Ever had a single moment that changed your entire life? One event, one mental tweak, one epiphany that made everything better?
Granted, we’re not talking about something as huge as turning into a masked crimefighter because my parents were murdered in front of me — but that’s a good thing. Only so many people have experiences like that. I’m talking about relatively small modifications that have had an outsized positive impact on my life. Not only can these mind hacks do the same thing for you, but you can adopt every one of them by the end of this article if you choose to do so.
1) Making yourself impervious to criticism.
When you write about politics for a living, you get called every nasty thing in the book. There’s not a single feature on my body that hasn’t been thoroughly critiqued. I’ve been called ugly, fat, stupid, inbred, retarded, a fascist, a Nazi, a racist, and dozens of other terms that I’m not allowed to write on PJM. I get smeared and lied about. I receive death threats. There’s not a day that goes by in my life where I don’t either get hate mail or get attacked in the comments of articles that I write. After reading that, ponder the fact that when I started writing for a living, not only was I sensitive to criticism, but conflict with other people made me uncomfortable. So how did I go from that to retweeting hate aimed at me on Twitter, laughing off death threats, and taking on four liberals at a time on HuffPostLive?
It started with adopting a quote from Frederick Douglas as a motto.
A gentleman will not insult me, and no man not a gentleman can insult me.
As a practical matter, what does that mean? That anyone who insults is — by virtue of the fact that he is insulting — unworthy of my time, attention, or serious consideration. Some people might argue that someone who’s deliberately insulting you might also have a legitimate point too. Setting aside the fact that happens about as often as Lady Gaga turns down a chance to wear a weird dress, if the point is worth making, someone else will surely come along and make it as well and then I can respond to it. Once you internalize this sort of thinking, insults no longer have any impact because the very fact that someone is treating you in a deliberately insulting manner makes his opinion irrelevant.