Everything Good That Happens To You Is Bad

A farmer had only one horse. One day, his horse ran away.

All the neighbors came by saying, “I’m so sorry. This is such bad news. You must be so upset.” The man just said, “We’ll see.”

A few days later, his horse came back with twenty wild horses. The man and his son corraled all 21 horses.

All the neighbors came by saying, “Congratulations! This is such good news. You must be so happy!” The man just said, “We’ll see.”

One of the wild horses kicked the man’s only son, breaking both his legs.

All the neighbors came by saying, “I’m so sorry. This is such bad news. You must be so upset.” The man just said, “We’ll see.”

The country went to war, and every able-bodied young man was drafted to fight. The war was terrible and killed every young man, but the farmer’s son was spared, since his broken legs prevented him from being drafted.

All the neighbors came by saying, “Congratulations! This is such good news. You must be so happy!” The man just said, “We’ll see.”

The above proverb comes in many forms, all showing how the first interpretation of events that happen to you is usually the emotional one. There is good in bad and bad in good, and both can be acted upon in a way to give balance. Otherwise life will toss you around like a doll as you hurry to categorize every event as “good” or “bad.”

The ancient Greeks believed that once you prepared for battle with the best troops and arms you could muster, the actual result would be based on fortune. If they lost many battles in a row, they’d actually use that as a reason to fight again, for fortune would surely not deal so many continuous defeats. While they did take superstition a bit far when cancelling an attack due to a solar eclipse or a strong storm, I believe their approach to life’s randomness was the correct one. They hoped for victory; they planned and trained for it, but the moment the first arrow flew, they understood that little more could be done.

Today, we try to eliminate the effects of fortune. We over-plan, over-estimate, and over-expect in the belief that it will guarantee a result. Then what happens when fortune plays its hand out of our favor? We fall like a house of cards…

  • “Why is this happening to me?”
  • “I didn’t do anything to deserve this.”
  • “It’s too hard.”
  • “I give up!”
  • “Life isn’t fair.” (Sent from my iPhone)

If things didn’t go your way then it is “bad” and if things went fine then it is “good.” Modern humans, with all their superior technology and knowledge, have conditioned themselves to behave like laboratory rats, hitting a lever in the hopes of receiving a drop of morphine instead of an electric shock. Every day they hit the lever expecting a positive result, but when they don’t get that result they believe that life dealt them and only them a bad hand, no matter how many billions of people have a far lesser station.

Instead of being slaves to the result, we should let the god of probability determine our fate after preparing the best we could. While some emotion helps you stay invested in your goals, events are neither good or bad. When you act to the best of your ability, over the course of a lifetime, you’ll steadily be driven towards your desired result. The goal is not to be a master of your environment, but to be a master of how you let your mind interpret your environment.

Read Next: One Piece Of Advice

41 Comments
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HCE
HCE
7 years ago

““Life isn’t fair.” (Sent from my iPhone)”

LMAO!

Anonymous
Anonymous
7 years ago

There’s nothing ever happen that’s random.

Timoteo
Timoteo
7 years ago

Every time someone asks “Why me?” I want to say to them, “Why NOT you?”

Theodora
Theodora
7 years ago

Well this comes with some good and bad too. And it’s also different for different countries, religions etc. I think I’ve read somewhere it’s especially prominent in the US, less so in the Middle East and Asian and Mediterranean counries (where the individual is mostly part of a group). Maybe that’s why it annoys you.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Locus_of_control

taterearl
taterearl
7 years ago

“Life isn’t fair.” (Sent from my iPhone)

I see what you did there.

Eric
Eric
7 years ago

I really liked this you should post for philosophy like that.

CaptainCaveman
7 years ago

It’s a good entry like the poem about a dog who had two bones. He licked one, and then the other. He went psycho and he is not dead.

Joe
Joe
7 years ago

Great post, people can take results too seriously.

John Rambo
John Rambo
7 years ago

You’re really becoming ZEN now, Roosh. Keep on meditating, doing yoga, eating mushrooms, or whatever it is that you are doing. You’re on the right path now, straight to enlightenment.

Sam Spade
Sam Spade
7 years ago

Well if you watch or play American football you know this. Just as in life, you never know which way the ball is gonna bounce.

a
a
6 years ago
Reply to  Sam Spade

American football is for gay who want touching from other guys. hahahaha

Santiago solari
Santiago solari
7 years ago

I see you are turning philosophical. Trying reading up on this guy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osho

Giovonny
Giovonny
7 years ago

“Life isn’t fair.” (Sent from my iPhone)

ha

too many complainers in life. Not enough trailblazers.

fjod/10199
fjod/10199
7 years ago

from Flash Forward: “you are trying to fight fate, man.. and this is so sad.. because you have already lost”

space_monkey
space_monkey
7 years ago

Are you master of your domain?

Anonymous
Anonymous
7 years ago

“There is good in bad and bad in good, and both can be acted upon in a way to give balance. ”

You should read up on Taoism. This is a very Taoist way of thinking. Taoism also has an elaborate philosophy of yin and yang and women and men that any game aware man would instanntly understand as descrbing acurately the dynamics of gender relations, and everything else in life. Reading up on it will actually enhance your game.

BB
BB
7 years ago

You sound like you’ve been reading the Stoics. Excellent!

misterinfinite
7 years ago
trackback

[…] is amoral. It is neutral. We choose to view things as good or bad. Things simply exist and we project our beliefs onto the […]

Carlito
Carlito
7 years ago

I remembered the opening lines of Match Point: The man who said “I’d rather be lucky than good” saw deeply into life. People are afraid to face how great a part of life is dependent on luck. It’s scary to think so much is out of one’s control. There are moments in a match when the ball hits the top of the net, and for a split second, it can either go forward or fall back. With a little luck, it goes forward, and you win. Or maybe it doesn’t, and you lose.

3rd Millenium Men
7 years ago

Really, really good points Roosh. I also think it’s important to look at bad events in isolation and not all mutually reinforcing, even when a number happen at once. If a bunch of bad things happened at once, it’s likely to just be chance. Just as rolling a dice can result in clusters of 1 or 2 numbers, and that’s random. Wrote more on this a while back – http://3rdmilleniummen.wordpress.com/2012/10/27/the-peaks-and-troughs-of-attracting-women-picking-up/

k
k
7 years ago

roosh,

the opposite is also true

everything bad that happens to you is good….

-you either learn a valuable lesson
-change your ways
-pay the appropriate price
-get stronger
-or die/quit – in which case you should not have been doing what you ere in the first place.

MotoGzz
MotoGzz
7 years ago

Ain’t life pietzsche with Nietzsche?

Anonymous
Anonymous
7 years ago

Roosh, are you offering advise to strippers on how to get over their approach anxiety for selling lappers on stripperweb? I definately saw someone suggest your canned opener (one of my fave’s too, I don’t want it wasted on strippers!)

20 years later
20 years later
7 years ago

First Alain de Botton, now the “maybe” luck story from Zen. I followed a similar path of authors, might I suggest Michelle du Montaine next.