An excerpt from “Life Code: The New Rules For Winning In The Real World” by Dr. Phil McGraw
Okay, enough about the bad guys. I want to shift gears and talk about you and your positive power, positive choices, and creating the positive outcomes in your life that you want and deserve. You now know who the bad guys are and how they do what they do. That is knowledge the new “Life Code” requires you to have to be effective, and it will help you inoculate yourself against their attacks and intrusions. Knowing everything you possibly can about the people who can become your and your family’s enemies is critically important to changing your experience of life going forward. But what is even more critically important than them is you. That’s really good news, by the way, because the only person you need to control to create the results you want is you, which works out especially well because the only person you can control is you.
To be maximally effective, you need to learn how to play smarter and harder and bigger in every aspect of your life. Barring catastrophic illness or fatal accident, anybody can live, but living effectively, living fully, and getting the biggest “bang for your buck” in this life is a whole other story. My goal in the rest of this book is to empower you to function as the highest and best version of yourself. To stop being a target, to avoid being low-hanging fruit just waiting to be pulled down, you have to take a long, hard look at yourself and how you play this game of life. To do otherwise is tantamount to volunteering to be used and abused. I contend that you can and must do more, regardless of how often you do or do not encounter BAITERs. I don’t want you to leave anything “on the table,” so to speak. I want you to have the full experience and score the biggest win possible.
It’s one thing to be naïve (though you can’t use that excuse if you’ve made it this far in the book). It’s another thing to choose to behave in such a way as to offer yourself up as a target, as a victim. Why is that?
Someone who’s naïve is just ignorant. I know that sounds harsh, but “ignorant” doesn’t mean “stupid.” It simply means there are things you don’t know. I’m perfectly willing to admit I’m ignorant when it comes to the management of toxic biological agents, for example. If you tell me, “Hey, we have a bacterial outbreak in Central LA. It’s spreading like wildfire—what do you think we should do?” Call the CDC, because I’m not your guy. But if you ask me how to get over a breakup or how to deal with addiction, pull up the couch because I’m your guy. But I’m smart enough to acknowledge my areas of ignorance and consult an expert when I need help concerning things I know nothing about. And the fact that you’re reading this book means you’re taking steps to learn how to create a better life for yourself and those you love.
And by the way, if you feel like your life is working pretty well, by all means read on. Research across decades has been very consistent in showing that psychology works best for those who need it least. That really makes sense if you think about it. Those whose lives are already working pretty well probably have some degree of momentum, an open mind, a willingness to learn, and the confidence to try new things. Compare that to someone who is so dysfunctional that they hide from the world in an “emotional fetal position.” Those folks don’t have the same tools to work with or the foundation to build on. In fact, I’m betting if you’re reading this book, there are many things in your life that are working that you can use as a springboard to take you to the next level. My guess is that you want to and are ready to become a “mover and shaker” in your life. That means taking some risk and trying some new, different things. It’s all about being your own “change agent.”
I’m betting if you’re reading this book, there are many things in your life that are working that you can use as a springboard to take you to the next level.
Being a victim, however, is different from being a change agent. It can be a “comfort zone,” a way of never having to put yourself on the line. It can be an excuse. Think about it; if you’re a victim, if you have a sad story to tell and you are always ready to tell it, then people feel sorry for you and make excuses for why you aren’t doing better in life. That excuse can come in pretty handy if you’re someone who’s been flat-out unwilling to put it on the line and create what you want in your life, while complaining about what you don’t have in your life. There’s an old saying that goes, “There are no victims, only volunteers.” BAITERs are always on the lookout for volunteers, for people who are out of touch with the world—and with themselves. People who feel sorry for themselves, blame others, and simply don’t expect to have other than the most mediocre of lives. These people are “easy pickings” and virtually offer themselves up to be exploited.