An obviously upset Sam writes in:
You think your world is all rainbows and puppies. Guess what? Karma will eventually bite you in the [rear]. Seven months ago I got fired from my job for no fault of my own the company was going under. Now I cant pay my bills and Im going to lose my house. Your life isnt a real life.
In 2006, I did not have enough money to pay my bills even though I was working at a great job and everything seemed (on the surface) to be great in my life. My dreams of being a writer were quickly disappearing, as were my dreams of ever being able to adequately take care of my child. I reached a point where I had fleeting thoughts of whether I could kill myself for the insurance money to put my son and my wife on a better track and give them a life that I felt like I was incapable of helping them with.
Guess what? I got out of that situation. It wasn’t easy. I had to face a ton of my own flaws along the way, most of which are still a difficult part of my own life.
The biggest thing I learned is that no one is perfect, and every single person is in a situation that they can improve. Period. There are no exceptions to this. No one is living the best life they could be living. Why? Because, again, no one is perfect.
I’m certainly not perfect. I spend too much money on books and games. I have a hard time resisting a delicious well-prepared meal. I spend far too long on important decisions, to the point that I lose opportunities because of it. I get very down on myself and my own abilities all the time (truly, thank goodness Sarah is there to help me with this). I talk myself into purchases that I shouldn’t make. I lose track of routines that I really, really tell myself that I want to establish. I regularly find excuses to avoid social interactions that I should engage in simply because they make me uncomfortable.
I know very well that I can improve in each of those areas if I put my time, focus, and heart into it. I can cut my entertainment spending (and I’ve been doing pretty well at this as of late). I can eat better. I can be more decisive. I can focus on the good things that I do and not my failings. I can avoid making unnecessary purchases. I can convince myself to do that daily walk. I can go to that dinner party and interact with people.
What does this have to do with karma and me being “lucky,” though?
First of all, the best method to keep karma at bay is to constantly try to improve yourself and your own situation. Look at the areas where you don’t do well and strive to improve them.
Here’s a good exercise: imagine where you’d be if you suddenly lost your job. Would you be able to pay your bills for the next few months? If not, then you’ve identified a weakness, one you can solve by saving some money each week.
Here’s another one: imagine someone might offer you a great job in two weeks. Would you be presentable enough for them to take interest in you? What skills would you be able to say that you had? Would you have a great resume on hand to give them? If you answered poorly to any of these questions, then you have a personal weakness, one you can work on. Make that resume. Keep yourself presentable and sociable. Make a good resume and keep copies with you wherever you go.
The truth of the matter is that bad karma happens to all of us sometimes, but the truly devastating effects of that bad karma are often directly connected to our own choices. If we’re flying high and don’t prepare for the inevitable fall, things will hurt when we fall from that pedestal. If we’ve already fallen and aren’t preparing ourselves to rise again, we’ll stay down for the long count.
It is about us. It is about what we choose. It is about overcoming our individual flaws – and we all have them, and we all have different ones – and making the best of what we have.
No one does this perfectly because no one is perfect. One thing we can all do, though, is strive to improve ourselves and our situation no matter what that situation currently happens to be.
Don’t spend a second worrying about what or how someone else is doing. You can’t control that. What you can control (at least to some extent) is your own situation. Take charge of every element that you can and walk forward with it.
What can you do, right now, to start improving your situation? That’s the only question that matters.