It’s Not Fair!

It’s not fair that you’ve hurt your back and can no longer work, while that other guy’s back is just fine!

It’s not fair that you work in an office with a troll of a boss who seems to enjoy manipulating others!

It’s not fair that the couple down the street get financial support from their parents, while we have to actually support my mother in her old age!

It’s not fair that you got laid off from work while the office brown-noser is still firmly employed even though he doesn’t actually do much of anything at work!

I’ll add one just for me, too: it’s not fair that other people were born without blindness in one eye, deafness in one ear, and a nearly useless thyroid that’s required daily medication from birth!

It’s not fair!

You know what, you’re right. It isn’t fair. None of those things are fair.

If the world were truly a fair place, we would all be born perfectly healthy, we wouldn’t get unequal injuries, we would all have financial support when we need it, and we would all be employed according to our skills and our work ethic.

Guess what? The world isn’t like that. The world isn’t fair.

If you spend all of your time dwelling on the unfairness of the world and how your life – or the life of someone you care about – was made somehow “unfair,” then you’re never going to succeed.

Instead, you should always focus on playing the hand you’re dealt to the best of your ability.

When I was younger, I always thought it was unfair that I was terrible at baseball when my friends were all pretty good at it. My vision would not let me lock onto the motion of the ball at all, so I would greatly struggle. Eventually, I began to realize that instead of trying to use the aspects of me that weren’t good – my vision – for baseball success, I should use the aspects that were good – my analytical mind. I started studying baseball statistics and studying how games were managed and how good pitchers could become great.

When I was in debt, I always thought it was unfair that others received financial help from their parents and that I wasn’t earning as much as I thought I should be. It wasn’t fair that some other guy, who seemed relatively unskilled at the things I was doing in the workplace, was earning more than I was and that I had to travel (which I hated) when others did not. Eventually, I began to realize that I should use the resources that I did have – my evenings, my ability to write – more effectively than the other guys, which eventually led to the birth of The Simple Dollar and the ability to gain control of my own finances.

In neither of those cases was I able to change the thing that I considered “unfair.” I could have constantly justified a lack of desire to do anything by pointing to those things that were unfair, but if I had done that, those things that were unfair would have just ruled me.

Instead, I chose to rule them. I drew from other things in my life – advantages that I had – and used them. Rather than wallow in the things that were unfair to me, I instead tried to use every advantage that I had to succeed.

We all actually have a lot of advantages.

We have the power to make better choices, all the time. We have the power to use our spare time for something more useful. We all have some skills that are stronger than the skills of others.

Rather than wallowing on the things that are unfair, use the advantages you do have to go around those unfair things and overcome them.

Don’t let your physical limitations keep you from being a part of something you care about. Look instead at your strengths and see what you can bring to the table using those.

Don’t let someone else’s economic advantages keep you from succeeding. Use their situation as a motivator.

Don’t let the unfairness of the world keep you from reaching whatever goals you may have.

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