owes his client money didn’t make good on their promise of payment. It’s a huge domino effect that will keep on going until it hits someone who has a little reserve cash. This is the only person in the chain who both expects the failures of others and is prepared to deal with them.
This type of story is very similar to the guy who just can’t get his life turned around. He’ll tell people things like, “Everything would have been fixed for me if I would have just got that new job.” So what happened? His ex-girlfriend called him on the day of the job interview and got him so upset on the phone that he didn’t realize the time and ended up showing up to the interview 23 minutes late. He thinks he can’t get his life together because the universe seems to sabotage him every time he gets a chance to get ahead. It never occurs to him that the issue is 100% with how he manages his life. He should expect a girlfriend to become an ex-girlfriend and never give an ex-girlfriend the power over him of injecting negative emotions.
If you want to guarantee that your plans for success will be screwed with in painfully unexpected ways, simply add other people to the equation. Know that what people say they are going to do and what people actually will do can be two completely different things. This is a law of nature, and it does you no more good to get angry with them about it than to get angry at ice for being cold. Simply expect it and plan for how to deal with it.
As you’re running the race toward your goal, don’t expect others to be waiting close to the finish line with water and words of encouragement for you. Expect them to throw stones and insults at you. You’ll either be the person who doesn’t finish the race because others didn’t live up to your expectations, or you’ll be the guy who finished the race with a smile on his face because it was easier than he had prepared for.
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