How to be a victim

This is your guide to being a victim. So many people in the world are genuine victims (tsumani, earthquake, human slavery/trafficking, innocent bystanders of war or political upheaval). But fortunately, there’s a way you can assume the persona of a victim by following a few simple guidelines. In your case, you get to choose to live like this so consider carefully. Understand that living like a voluntary victim takes incredible commitment. You can’t compromise because the proverbial house of cards will fall if you slip up even once.

1) Do nothing. It’s impossible to be disappointed or trapped by the decisions you don’t make and the responsibility you successfully avoid. Always make sure that no productivity happens on your own volition, that way everything in your life happens TO you instead of BECAUSE of you. It’s important that if you’re a victim that nothing can ever be traced back to your intentions or initiative. Remember: being a victim absolves you of responsibility…in other words: it’s never your fault.

2) Always make sure there’s something you “intend” to do. Victims can’t be vegetables, you’re still a person. You have to live your life. So if you’re going to be a victim, always have a plan but here’s the catch: never use a deadline. As long as you have a “plan” you can’t be blamed for being lazy. The goal is to always preserve your own significance but always keep it in the future.

3) Always have an excuse explanation. This is probably the easiest habit to form if you’re going to be a successful victim. Always have someone or some circumstance to blame for your inactivity. One way to be super successful about this is to formulate unorthodox plans. Always chart your own course that assumes you can shortcut the system and make sure that the success of your “plan” relies on exceptions to be made on your behalf.

4) Never accept or admit that you’re a “victim.” This is crucial because as soon as you “own” this issue, the indictment might require you to lose your victim status. Make sure that you can always justify your victimized excuses explanations in a noble, admirable, intentional manner. If you’re going to focus your efforts anywhere: learn how to communicate. It’s all about convincing yourself and those around you that you’re not actually a victim.

5) Surround yourself with other victims. It’s easy, as long as no one else takes responsibility, they’ll never confront you on not taking responsibility. You can live happily absolved of any burden or pressure because everyone will be too obsessed with themselves to care about or notice you.

6) Admit just enough self-awareness. If you do have people in your life who are intrusive enough to interfere with your personal development, you can stave them off by showing them that you agree that personal growth is important. You don’t have to be actively working towards anything, you just have to admit you understand. That “self awareness” should keep people from examining your life and intentions too much so you can stay comfortably stagnant.

7) Keep things abstract and super spiritual. Always make it God’s fault. If you won’t choose don’t have anything you want to do or “can’t decide find” something to do with your time (beyond a weekend, vacation or sabbatical), you can always stand on a conviction that God said it’s okay that you’re doing nothing and you should keep doing it. It’s the ultimate trump card and can keep you passive and isolated for a really, really long time.

Remember that victimization is always your choice. If you’re ever tempted to take responsibility or initiative, remember that by doing so, you’re likely to make a significant (or…well…any) impact on the world around you. It will cost you time, independence, flexibility, and the option to live a life that that has your entertainment and comfort at it’s center.

Choose wisely… (unless you have a “good” excuse reason to postpone or avoid it entirely).

Scared $#!+less…with great power comes…

I remember my grandparents talking about growing up during a rough time in America’s history.  The Great Depression was a devastating blow to the country and the current “recession” for all of its challenges really held no candle to the 1930’s.

In response to the collective struggle of the people of that time, it motivated an entire generation to take hold of their future and buckle down.  No longer were they going to be victims, no longer were the lack of resources or opportunities going to hold them back or oppress them.

So they went to work.

My grandfather (after he returned from his time serving our country in WWII) jumped into agriculture and worked sixty years in the cattle feed business.  When he retired, it took three people to replace him.

My grandmother on the other side of the family has worked in real estate for over forty years.  It was a value of life to work hard and the empowerment (or fear, let’s be honest) kept them working hard.

Today’s a new day and a generation is responding completely differently than the generations before to the idea of stability, the workforce, the idea of a “career,” and good old-fashioned elbow grease.

I believe the freedom’s we’ve grown up with and the lack of adversity we’ve had to face in our lifetime have made us both entitled to the following phobia but also at its mercy:

Hypengyophobia

fear of responsibility

There are a HOST of additional side fears that accompany this phobia, many of which we’ve already referred to (atychiphobia – the fear of failure; teleophobiathe fear of definite plans).  But this one is unique.

Another way we employ a “flight” response to our fears and phobias is through justifications.  I heard someone say recently “I’m not afraid, I just don’t want to.”  Here’s the harsh reality though: if you have to reassure yourself you’re not afraid…you probably are.  And let’s be honest…not wanting to looks a lot like a flight response to fear.

Because overcoming your fears is HARD WORK.  You’re right.  Choosing to fight the fear will be brutal.  Courage isn’t easy, preferable, and (especially in circumstances where your fears are hurting no one but yourself) quite easy to dismiss.

But taking responsibility is a movement without necessity.  In Jewish culture, boys and girls become men and women at a young age.  With great ceremony, a boy will celebrate a bar mitzvah which not only signifies his entry into manhood, but also the expectation that there will be s shift in his life where he will be expected to take responsibility.

Often times the reason we don’t want to take responsibility is because if we do, we could miss the golden opportunity.  We live idealistic that our dream job won’t feel like work at all!  If hard work hurts, we reason, then it can’t be the highest and best use of my time. 

In many cases, we want to GET ON WITH IT and will find a place to practice what we what to do instead of going through a developmental process to prepare us adequately for the task.  We have a Macrophobia or “a fear of long waits” about our lives and too many men and women from my generation are sacrificing the world changing contribution of “later” for the small, incremental projects of “now.”

Again I ask: who decides how this goes?  Are you stronger than your frustrations?  Are you in control of the time necessary to be groomed for an earth shattering contribution?

Look at your life.  If you’re not working hard, someone/something else might be in charge…and it might be up to you to take the reigns back.

Here’s your word of the day:

Xanthophobia – fear of the color yellow

(as an aside…no other color gets its own clinical name…just yellow…)