How to thrive in a world that's not fair

  • Peter had to fire his staff when Corona hit.
  • Sonya called in sick after she didn't receive the promotion.
  • Anthony Stockelman pleaded guilty to molesting young Katie. He was unaware that he'll share a jail with Katie's cousin, Jared. Jared used a makeshift tattoo gun fashioned from a cassette deck motor and a guitar string, to ink the words ‘Katie’s revenge’ in large letters across Stockelman’s forehead.
  • "Because my ex cheated on me," she responded when asked why she's single, even though the relationship was over 10 years ago.
  • A woman feels disrespected by a waiter and plants a stink puppet in the restaurant.
  • Someone hacked my password manager and practically deleted my from the internet. All of my sites, server, social media profiles, YouTube channel, podcasts, email accounts, email subscriber lists, and many other accounts. (True story and why you haven't heard from me in some time.)
How to thrive in a world that is not fair

What these examples have in common is that people felt treated unfairly.

In Business and in live, you don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.

Dr. Chester Karass

3 Strategies to thrive in an unfair world

Learn to love your fate (Amor Fati)

In my article "Amor Fati - A love of fate", I state:

If a fire burns fiercely blazing, it doesn’t matter what you throw into it. It doesn’t just tolerate the different fuels, but the variety makes it burn even stronger and brighter.

Aurorasa Sima

What I mean by that is that a large amount of our suffering comes from not accepting our fate.

By accepting things we cannot change, we can reduce the amount of our suffering greatly and have more energy to change the things we can change.

If we fail to do so, we might render our ability to influence change obsolete.

The world is not fair. Lamenting about it and comparing our fate with the fate of our neighbor, doesn't change that and strips us of energy we can well use to change the parts of our lives we have power over.

Love more (why old people are happier)

My favorite author, Herman Hesse, writes in his book Gertrud:

..You have to learn to love someone so much that their wellbeing is more important than your own. ...

Hermann Hesse

We often say that youth is the best time of our lives. Is that really true? An observation I made is that older people are often happier.

The reason is that older people are less selfish.

While we are young, we make everything about ourselves. Even when we think of others, we do so self-referential most of the time. Once we have family and often with age, we start to think about others and often put their well-being before our own.

That makes us happy.

Caring for and about others is a happiness drugs and especially beneficial in times of crisis.

Communicate effectively

Most of the time, when I use this expression I mean it in the sense of getting through to people.

An World War II poster famously said:

Loose lips sink ships

World War II poster

Crisis like we are facing it right now with the Coronavirus is always a breeding ground for gossip, speculation, and conspiracy theories.

In times like these, it is especially hard not to participate in chatter that, even if not ill-intended, is gossip.

If you think about it, how much of conversations you hear or lead are listening to someone telling you how great they are. And what percentage of conversations you are involved in are about other people.

One of my mentors, Marshall Goldsmith, conveyed an international study and came to the conclusion that on average 70% of communication is wasted.

Wasted to bragging, listen to someone who's bragging, gossip and chatter.

A fabulous recipe to get better through crisis and any other time is to reduce this number greatly.

Make your words matter.

In her bestselling book Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead Brené Brown states:

Daring greatly means the courage to be vulnerable and be seen. To ask for what you need. To talk about how you're feeling. To talk about how you're feeling. To have the hard conversations.

Brené Brown

Last word

If you want to thrive in an unfair world, you could look at crisis as opportunity for greatness. People have always needs. We might have to think in new ways and we might have to dare to be seen.

Visualize what's possible and decide to do something about it.

If the old ways stopped working, go out and find new ways.