Time to Tell the Losers to Kiss Off

By John Hope Bryant

Let me be immediately clear. While I am talking about all losers, I am mostly and primarily talking about the loser within you. Me too.   There is a loser, within all of us.

I saw this great scene in a movie recently. An otherwise great person, just always whining and complaining about almost everything. How ‘everything is crap.’ And then, the killer follow-on line just nails it —

“People need to give this destructive voice in their head ‘a name,’ and then tell it — to go kiss off.”

Well, they didn’t say ‘kiss off,’ but you get the point. This is the LinkedIn-friendly version.

The reality is, we all have these destructive voices going off almost constantly in our heads, in one way or another. And so….

If I don’t like me, it is hard for me to like you.

If I don’t respect me, it is hard for me to respect you.

If I don’t feel good about me, it is hard for me to feel good about you.

If I don’t love me, I don’t have a clue how to love you.

And here is the big one — if I don’t have a purpose in your life, I’m going to make your life a living hell.

As my friend and Global Dignity co-founder Professor Pekka Himanen once said during a conversation on my book “Love Leadership;” Who are we most afraid of? Answer: we are most afraid of ourselves.

Into this conversation, enter other people. And this is precisely where, ‘hurt people, begin to hurt people.’

Someone who is already emotionally fragile, is joined (…jumped on) by someone else drawn sadly to the weakness they see. And then the pile on, of all things negative and harmful to the soul, begins.

These inner voices become really destructive when this new identity actually finds a way to enter our hearts, and then into our soul. This starts what I call the beginning of the death of hope. The beginning of inner cynicism.

Then it actually becomes toxic, because it begins to eat away at our hopes, our dreams, our desires. The positive core of you that you were literally born with and born into.

And when life enters along with other toxic people, it all begins to beat the hope and optimism out of you. And we end of both cynical, and self-defeating. The self-hate sets in. The utter lack, of self-appreciation.

Here is something deep to ponder. Out of love, we pass down bad habits from generation to generation. We often save our worse behavior, for those we care the most about.

It’s time for the losers to kiss off.

I walk through my life, consciously oblivious to most things around me. I do this so that I have the energy remaining to focus on what’s real and important in my life. Or to quote my friend and mentor Quincy Jones, “the only thing worse than being alone, is wishing that you were.” You can do bad, all by yourself. You don’t need any help doing bad.

A ‘friend’ that dumps on you, is everything but a friend.

It’s time for the losers to kiss off.

A ‘friend’ that stirs up controversy and drama in your life with others and those that you love, to no positive end, is everything but a friend.

It’s time for the losers to kiss off.

When someone is standing on your head to elevate themselves, that is everything but love. Love is the nurturing of one’s own, or another’s spiritual growth.

It’s time for the losers to kiss off.

Parents are supposed to give love and discipline, in the same breath. It is not an easy balance, but If even your parents cannot give you the discipline and accountability, without suggesting you are a totally worthless bum (there is a difference between making a mistake, and being one), then they have likewise flunked their parental matriculation exam.

Love without discipline, and discipline without love, are equally worthless.

And yes this applies to bum-bosses on the job. Those that lead with fear and intimidation, always dumping on everyone around them, may win the battle, but they will lose the war of aspirational growth. They will only go but so far, and but for so long.

It’s time for the losers to kiss off.

In this new era, flat organizations that inspire greatness and the aspirational growth of everyone within them, will almost do better than top down organizations that dump on people.

Find the light in your life, starting this week. It is the place where everything else of value in and for your life lives — too.

It’s time for the losers to kiss off.

Let’s go.

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