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3 Ways To Defeat Your Enemies

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If you’re breathing, you have an enemy. No matter how nice, ethical, giving, or caring you are, there will always be people who oppose you. Sometimes they oppose you because you’ve been bad or done something wrong; sometimes they oppose you because they misunderstand you or your goals; sometimes they oppose you because they dislike you or what you stand for or represent; and sometimes they oppose you because they’ve betrayed you or are simply foolish trolls. 

Regardless of the reason why you face enemies- and you have faced many in your life to this point and will face more – you must first recognize their importance in your life.

Your enemies actually exist to help you. They force you to clarify what you believe in and stand for; they cause you to develop endurance, maturity, grit, and toughness. They expose the friends and family who are really for you and those who aren’t. They make you become more strategic about your life, more prudent about the actions you take, and more committed to the goals that matter in your life. In short, your enemies give you the chance to learn important life lessons and grow into the person you’re meant to be. 

But don’t get me wrong: just because your enemies can unintentionally help you it doesn’t mean that they will. They have the very real possibility of distracting, shaming, condemning, blocking, and harming you and your goals and slowing your momentum or stopping you from achieving your destiny. They can try to make you doubt yourself, become insecure, and quit. They can try to make you a weaker, more fearful, and more diminished version of yourself. But your enemies can only do these things if you give them permission to. Your enemies can only defeat you if you give them permission to. 

You see, your enemies are often weak, wounded, jealous, and fearful people. It doesn’t matter if they have a lot of money and power or none at all, at their very core they are likely people who have their own issues and are trying to project negative things unto you because they can’t figure out their own lives. What does this mean for you? It means that inevitably your enemies have chinks in their armor. And if there are chinks in their armor that means they can be defeated. Here are 3 ways you can defeat them:

  1. Choose to stop complaining or talking about their opposition so you can more quickly identify strategies to defeat them
  1. Understand the valuable life lessons you can learn about yourself, them, and the world and how you can use those lessons to become better and to overcome them 
  1. Recognize that they are not all powerful and can be defeated if you develop the endurance to out-last their attacks

The reality is, you will always have enemies in your life. You may not always have active battles against them, but there will always be people who oppose you – even if just in their thoughts or words against you – that you can overcome if you choose to. But you can choose to defeat them if you want.

Dr. Rob Carpenter - known simply as “Dr. Rob” -changes lives for a living. He is a trained social scientist, transformational author, movie director, and speaker whose mission is to empower and entertain people around the world so they can live their best lives. He has been featured in People Magazine, the New York Times, and Business Insider, among others. Dr. Rob has also been a filmmaker for the 2x Emmy Award winning USC Media Institute for Social Change, is a former professor and startup CEO, and has worked and lectured around the world. He is the author of upcoming book The 48 Laws of Happiness: Secrets Revealed For Becoming the Happiest You; writer and director of the film American Dropout; founder of the School of Happiness; host of The Dr. Rob Show podcast; and has hundreds of resources available on his website (coming 2021) to help make people’s lives better. Dr. Rob has also been an activist and innovator around the world. He co-founded Students Against Genocide when he was 19, which mobilized 50,000 students against genocide in Darfur, Sudan, which helped force UN peacekeepers to end the mass murder of millions of people. At 23, was appointed as the youngest Commissioner of Transportation in the history of Los Angeles where he saved 100 ambulance worker jobs and exposed $217 million dollars in fraud. Dr. Rob received his B.A. from Claremont McKenna College, M.A. from Northwestern University and doctoral degree from the University of Southern California.


Traps To Your Happiness Part 1: The Happiness Cycles You Chase

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We all want to be happier, yet few of us actually know how to actually do this. And I’m not just talking about being happy with our circumstances either. Circumstantial happiness like getting a new job or a raise, buying a new car or home, entering into a relationship, going on a vacation or the myriad of other things we say we need to be happy come and go. Like the wind. The truth is once we get the circumstantial happiness we have been craving – and at times lusting for –  we quickly become dissatisfied and eventually turn our attention to other things we think we NOW must get or achieve in order for us to be truly happy. And if we’re not careful, we end up chasing “happiness cycles” throughout our lives – we chase one happiness high and then want the next happiness high without truly enjoying our lives in the meantime. 

