Guest Post: Kill Your Inner Cynic

“What is a cynic?
A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

– Oscar Wilde

I read a magazine article today about cynicism, and it really got me thinking. The author basically stated that the reason that men fail in their endeavors is an abundance of cynicism. And of course the cynics in us all are automatically skeptical of this statement, but he further goes on to ask us to stop and see if we can think of ONE successful cynic. Just one. It’s damn near impossible.

Incredibly successful people, whether they’re actors, entertainers, athletes or just general moguls, all share one thing: a sincere belief in themselves and in other people. It’s not enough just to be self-confident and self-sufficient. To be successful also requires that you sincerely believe in the good of mankind.

The article features a quiz that helps you to determine your cynicism level; giving statements and asking you to agree or disagree with them.

So, for example, “People pretend to care about others more than they really do care,” and then you either get to agree/disagree.

I figure most people would come out at the higher end of the cynic-spectrum because we live in a cynical world and a cynical society. And, why shouldn’t we be, right?

It’s always so  much easier to act like we don’t give a damn. To blame others’ success on luck. To say, “screw the government” because it’s all corrupt. The article lists that in 2009, “only 22 percent of Americans trusted the financial system.”

Doesn’t that make sense though, given that we experienced the royal financial screw-up that was the year 2008? A healthy bit of skepticism is definitely warranted but where do we cross the line? Where does it go from, “Hmm, that’s pretty wack but it’ll probably get better,” to “I knew this financial system would screw up some day, the government can’t do anything right. We’ll be stuck here for at least another ten years.”

Mike Zimmerman, the author talks about his interview with Matthew McConaughey and the dude is pretty intelligent. He manages to perfectly describe cynics in that “[they] put their finger on the disease before they put it on health. It’s the easy way to go.” After the interview, Zimmerman goes on to show images of David Beckham, Mark Wahlberg and a few other big names and states that their number one success secret: “a sincere belief in sincere belief.”

So to conclude Zimmerman’s message, in order to be truly successful in any aspect of life, financial, family, educational, you’ve got to let the cynicism go. All of it.

McConaughey concluded his interview by sharing that most people when they get stuck in a tough spot start to think ” ‘I got screwed, that should’ve been mine.’ ” Conversely, his lifelong mantra is “Just keep livin.'” And not only has he done that, he’s made some stacks along the way.
Less Zimmerman, more me. Cynic is just a fancy name for a Hater. And the thing is, a Hater doesn’t mean to “Hate,” per se, but a Hater just remains ever so sarcastic about everything in life. Like when someone tells you about their ideas and plans, and because they seem a little farfetch’d HATER regards them as “stupid” for thinking they could accomplish anything great.

In fact, you may be rolling your eyes and chuckling to yourself right now as some sort of sick, comforting habit. Since it’s actually YOU whose too scared to dream big. Good work! You’ve actually paralyzed yourself via your own continued sarcasm and “haterness”. Damn, I made up a word.

Look who’s talking though, I’m the biggest cynic I know. Irony, can be the best teacher.

This post has opened me up a bit. When I was a psychology student, I wanted to learn what made people tick. What made people do the stupid sh*t that they did, why I felt hurt sometimes for sh*t that I shouldn’t. Why this, why that. But I’ve begun to think that none of that sh*t matters, that it’s best to have a dream, have faith, and be good to people, with sincere hopes and expectations that they will be good to you. What have we got to lose?

So the next time someone comes at you with a project they’re starting — that they’re enthusiastic about, why not share the enthusiasm? Why not get inspired to do some crazy stuff yourself? Christopher Wallace (RIP) once said that in order to change the world we have to change ourselves. I’m working on me, what about you?

Guest Post by: Haris Fazlani

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