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How We Learn  

Posted by Eric on March 19, 2001 at 08:53:39

An old proverb states that gratitude is the most fleeting of all human emotions. Maybe you've already learned that. And then again, maybe not.

But that's not the truly important lesson here, which is, what have you learned about yourself? Forget about the other person. There will always be other people ready, willing and able to take advantage whenever they can.

So what?

The real problem is almost always on your end because you expected something other than what you received, yes?

So you put your trust in someone who turned out not to be so trustworthy. What did you actually think he would do with the money, information, or responsibility you gave him?

The lesson is not in the actions of the other person, it's in how you feel about the relationship now. You. Not him.

C'mon, you can't control anybody else. You aren't responsible for them either. You are only responsible for you.

Perhaps you didn't really think this out. After all, if you were expecting anything other than a "thank you" (at best), then your actions really constitute marketing rather than altruism. You "sold" your knowledge/trust cheaply and now you're unhappy with your transaction cost.

And still you worry about that competition thing? Big deal. You should be so lucky that competition is all you have to worry about. There's plenty to go around for everyone. Always has been, always will be.

I'm sure you're a nice person. If you weren't, you wouldn't be this troubled by his actions and your response. But I'll say it again -- get over it.

Learning about yourself is one of the most rewarding things you can do while you're on this planet. But like so many other things that are worthwhile, it comes at a very high cost.

Heck, I think you should be thanking this guy. He actually did you a favor.

Success, as they say, is a journey, not a destination. But what they often leave out is the part about the tolls you pay along the way. And there will be plenty of those.

There will also be some scars. Emotional. Financial. Maybe even physical.

But that's OK. It's all a part of growing up.

You might also want to consider whether or not your reaction is due to his complete adoption of your ideas/contacts/techniques/etc., or whether it is an all too human reaction to the (appearance of) his success.

Most people just aren't wired to be truly happy for someone else's success. On the other hand, we can and do show (experience) real empathy for another's failures. It's how we learn.

Think about it.

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