By Craig Casaletto
For a long period of time, I took solace in blaming others for my mis-fortunes and crappy attitude. The sun is too bright, the sky is too blue and good things just don’t happen to good people. It was just way too easy to be a douche and blame everyone else and it actually felt kinda good. Not in the massage type of way, but the mentally I just punched you in the face type of way. Fuck that guy, screw that girl and who do they think they are…wait a sec…they just ruined my damn day, my damn week, my damn year and now my damn life !
I was always a firm believer in the saying “the more you do something, the better you will get” and I still am today. I was recently introduced to this concept called the “Enjoyment Performance Theory”. Basically, it says that the more that you do the things that you enjoy, the more you will continue to do those things and the better you will get at them. As a result, you will get some internal and external recognition, which typically feels good and fuels that same behavior. The one thing I never realized was how this concept also applies to the opposite way of thinking. Otherwise known as learning to enjoy being a dickhead.
It seems that the more I complained, the better it made me feel and I actually got pretty frickin good at it. Oh and by the way, I received some great recognition and feedback in the process, such as….your an asshole…don’t be such a pessimist…your gonna have a damn heart attack. It’s funny how easily we can find comfort in telling others they suck. It took me some time, but after continuing this cycle of “mother f’n” others and spending periods of my life at Defcon 5, I was approached by the ghost of douche bag present.
Not sure it was a ghost, but it definitely was me. I told myself that if I continued to have this attitude, things aren’t gonna go so well. Whether it be relationship wise, mental and/or physical health, its all taking a toll. And it’s way more expensive than traveling across the Verrazano- Narrows Bridge($16.00 per round trip if you pay cash), For those non-New Yorkers, the Verrazano Bridge connects the New York City boroughs of Staten Island and Brooklyn (also voted the second most expensive toll in America….whoo hoo !).
So after having my personal date with destiny,I woke up the next morning and saw something I never saw before. While brushing my teeth, I looked in the mirror and saw my competition. Yep there he was… the guy, who was great at challenging me, telling me I couldn’t, and that I would probably fail. I swore that while looking at myself in the mirror, he told me to go screw myself !
Instead of nodding in agreement, I decide that I was going to beat this guy, after all he didn’t look so tough. Well he was. Behaviors are hard to change, especially if you having been doing certain one’s for most of your life. But the good news was this…. just like with anything, being disciplined and consistent is the key to success. Just like getting six pack abs or building a successful business, you need to change your way of thinking (and eating) and be consistent for a long period of time.
So armed with a plan, I started my attack. I realized that this wasn’t going to be easy after continually slipping back into my old ways. Now I am sure if I asked a psychologist, he or she would tell me that there are some underlying un-addressed “issues” that are most likely contributing to my negative behavior. Whether it’s being angry, shy, anxious, self-doubting and so on, there is usually some dangling cord that has yet to be cut. Once I figured out some of the things that I needed to let go of, the process became a tad easier. Once I chose to let go, the things that would normally send me into orbit, weren’t as big anymore, lady cut me off in traffic…no problem, people not minding their own business, ok i’m good, people telling me how fantastic they are…..What an Asshole !. Yep I said it…I told you this takes time.
Finally, I would like to leave you with this small piece of advice. Next time you find yourself ready to mentally punch someone in the face and/or tell them to take a long walk off a short pier…realize that your shitty attitude comes from only one place.. you. All failures and successes in life, start with you. You steer your own ship, control your own thoughts and how your react to the things that occur in your life. Take it from a pro, sometimes the best weapon against yourself is just making peace.
This morning while brushing my teeth, I had a go ole’ western staring contest with myself. While looking at my reflection in the mirror, I waited to hear something nasty come from my mouth, but instead I just saw a small smile.
Yep..looks like I got him exactly where I want him.