Don’t Bite the Hook

The following is a guest post authored by Steve Dennis, Board Chair at Social Venture Partners Dallas and former C-Level Exec at Neiman Marcus

Depending upon our relationships, our work environment and what we choose to pay attention to, there is a seemingly endless variety of hooks that are dangled in front of us.

There’s the hook of the marketer that says “buy me” and we will miraculously become a “better” person.

There’s the hook of the bully who strikes out in anger hoping to entrap us in his cycle of pain and insecurity.

There’s the hook of escapism and avoidance that draws us into mindless distraction from– or numbing of–a painful present reality.

There’s the media hook of “breaking news”, trumped up (ha!) conflict and the ever present belief that it’s interesting when people die.

There’s the hook presented by our partners and friends trying to lure us into their codependence, neediness and demon dialogues.

And on and on.

Of course, just because it’s been said, doesn’t mean it’s true.

As it turns out, giving the finger to the guy who just cut us off on the highway will not actually make him a better driver.

The notion foisted upon us by society, the media and (all too often) our families that we are not enough is both a lie and a huge trap.

And even if it were true, the new outfit we just bought or the photo of the fabulous dinner we just posted on Facebook may give us a momentary little ego boost, but it does nothing to make us happy and whole.

We don’t have much choice about which hooks will get dangled in front of us. There is hardly a shortage of bait.

If we want to stay trapped in anger and resentment, if we want live a life of disconnection and distraction, then by all means bite away.

Just remember it’s a choice.

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