I think people naturally acclimate to the mental state they put themselves in over and over and the environment they find themselves acting in day-to-day. It seeps in and takes over our default behavior without us realizing it. If you’re used to acquiescing in the face of conflict or running in the face of danger, you’re probably a push over. If you protect yourself from pain by pushing away all emotions, you’ve probably internalized that it’s better to feel nothing than to experience something bad. And if you’re used to getting things the way you want and apologizing for how other people feel rather than admitting your own mistakes, you most likely think that you physically cannot be wrong.
I find it fascinating how so many are able to find conventional success despite some of the most destructive traits. It angers me that a lot of those in power have acclimated to being in power, to thinking they’re right even when they’re in the wrong because they’ve acclimated to the environment that treats them as the golden customer, who is always right. When you internalize this fact, you become unable to see past your own deficiencies—you start living in a world that is tinted by the faults and mistakes of all others.
The acclimation to power is a delusion of grandeur. It’s a conception that protects you from facing your own fears and doubts. Any artificial protection from yourself is a barrier to fully expressing your being and humanity. Humans are fickle creatures. We like to stop ourselves from doing things that are good for us, often, paradoxically, in the name of preserving the good and protecting us from the bad.
I feel conflicted whenever I come across someone who displays this acclimation. On one hand, I feel sorry for how they block themselves from expressing themselves—from living fully. On the other hand, I really hate when they leverage this belief to trample others. It’s an overreach of agency, an infallible belief that you can do no wrong, so when things go wrong there’s naturally someone else to bring to justice. I guess it all goes back to the saying that everyone wants to be a hero. And the worst villains are the ones who have the strongest belief in themselves as the good guy.
This is the 69th installment in my experiment of publishing raw, lightly edited mini-essays every day towards achieving 100 public pieces. Check out the rationale and the full list here.