Let's Digress

On Bows and Arrows

Arrows can only be shot when they are pulled backwards, unless compressed air or some sort of controlled explosion is involved.

Humans are not arrows. Humans can be shot when they are standing, sitting, lying down, squatting, hopping on one leg, or in a handstand, and they can be shot with a myriad of projectiles.

Did that seem idiotic, dumb, and a little silly? Good. That inspirational arrow picture is too.

First, let me start off with agreeing with the quote to a degree.

Ahem…Sometimes, life suck that you have absolutely no control over does lead to bigger and better things. However, most of the time, it doesn’t. And most of the time, we bring the life suck on ourselves.

For argument sake, we’ll say that 90% of all unfortunate life things that happen to us are our own fault. That 90% are all consequences of our behavior and whatnot, totally within our control, at least initially.

What does the 10% minority look like? The Italian Stallion.

Rocky, the fictional boxer who liked to slightly slur his words, had to endure failures in order to win big later on in his boxing career. Due to Rocky’s life circumstances (I can’t exactly remember the minute details of his circumstances at the moment because it has literally been years since I last watched a Rocky movie), he was an underdog with less-than-ideal training grounds, odds stacked against him, the whole nine. But he endured, lost, lost again, got his face punched by Mr. T and a Russian human G.I. Joe look-a-like, and later on, it all paid off and he won it big.

Well, he won until Rocky 5 debuted. But everyone lost when Rocky 5 came out.

Most of us are not Rocky, nor will we likely ever be in a situation similar to that of the Italian Stallion. Most of the time, when we’re being pulled backwards and drug down by life difficulties, it’s entirely brought on by ourselves. Not by uncontrollable and random life events, but by our choices, our behavior, our mindsets, our decisions.

I hate to break it to everyone, but when life is pulling us down, it’s also typically not a precursor to something great. In fact, it’s usually just a precursor to more suck and heartache.

Why? Because 90% of the time our life problems are completely self-induced. Not brought on by random unfortunate life events that just happen to be out of our control.

Oh! I have another example.

The Jared Fogle ordeal. Is life dragging him down with difficulties that happened to fall into his lap as a predecessor to him being launched into something great? Nope. Why not? Because he brought it all on himself due to his poor life choices. The only way something great will happen now is if his behavior and metaphorical heart change.

But I digress…

If we do bad behavior A, then consequence B will happen, the life suck.

Saying that our current inconvenient life situation is merely a forerunner for something “great” that is about to happen to us is both arrogant and entitled.

Entitled because we think we’re special. Arrogant because 1) We think our actions don’t carry consequences like everyone else’s, because we’re special, and 2) That life is going to launch us into greatness because we deserve it, since we’re special.

Cold hard truth: We’re not special. Not in this context at least.

Since we’re not special, that means our actions do carry consequences, making a lot of stuff our own fault—both good and bad—and it means that if we want this “greatness,” then we have to work for it because it won’t be handed to us on a platter, because we’re not special.

Good news: Now that we sifted through that pile of malarkey, everything gets much easier to identify.

I’m going to get all radical and crazy for a minute, but stick with me: Since we are in control of what we say, think, and do, then theoretically, if we make the right choices and always do the next best most right thing, then “greatness” should be attainable. Well, some degree of it at least.

All that’s left is really just figuring out what “greatness” actually is and how to go about gaining it.

Or if you really want to get existential and whatnot, then the question is: If we’re the arrow, who/what is holding the bow?

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