I came up with this little pearl of wisdom some time back, and as I make continuing efforts to keep my ego in check, I find that such self-deprecating thoughts provide a much needed perspective. It sometimes seems to me that it is far too easy to get caught up in the hype of the occasional successes that we have in life, only to have them set us up for future failure by focusing any attention on them.
For example, the minor success that I have come to experience with this blog while gratifying, often makes me wonder if I have become visible enough on the public radar screen to become a target (something that I have found is a dangerous thing where I live). Likewise, I can't help but wonder if complacency about my efforts in this regard, while potentially allowing me to drop off of this radar screen, will cause me to fall flat on my face.
This was not always the case. In my youth, successes on a personal or professional front brought on wild emotional highs. Caught up in those moments, I found myself feeling on top of the world and all but bulletproof. Failures caused equal levels of depression and feelings of a devastating lack of self-worth. Both often took days to recover from and were more than trying for both friends and family around me over the years.
Time and experience however, proved to me that I was neither bulletproof, nor the lower life form that I sometimes felt. Soon, the pendulum mood swings gradually became smaller, and I learned to accept both success and failure with far less emotional distress. With this relative emotional equanimity achieved (and without medication, I might add), I may have even achieved a better balance between my personal and professional lives.
Now it may seem both confusing and pessimistic to focus on the aspects that are somewhat negative as we strive to lead a happy life, but it is a path that works for me today. Keeping a sense of perspective about our successes as well as our failures, can contribute to a certain level of stability (something that I, for one, can certainly use). Keeping our expectations low while keeping our hopes high can help us to set aside the minor setbacks that come along the way. Keeping our attention focused on the things that we can do better helps us to do everything better.
Oh don't get me wrong, my ego is still over-inflated and out of control (as is my waistline, but that's another story), but I'm working on it. Meanwhile, I'll keep my attention on the flaws and not the diamond, in the hopes of becoming the person that arrogant nature has always thought that I was.