How do you react when things don’t go as you’d like? You get fired. You say something that makes the girl you’re flirting with run away. Your friend cancels on you at the last minute. Your girl cuts it off.

Most guys will act like the weight of the world was placed on their shoulders—like life as we know it has ended. It’s as if their job, girlfriend, plans, or friend was the only thing they had to live for. They’ll cry themselves to sleep and then bitch and moan to everyone they talk to for the next week or month. Instead of shrugging it off, learning from it, and continuing to live, they complain and get depressed.

This is known as playing the victim. It’s when you view your existence as a burden rather than an incredible opportunity to accumulate new experiences. You think that everyone is out to get you and that you have little control over your own life. You’re just waiting for the next bad thing to happen to you. One way people get trapped in this mindset is by taking themselves too fucking seriously.

The fate of humanity doesn’t depend on your success

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When your friend fucks up it’s no big deal, right? He just got rejected by three girls in a row and you’re laughing your ass off and telling him to go for four. But when it happens to you, you start telling yourself that you’re ugly and girls think you’re a creep. What’s the difference? You’re taking yourself way too seriously.

Shit happens. Some things don’t go your way. Our reactions to unwelcoming circumstances define us. When the shit hits the fan will you curl your lip, grit your teeth, and curse the world for daming you once again? Or will you take a step back and realize that such is life, before smiling and proceeding accordingly?

View your life as a comedy, not a soap opera

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One way to shift your mindset in times of pain or frustration is to change the lens through which you view life. In these times, when you take yourself seriously, it’s easy to view things as if they were happening in a soap opera—dreary music is playing, people are crying, and only negative emotions surface as a result. Instead you can view the circumstances as if they took place in a hilarious comedy.

You’re the main character, and you just got seriously fucked over. Or you just seriously fucked up. Is the world going to end? No. Focus on the silly, stupid, or ridiculous nature of the situation. This way you can shake your head and laugh it off. Even if the circumstances are heavy this method will allow you to take a step back and view the events that have just unfolded from a clearer, more grounded perspective.

In life, the people who take themselves and their circumstances way too seriously, even the wealthy or successful ones, ultimately lose. Rather than enjoying the things they experience, they focus on the negative and always find a way to spoil their own fun. This is not an invitation to be a lazy hippie, but rather a reminder to have fun and keep a lighthearted approach to life as you progress as a man and follow your goals.

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