Monday, June 1, 2009


When I look at where I was to where I am now I know the changes are drastic because my entire perspective on life is extremely different then what it was. I have focused on shedding what I consider the “loser mentality”. I’m still not perfect, but by identifying my faults I’ve been able to improve. Let’s start with:

Stubbornness/ Egocentrism
My worst trait that I have worked on for years is stubbornness. In fact, this was probably my first big project. I have not completely shed the mentality. Stubbornness manifests itself in my life in many ways. The most noticeable to my friends was argumentativeness. I always wanted to win an argument. So I would use logic and entrap people in their language to cause them to backpedal to the point of “losing” the argument. The only problem is that no one every truly wins an argument. Instead I hurt a relationship and didn’t convince anyone of my point. The only time when it is appropriate is when I and the other party are exploring truth together. I hardly ever argue anymore which is a drastic change coming from someone who did debate and mock trial in highschool and college.

You are never dedicated to something you have complete confidence in. No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow. They know it’s going to rise tomorrow. When people are fanatically dedicated to political or religious faiths or any other kinds of dogmas or goals, it’s always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt.-Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

I find this quote very intriguing. Part of the loser mentality is the angry preaching of your beliefs and the scoffing of others who disagree. Most religions preach modesty, humbleness, and empathy and religious zealots are anything but. Anger is a result of either fear or the frustration of an individual in realizing their lack of power in controlling someone. It doesn’t spawn from love. People fear their ideas being questioned because of the doubt that exists within themselves.

If you truly believe in your idea, your cause, etc. then you shouldn’t fear dissonance you should welcome it. By subjecting your idea to the “marketplace of ideas” you allow it to strengthen by standing up to the scrutiny of the outside world. I now enjoy meeting others who have vastly different ideas than me because I very often gain perspective and insight on a world I haven’t even begun to understand. People’s actions or choices often don’t make me angry (with the exception of people who stifle the rights of others) because they are free to make the choices they choose.


Another aspect of my “loser mentality” is my resistance to growth. Initially, I was done with school and thought, wow I never have to study again. If you want to settle for where you’re at right now then go for it, but as a young person I realize I have on average 50 years left of life. Am I really going to entrust my development to my employer? I’ve seen some of the people I work with. I need to go to the expert on me, myself. I know where I need growth and so I constantly pursue areas of improvement.

Part of this growth has been taking down fears and conceptions by challenging them. This has led me to skydive, meditate, try weird foods, diets, habits, etc. All of my thirty day challenges are results of this project. I try and challenge my conceptions and habits because by doing so I find out what makes me a better person. It takes action. I have to do something. I have to be the one to illicit the change I want to see in my world.

If you close your eyes and imagine the ideal person, those traits are traits that you aspire. Allocate time in the day to pursue just a small piece of those goals and grow a little bit everyday. A small seed grows little by little everyday until it’s a giant oak tree. Start small and start often.

Being the Victim
Finally, victimization is the worst “loser mentality” trait of all. I AM IN CONTROL OF MY LIFE. I make the choices for what I am doing and where I end up. I had at least two, but probably more arguments with friends and or family in highschool because I would not accept responsibility for my actions. I feared the consequences and thus wanted to play the victim. I got bad grades because my parents got divorced, I said what I said because he hit me, etc. You can always find someone to blame. I have to realize the buck stops here if I want to be a better person.

In fact, you can’t change any of your habits, your situation in life, or achieve your goals unless you realize that you are the agent for change. Before, I worked on my stubborness and egocentrism I had to recognize the problem. It’s the first step in AA for a reason.

I took this post as a point of reflection to show where I have come from and recognize things I still need to work on. By recognizing my faults and bad habits I give myself the freedom to become a better person.


  1. I really really liked this post.
    I feel like I should print it out and give it to everyone I know- especially my family who are experts at playing the victim.


  2. Thanks for the support! It's hard to get out of that mentality until you recognize it yourself. I was definitely there at one point.

    Great blog I actually checked it out yesterday based on your facebook post. Thanks for reading.