One of my favorite people is Arianna Huffington, the creator of The Huffington Post and successful in multiple business ventures. While starting The Huffington Post, Arianna passed out from exhaustion, hitting her head on her desk. Doctors failed to find a medical cause; the only reason remaining was not physical. The fall resulted from mental, psychological and physical fatigue from working around the clock.
Later, Arianna participated in an interview with Oprah Winfrey on “Super Soul Conversations.” She began to describe her illumination to the importance of psychological health after this incident. She shared a statement that struck me: “Live life as if it’s rigged in your favor.”
The statement resonated with me, for I know I often approach life from a fearful place, feeling I need to prove myself. This mentality manifests itself in my confidence, competence and how I engage in conversations. I live expecting others to point out my mistakes and criticize me. This results in believing the world is against me, causing me to withdraw in an attempt to prevent being hurt. The result of this fear is disengagement from a life that brings joy, creativity and excitement. It keeps me from stepping out and taking risks in my personal and business life.
Live life as if it’s rigged in your favor. The concept contradicts the unconscious western mentality that people are colluding to watch us fail. To protect myself from this imaginary enemy, I prevent myself from engaging with people, events, ideas and more. Arianna’s statement presents a new option, a path full of hope. What if I lived as if the world was for me not against me? How would this change my life? The short answer: drastically.
After letting the statement absorb, I allowed it to change my interactions with others in my business. I met strangers assuming they wanted a kind interaction. I entered a presentation believing the audience wanted me to succeed. I shared joys and challenges with colleagues believing they cared about me. I brought my best self to work believing people value my knowledge, experience and opinion. I showed up to my work certain it will be wonderful. To my surprise, the majority of time my expectations are overwhelmingly met.
Recently, my client worked to internalize this mentality. His past was laden with bad experiences, broken relationships and relational trouble in the office. Remembering these struggles led him to enter interactions worrying if he had hurt them in the past, how they viewed him and if he’d make another mistake. He was coming across withdrawn, halfhearted and uninterested. Once he chose to see every interaction as new, believing people enjoyed his interactions, he came to every conversation differently. He exuded presence, care, humor and interest because that’s what he felt. Believing others want you to succeed means we come to any situation with our best self.
The physical exhaustion plaguing our culture rests upon the belief that “I need to be perfect to be accepted.” I don’t know about you, but I can’t relate to a perfect person. I don’t know what it’s like. What I resonate with is wanting others to succeed, seeing the best in people, and giving everyone my support. When I assume everyone wants me to succeed, as I do for them, I engage fully. This mindset keeps me from becoming burnt out because I’m no longer living to prove my worth, but believing others see my value and want to celebrate it with me.
How would believing life is rigged in your favor change how you engage the world? I don’t know the answer for it rests within you. What I do know is believing this simple concept has changed my life, and I believe it has the power to change yours. Take a conscious step into a healthier life, living as if it’s rigged in your favor.
Editor’s note: Chris Simon is the founder of Elmry, a Bentonville company dedicated to building leaders across the world. More information can be found at Elmry.com. The opinions expressed are those of the author.