It’s interesting how we are driven or defined by our enemies. A little more than a decade ago I heard this concept from a manager. I found the concept very thought provoking. As someone who was still reeling from the damage done by a very broken heart, I didn’t really care for the truth of it. I didn’t want to be defined or driven by my reaction to someone who hurt me so. My creative training, especially acting, teaches us to use the hurt as something to fuel creative endeavors. However, then the question remains, at least partially, how much a part of my expression would the cancer I so badly wish to escape, be responsible? Will I always carry the hate with me? Will it always define who I am now?
I think it’s important to at least think about the realistic possibility we are indeed massively affected by the environment around us. We remember pain far more viscerally than we do happiness. Sure, we love the high we get from a new love or winning a big competition, but I think if we are honest with ourselves we can also readily admit the pain of loss is more painful than the happiness of winning. It’s biological on a level, for sure. We are biologically programmed to avoid pain, to remember it, as a mechanism to survive. Thus we don’t forget pain. An example from the hit movie Rounders:
In “Confessions of a Winning Poker Player,” Jack King said, “Few players recall big pots they have won, strange as it seems, but every player can remember with remarkable accuracy the outstanding tough beats of his career.”
I don’t believe there is anything wrong with using the emotions you have available to you as fuel to accomplish your goals. With that being said, if we feed off these painful emotions for too long they can become a central theme instead of some fuel. This can affect our other relationships & goals in a very negative way.
We don’t have to use these emotions for fuel if we don’t want to use them. In fact, we can choose to let them go. It’s one of the amazing talents we are able to use. We can choose to be driven by love, compassion, and happiness. Of course, it’s a tougher road to travel. It’s easy to hate. To forgive & let go, takes real strength. I know, I’ve been very bad at it for most of my life. Either way, we get to choose what drives us. We can have success either way. For me, I want success with love & compassion because then I’m happy instead of pissed off all the time. Then my family likes to be around me. It’s about choosing what you want – the hate that drives you – or the love that guides you.
The choice is yours – and yours alone