Most people aren’t bad. Or good. But they are too wrapped up in their own problems to critique their cognitive biases.
It’s normal to feel triggered. Healthy, even.
And it’s a critical part of the human experience to be confronted with people who do things that are bold, brave – and make us wonder if we could do more.
Humans seem wired towards the belief that life is a zero-sum game; as if each successful venture and achievement takes one out of a shared and finite pot.
In reality, almost any individual accomplishment elevates humans as a collective.
Moreover, we may feel triggered and aggrieved when someone else’s accomplishment – even their aspiration – reminds us that we have ‘settled’.
There’s a sick comfort in shared mediocrity; none of us will dare to extend our grasp – instead, we will seek reassurance that this is ‘as good as it gets’.
Anyone who breaks this pact reminds us that ‘better’ exists – and that there is a better version of us that we barely dare to believe in.
But we must.
And we must resist the temptation to attack others whose bold actions remind us that this better version of ourselves sits the other side of our own bold actions.
Sadly, some succumb.
And they weaponise their own internal justifications for inaction as ‘advice’ – to be slung at anyone whose bold actions and self-discipline prod at the knowledge that they could try harder.
- You’re obsessed with that idea.
- This business idea won’t work.
- It’s too risky and dangerous.
- You should be grateful for what you have.
- Your work ethic is unhealthy.
- You have too much muscle.
It is better to feel this pain; to understand why we feel discomfort – and to grow in response.
But most will not.
Instead, they will attempt to seek comfort and feed advice that’s designed to pull you down to their level.
That’s why unsolicited advice is (almost) always bullshit.