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Readers’ choice: Top 10 Inspiring articles of 2014

 

Why we expect too much from our heroes

 

The Oscar Pistorius trial and the subsequent unwrapping of his personal life has stunned the world. Dr John Demartini, human behavioral specialist, explains the hubristic tragedy of how, at the peak of their careers and fame, so many superstars fall from grace.

 

We all have two sides

 

As I travel the world and present my signature programme The Breakthrough Experience, I help people to realise that they have two sides that remain balanced.

 

I ask people, “Would you believe if I said that you are always mean and never nice? Or that you’re always nice and you’re never mean? You’re always up, you’re never down? You seem depressed, you never seem to be up?” They answer “No” to every one of these questions.
 
When I ask them, “Would you agree that you have times when you are up and times when you are down, times when you are nice and times when you are mean?” they reply “Yes”. So inherently, innately, we know that we have a balance.

 

We have ups and downs, we can be both nice and mean, kind and cruel, generous and stingy. In fact all of our traits are paired with their opposites.
 
We intuitively know this. But sometimes we can be fooled into thinking, either from our own experiences or from other people’s perceptions, that we are one-sided. And we can become proud and hide our internal shame or be shamed and hide our internal pride.
 
The moment we see only one side of ourselves, we are vulnerable and nature brings us events to help us see both sides and keep them balanced.

 

The media puts high achievers on a pedestal

 

Successful, high-achieving individuals in many walks of life - celebrities, sports personalities or any high achiever - can be put on a pedestal by the media. And if that person and the public buys into it, blindly believing the one-sided repoting, and assumes there’s an up without a down, a positive without a negative, a hero without a villain, the high achiever can be setting their own trap. 

 

Our mind maintains an inherent balance, but our awareness sometimes misinterprets it and overlooks it. So the second we start to think we are greater than we are, our pride brings on a fall. And the very people who built us up, the media, the fans, will be the first people to bring us down. What took maybe years or decades to build can be destroyed overnight.
 
It is wiser to have sustainable achievement by maintaining a balanced orientation, by not taking credit so that we get blame, by not getting proud so that we need humility. Otherwise we will have to hide behind celebrity walls or live in secluded locations to prevent the world from seeing the other side that we innately know is there.

 

Superstardom and fame can be the source of a living hell

 

The public assumes that the rich and famous have a better life. But behind the scenes there’s always another side... unmet expectations, depression due to fantasies and issues of self-image.

 

So it’s wiser to keep a balanced orientation and continue to serve, and remain centred and humbled, and not let the outer fame have to bring the outer tragedy to get us back into balance.
 
If we are mildly proud, we get low priority distractions as a feedback reminder. If we are moderately proud, we get challenging circumstances. If we are severely proud, we attract tragic events to humble us.

 

Decade by decade we see examples of this, from sports personalities and celebrities, to leaders, politicians, athletes, superstars and supermodels.

 

''Those who can’t govern themselves attract events to govern them'' - Nietzsche

 

So as Nietzsche said, if you can own your hero and your villain, your saint and your sinner, your two sides equally, you don’t need nature to have to get you back into balance. Those who can’t govern themselves attract events to govern them.
 
Many heroes have fallen and while their hero was a gift, so was their villain equally a gift. It sets them free from having to be a one-sided person. It sets them free from having to strive for that which is unattainable.

Don’t put people on pedestals or into pits. Put them in your heart

So when you meet somebody that you look up to, know that you are probably blind to their downsides. Don’t be fooled by one-sided people. And don’t be fooled by the mirror. See both sides within yourself.
 
I went through the Oxford Dictionary and circled every trait that a human being could have. They can be admired or despised, liked or disliked, traits of the hero or traits of the villain, and when I looked honestly and fully,

 

I discovered that I had every one of these traits within me

 

At times I am kind and at times cruel, at times generous and at times stingy, I am open and closed, considerate and inconsiderate, honest and dishonest, sweet and bitter.

 
 
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