COMMENTARY 796.5: Curing Victimitis

Watch your thoughts; they lead to attitudes.

Watch your attitudes; they lead to words.

Watch your words; they lead to actions.

Watch your actions; they lead to habits.

Watch your habits; they form your character.

Watch your character; it determines your destiny.

These words of unknown origin tell us that our silent and often subconscious choices shape our future. Every aspect of our lives, at home and at work, can be improved if we use our power to think, reflect, and make conscious choices about our thoughts, attitudes, words, actions, and habits.

Instead, many of us think of ourselves as victims. We complain about our circumstances and what others did to us. Whatever psychological comfort there is in feeling powerless and blameless when things aren’t going right, victims lead unsatisfied lives in the end.

We’re most vulnerable to victimitis when we’re under the influence of powerful emotions like fear, insecurity, anger, frustration, grief, and depression. These feelings can be so overwhelming that we believe our state of mind is inevitable. Our only hope is that they’ll go away on their own. Yet it’s during times of emotional tumult that using our power to choose our thoughts and attitudes is most important. We can’t make pain go away, but we can refuse to suffer.

Even when we don’t like any of our choices, we do have some – once we realize we can take control. It isn’t easy, but what we do and how we choose to feel about ourselves can have a profound impact on the quality of our lives. Victims may get sympathy for a while, but that isn’t nearly enough.

Taking personal responsibility for our happiness and success can be scary, but the payoff is enormous. Although we can’t make our lives perfect, we can make them better – usually a lot better.

This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.

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Comments 6

  1. Dear Mr. Josephson,

    Hope this finds you in the best of health and in an ecstatic mood!

    I cannot but, feel more and more grateful to you every single day for the thoughts and experiences that you have been sharing with us.

    You simply express thoughts of a very high nature that continuously impels one to take the right course of action. I have been wanting to make my insignificant contribution towards your mission through my credit card but, I do not see an option on your website to do it. Please can you let me know if there is one?

    The words of unknown origin at the beginning of your commentary originate from the Vedas. The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (Verse 4.4.5) says, “You are what your deep, driving desire is. As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.”

    At another place in the Vedic literature, Sage Vasishtha says, “Each thought is a link in an endless chain of causes and effects, each effect becoming a cause and each cause having been an effect; and each link in the endless chain is welded out of three components

    1. Post

      Thank for the information about the source of such great wisdom. Thank you for your kind words about my commentaries. And thank you for your interest in donating to the institute. We are a charitabe orgainizationa dn your contributions are tax-deductible. To donate just go to and you will see a blue button near the top right of the page. A million thanks.

  2. Hello ~ Michael

    I would like to email this to my 17 year old son. I don’t see a way to do this on this commentary or on others. I can always send it as a link or copy and paste, but I would rather send it via email.
    I hope to hear from you or someone on how to send this as an email. Thanks.

    1. Post

      Thanks for your inquiry. Right now the best way is to either hit the share button if you and your son have Facebook or to copy, cut and paste the commentary and send it by e-mail. I hope this helps.

  3. Pingback: COMMENTARY 796.5: Curing Victimitis - Occupied Wall Street

  4. A similar and favorite quote or life-verse of mine from the Bible:

    Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
    — Philippians 4:8 (cf. 2Timothy 3:16-17)

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