Monday, February 2, 2009

Who benefits from your mistakes?

Who benefits from your mistakes? Who benefits from your laziness? Who benefits from your ignorance?

This question popped into my head the other day. I had been thinking about the concept of "providing value" to others as being the correct method of creating wealth. Many online gurus say to people like us, whoever we might be, that the only way to get a following, to sell a product, is to create something that provides value.

But that sounded so "goody-goody" to me. Yes, it makes sense. Sure, we're supposed to be so wonderful and cherry that all we want to do is provide value to others.

However, I'm going through my social-climbing, "give it to me" phase right now. I wanted to think on the dark, yet legal, side. I thought "What little chump is benefiting from me sitting on my ass, not doing anything, watching this stupid television commercial?"

When I was at the office, and lunch time rolled around, and I hadn't brought any nutritious food with me, I had to go to Subway. Sure, it's "healthy," with all those unhappy, negative sandwich artists doing their best to serve the lunchtime rush. But who benefited from my laziness and lack of planning? Subway, I guess. The people who slaughter the poor chicken I ate [they really overcook and then remicrowave that poor chicken 'til it's barely recognizable].

But do you see what I mean? I know this blog post is very sloppy and is going to end up unedited [I'm just trying to get into the habit of blogging daily], but isn't it interesting to think about?

Who benefits when you're too lazy to go to the gym? The gym owners do, because they don't have to maintain the equipment as much because you didn't go that day.
Who benefits when you have a craving for chocolate and can't resist? The candy company. The gym membership you end up signing up for, but really never end up using.

Who benefits when you didn't give yourself enough time to study for that test and you end up getting a B instead of the A you could've gotten? That annoying student who studied harder, gets the better grade, goes to the better school, gets a better job, and then brags about their success by showing pictures of their fancy digs on Facebook.

Who benefits when you're too lazy to think for yourself, to trust your own instinct, so you go consult outside sources? All those self-help bloggers benefit from getting ad revenue, book deals, etc. Do you REALLY think someone like that knows what's going on?

Who benefits when you wake up late, don't have time to get ready sufficiently for work, and then forget to put on deoderant? Some cute person who you're attracted to could walk by, think "wow, they look like a mess" and not even consider fliritng with you. Later on, when you realize you've forgotten to wear deoderant, you have to go to the drug store, buy deoderant you really dont' need, and then buy 5 other miscallaneous items you don't need so other people don't think you're just there to buy deoderant.

Who benefits when you focus on the negative, ruminating over negative past events, people who make your stomach burn, desires for revenge, etc.? The person who benefits is the one that is more positive, who out-performs you in other areas of life, like work, blogging, etc., because they don't waste their time thinking about things they can't control anymore. Instead, their life just gets better and better, as they are able to buy a house with their blogging money, buy fancy clothes, and save for the future. You, on the other hand, sit in your bedroom's shitty "home office," your brow twisted in a furrow as mental images of people you disliked from high school float through your mind, you somehow able to find a way to blame them for at least PART of your current situation.

Instead of always thinking about providing value to others, can we also be equally motivated by trying to ensure that others do NOT benefit from our faults? Essentially, it is the same concept, only reversed.

Before you do something you know you could do better, think -- "Who is going to benefit from me doing this sloppily?" Who knows, it might be that bitchy girl from high school snickering at you when she sees you 20 years later driving a beat up mini-van. She benefits by then telling all her friends what she saw. You can pretend that it doesn't bother you, use that "I don't care what people think about me!" line. But let's face it -- it hurts, it's embarresing, and YOU could have prevented it.

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