If you have a problem, look in the mirror first for its source
Consider the following scenario.
Mr Smith had been a dedicated employee at a big company for over fifteen years. He had a mortgage, two children at private school, and a nice car -all paid for with debt.
One day, Mr Smith is sent to work in a new department of the company and discovers he doesn't get along very well with his new boss - Mr Jones. It doesn't take long before Mr Smith feels that Mr Jones wants to get rid of him. Mr Smith works harder than ever to impress the company, and tries desperately to get transferred to another department. It's all to no avail, and he is made redundant within six months of being put under Mr Jones.
Suddenly, Mr Smith finds himself in big trouble. He had built his whole life around getting his regular paycheck, and now he can't afford to pay his debts. He looks desperately for another job near to where he lives, but can only find ones offering a lower salary. He soon finds he has to sell his house and his car and take his children out of their expensive schools.
Mr Smith is furious at the situation Mr Jones has put him into. He has fantasies of yelling at Mr Jones and even physically assaulting him.
It is clear to Mr Smith that he is an innocent victim of a deliberate plot to ruin his life. But is this true?
Of course, Mr Jones may well be a very nasty person. He may even have deliberately set out to ruin Mr Smith's life. But he is not the main one to blame for Mr Smith's predicament.
It is Mr Smith himself, who is to blame. He failed to prepare himself for what was a scenario with a reasonable likelihood of occurring - losing his job.
Who in this world can guarantee that the job they have today will still be there for them tomorrow? Nobody. It is therefore only reasonable to plan for such an event occurring by making sure your finances can take such a hit. If you fail to do so, you have yourself to blame if that scenario occurs.
The world is a place where random and sometimes terrible events occur. We can't plan for every possibility. But there are a great many that we can reasonably assume may occur to us. They include, but are not limited to:
- Losing your job
- Getting sick for a long period
- Being involved in an accident
- Having valuable good such as your car or furniture stolen
- Someone you trust cheating you
- Having someone in your family get sick
- Having some kind of legal action taken against you
- Your relationship breaking up
- Your house burning down
These are all obviously things that we'd like to avoid, if possible, but they are common enough that you should at least anticipate that they may occur to you, and prepare for them. Along with these big problems that may occur, there are a lot of smaller problems you face and that are also easy to anticipate.
If such a problem occurs to you, and you haven't already prepared for it, you have only yourself to blame. I'm not saying you should be paranoid, simply that you should prepare for things that occur often enough to others that you can assume they may happen to you.
Of course, blaming others for your problems is a great way to protect yourself emotionally. It may make you feel better, but ultimately it will have a negative effect on your life.
If we blame ourselves when things that we could have controlled or anticipated go wrong, it sharpens our minds to preventing such problems occurring again. If we're always looking to others and outside events when we want to find out where things went wrong, we're effectively giving up responsibility for shaping our lives.
Take the more difficult, but ultimately more satisfying path of looking in the mirror first for the source of your problems.
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