The Internal vs. The External [Part I]

I once heard that at first you think your problems are 100% external.

And then, as you get a bit wiser, you realize that maybe 20% of the problems come from you. 20-80

And then, as you wise up a bit, you realize that it might actually be 40-60.

And then, one day you have an epiphany that maybe it’s actually 50-50! Wow, being responsible for 50% of my life, that’s a little daunting…

And then, maybe one day it dawns on you that maybe you’re actually mostly to blame. Maybe even 80%!

And then, one day, you die. Sorry—there was a truck accident.

But if you’d lived a little longer you might have realized that you’re maybe not entirely to blame for the things that happen to you, but you are 100% responsible for your reaction to those things.

And then, if you’re still alive, you annoy all your friends and family, because—though you’re not pressing them to change in any way—your mere existence reminds them that they can be happy, but they have to do personal work to get there, and it’s just so much easier to watch tv. So that’s why everyone’s glaring at you, but it’s ok, because you can respond to those glares however you want. Just don’t take it personally!

…although, I should mention that the realization that you’re 100% responsible for your life experience and actually reacting in a sensible way are two completely different things. And I only have time to focus on one, because there’s a marathon of The Office coming on in ten minutes.

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