I used to rush into and out of these “happiness” cycles myself. I would set a goal in some area of my life, achieve it, be satisfied for a while, and then immediately forget about – or become dissatisfied with – what I just achieved and focus on the next thing. My life was always about “the next thing” but I was never happy with “the current thing.” And the reason I was never happy with the current thing is because I was facing traps within myself that were preventing me from seeing the truth about myself or what I needed to be happy both in the moment and for the long term. 

I will go into greater detail in this series about the traps I was facing in becoming happy – and perhaps that you  or a loved one might be facing too. These traps exist in our minds, emotions, relationships, bodies, workplaces, circumstances, and the world, and we must be able to identify them in order to overcome them. Check in again soon for Part 2 as I take us deeper into the common traps standing in the way of our happiness.

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Good You vs. Bad You

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You are VERY, VERY COMPLICATED. I am too. Our mixture of good and bad intentions, good and bad traits, and good and bad behaviors leave us feeling, saying, and doing very complex (and sometimes contradictory) things. Some of these things we’re proud of, others not so much. Sometimes we’re strong and self-aware enough to see the dualistic sides of ourselves. But other times – especially if we are feeling insecure, afraid, or too proud – we don’t have a realistic view about who we truly are.

Ancient wisdom tells us that every person is “right in their own eyes.” Translation: we all think we are doing the right thing or the best that we can. And most of the time this is true. But the problem is that sometimes it’s not true. Sometimes we are not doing right, sometimes we are not doing our best – and a lot of times we don’t even know it. As human beings, our capacity for self-deception is pretty high (just think about the time when most humans thought the earth was flat or when many societies believed cannibalism was morally ok). 

In today’s society, when you look at major criminals, for example, many of them believe what they’re doing is right. They feel justified by or entitled to their behavior. They convince themselves it’s ok to harm this person, steal that money, break that law. If they do it often enough – even if they initially have good intentions or experience guilt as the consequence of their actions – their morality changes over time and their criminality becomes just a normal part of life. It becomes morally ok to them. Why? Because the repetition of a thought or action creates its “rightness” to them (even if that thought or action is “bad”). The same is true for me and you when it comes to our bad sides – if we think or do bad things often enough (even if they’re not criminal, which I know they aren’t) we begin to think or believe that we’re right or justified in feeling or behaving a certain way – even if we’re wrong.

As a consequence, we often default to defending our bad traits by 1) saying that is just the way we are or 2) believing that because deep down we are a good person it’s ok to have a flaw or two (even if these flaws are hurting the people dearest to us). But we have to get over these beliefs, we have to get over justifying the bad sides of ourselves. If we want to evolve and grow as people we have to stop excusing our bad behaviors just because we’ve had them a long time and stop thinking other people should just get over them (while we still expect them to change their bad behaviors because they’re hurting or frustrating us). We have to stop letting our bad side dictate to our good side who’s boss more often than we currently are.

The reality is the good side of you intrinsically outweighs your bad side. That’s the good news. But because life can become so hectic and stressful you sometimes don’t realize this. You sometimes forget about all of your good traits – and I KNOW YOU HAVE MORE THAN YOU CAN COUNT even if you sometimes don’t feel that way – and so you can therefore easily slip into your bad sides, your bad habits, and your bad behaviors without knowing it. If you’re  intentional enough, though, you can guard against falling into your bad habits through practicing self-awareness and committing to being your best, most positive self regardless of whether or not you’re having a good or bad day. You can CHOOSE to be GOOD YOU rather than BAD YOU. Most of the time. 

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