by Bryan Golden
“That’s not fair,” is a common childhood mantra. It’s typically heard when a child doesn’t get what he or she wants. Sometimes the sentiment is valid, more often it’s not.
As we grow up, adults, whether it be parents or others, tend to intercede on our behalf to demonstrate fairness. The problem is we then develop a false expectation of fairness. This leads to great frustration as we mature since fairness in life is not guaranteed.
You’ve probably encountered many unfair circumstances. Invariably, you will encounter more. You can yell and scream, but you won’t make life fair. Unplanned, unexpected, and even unfortunate circumstances do occur. It’s not ideal, but that’s the way it is.
Anger is a normal reaction when encountering unfair events. You may even feel bitter or resentful. These reactions, however, do not serve you well. They are counter-productive. Additionally, they are as destructive as poison to your mind and body.
Feeling victimized is another associated emotion. When you think something is unfair you may feel someone else is out to get you. When you take on the role of victim, you become reactive instead of proactive. This means you wait for what will come next rather than becoming a proactive participant. Victims are defensive. Those who refuse to act like a victim are offensive.
On the other hand, determination is good. When something is unfair, you have a chance to make the best of it. You can chose to use a bad situation as a stepping stone to something better. You can’t control your environment but you do decide how to respond to it.
When faced with the unfair, you have to decide where you want to go from there. In order to make the best of a situation, consider all of your options with an open mind. Harboring resentment impairs your judgment. You are then more likely to react emotionally instead of logically. The goal is to make your situation better, not worse.
Regardless of what unfair situations you face, you have a chance to improve your situation. Understand what sequence of events lead you to your current circumstances. It may not always make sense, but that doesn’t matter. What’s important is optimizing your chances to make the best of it. Moving forward always beats getting mired in the past.
NOW AVAILABLE: “Dare to Live Without Limits,” the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at email@example.com or write him c/o this paper. 2006 Bryan Golden