Do you ever feel like you’re always at the wrong place at the wrong time?
Do you sometimes find yourself blaming your circumstances on fate or bad luck when things don’t go your way?
Or perhaps you like to sit back and hope “things” get better?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then there’s a good chance that you’re a “victim of circumstance.”
But don’t worry.
In this post, I’m going to share something interesting I’ve learned that’s dramatically improved my life. and has helped me increase the amount of control I have over my circumstances.
I used to blame everybody and everything around me whenever things didn’t go as planned.
I spiraled downwards (in all areas of my life) a bit more each day until I realized how bad my circumstances had become. That’s when I made the decision to get this area of my life handled. When I finally started to understand some of the things I’m going to tell you about, my life and my circumstance began to change dramatically in positive ways.
After reading this, you’re going to understand exactly what has to happen in order for you to go from “victimhood” to “master of your own environment”.
Are You “Sleep Walking” Through Your Day?
When I say “sleep walking”, I don’t mean that in a literal sense.
What I’m trying to say is that most people go through an entire day without ever realizing that their mind is unconsciously making hundreds of small, seamless decisions that have life altering consequences.
The important thing to understand here is not the fact that it’s happening but that it can actually be affecting the direction of your life, without you even knowing.
Many of the undesirable circumstances you often find yourself in actually stems from this unconscious decision-making process.
It’s Happening Every Day
From the moment you wake up, until you go to sleep at night, you’re mind and body reacts to just about everything the environment throws at you, regardless of whether you’re aware of it or not.
An unconscious reaction can be something as simple as picking up a spoon or a piece of paper off the ground. It can also be something a bit more complicated like making an excuse, or finding reasons not to go to the gym that day.
What a lot of people don’t realize is that even when we’re consciously making a decision, most of the time, our unconscious mind has already determined the outcome.
The “decision making” we do when we realize we have a decision to make, up until the decision is made, is simply a form of rationalization.
We rationalize our unconscious decision and fool ourselves into thinking that we’re actually making the decision right there and then. This is known as “rationalization of unconscious decisions“.
It’s Going to Happen Regardless
You’re mind is going to make a decision on what to do for every situation it finds itself in, even if it doesn’t receive any conscious input from you. The choice it makes will depend on a number of internal factors and variables.
It may seem inconsequential at first, but if you look at the “compound effect“ behind it (over the course of a few years), you’ll begin to notice that there’s a powerful “ripple effect.”
Let’s use a hypothetical scenario to try and highlight this a bit better.
An Unlikely, But Not Impossible Scenario
- It’s 8:00 AM and you’re getting ready for work. You notice a piece of paper on the ground, and without a second thought, you unconscious make the decision to ignore it. After all, it’s too early in the morning for you to be bothered with something so insignificant (although it would have taken you only 10 seconds).
- At 8:20 AM, You walk outside of your house and as you approach the bus stop, a bird flies right over your head and leaves you with a little surprise. You don’t realize it yet (or ever), but if your mind had just made the unconscious decision to pick up the piece of paper on the ground, you would have missed the birds entirely by 10 seconds.
Now let’s go a bit further shall we? (This is a bad and unlikely scenario I know, but it gets the points across, I think…)
- You make a decision to run back to your house quickly and wash your hair because you know you can’t show up to work like that. The time is now 8:31 AM and you’ve just left your house for the second time. You arrive at the bus stop at 8:41 AM, just in time to see the bus leave without you. The next bus doesn’t come until 8:55 AM. However, you have no choice but to wait.
- At 9:15 AM, you finally arrive at work and you’re boss is having a bad day (of all the days, it just had to be today…), so he decides to give you a hard time even though you’re only 15 minutes late. You feel a bit victimized by him and you end up having a horrible and extremely draining day at work. You can’t wait to get home and forget about everything.
- You arrive home at 5:35 PM and you realize that you’re physically and mentally exhausted because of the rough day your boss put you through. You decide to take a short nap to re-energize, so you set an alarm clock for 6:30 PM because you know you have a date at 7:30 PM with a girl you met last week.
- 9:00 PM rolls around and you quickly throw yourself out of bed and into panic mode because you realize that you overslept big time.
How could you have overslept? You must have been a lot more exhausted than you thought!
- At 9:10 PM, you’ve calmed yourself down a bit and decide that you’ll give her a call, apologize, and explain what happened. You dial her up, but there’s no reply. You try a few more times, but still no reply. It’s pretty obvious that shes purposely ignoring your calls.
- Feeling a bit depressed at what’s happened so far, you end up fixing a quick dinner for yourself and you decide to watch TV until you fall asleep on the coach. Just before you fall asleep, you tell yourself that you’re merely “a victim of circumstance” and that “things will get better.”
But, it doesn’t end here.
There’s a good chance that you’ll wake up tomorrow feeling drained because of what happened today.
This lack of energy will probably also carry over to your personal and work life, causing you to make decisions which are more negative than usual. You may even misinterpret other people’s intentions, leading to even more negative energy.
This negative energy can then carry over to the following day and further affect your decision making ability.
I think you get the point.
I didn’t choose the best example to illustrate it, but what I’m trying to show is that a single unconscious reaction, compounded over 2-3 days can really cause a huge ripple effect, no matter how insignificant it may seem.
The average person makes over hundreds of these unconscious choices each day, and if we compound the effects (Read: The Slight Edge) over a 10+ year period instead of 2-3 day, I’m sure you can imagine just how significant these small choices really become. You can probably also imagine just how many undesirable circumstances you may find yourself in if you constantly make all the “bad” choices.
In the example above, the entire situation could have been avoided if your unconscious mind had made the decision to pick up the paper instead of leaving it there.
If all this is happening unconsciously, then what’s the solution?
The most common reaction we as human beings have when confronted with such situations, is to blame it on everything that we don’t have control over. It’s so much easier to blame than to take responsibility, but when you blame, you give up your power to change.
The solution to this problem is actually easier than you might think. But keep in mind that “things that are easy to do, are also easy not to do.”
Although the unconscious decisions you make happen in a split second and require very little to no conscious effort from you, your mind does take into consideration many variables in order to come to a final decision. These variables can include many factors such as your current mood, personality, mentality, ideal, morals, principals, etc.
Since you can’t directly control the unconscious decisions that your mind makes, what you can control are the variables that your mind takes into consideration as its making these decisions. In other words, you have to take responsibility for the things you do have control over, which are the factors that directly affect the unconscious decision making process. Your mind, mood, mentality, mindset, etc.
The law of cause and effect states that every cause has an effect and every effect becomes the cause of something else. This law suggests that the universe is always in motion and progressed from a chain of events.
If you want to look at this law from a philosophical point of view, every cause and effect had its worldly purpose to what we are experiencing today.
- The Law Of Cause and Effect Is The Law Of All Laws…..(n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.creative-wealthbuilding.com/law-of-cause-and-effect.html
In my next post, I’m going to share with you 4 simple and actionable steps you can start using right away to set yourself up for better unconscious decision-making. This will help you move from “victim of circumstance” to “master of your own fate.”