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Social Psychologist & Personal Advisor

Below is Dr Matt's Answer
to a Burning Question


Crissy's Crappy Life: Finding the Pony

Dear Dr Matt:

My name is Crissy. I'm 18 years old, single, from Connecticut.

I broke down half way while writing this. This is the actual first time to get this off my chest.

All I am to people is a big joke. I tend to get hurt a lot and am known as "accident prone" to most people I associate with. I'm sick of being the one who always gets hurt. I've had more medical bills than you can imagine.

I may outwardly show to everyone that I'm fine and have a smile on my face, but deep down, I'm not OK. I don't like to say certain stuff. It takes me forever to say what's bothering me.

I'm always up to meeting new people and love it. I can go to a youth rally and be put in a group with people I don't know and I'm not afraid to say hi, and meet people. I'm very outgoing and will say what's on my mind.

But when it comes to saying how I really feel, then I have a harder time. I have a crappy life. But do I show it? No, i don't show it! I always try to keep a high spirit about everything. I know I'm supposed to keep this brief, but it feels good for me to get this off my chest.

Thanks for listening,

Dear Crissy:

I am assuming that you are writing me, that I might help you to NOT have a crappy life?

Speaking of "crap." Did you hear the story of the optimist and the pessimist? They were both trapped in a room full of crap, and the pessimist kept moaning and groaning about all the crap, while the optimist enthusiastically exclaimed: "There's got to be a Pony in here, somewhere!"

Truth is . . . there is always a "Pony" to be found amid the crap of everyday life. Becoming the kind of person that can find the Pony . . . is who you need to become, because Life will always contain crap. Yet, our response to this crap, need not be "crappy." This is the way I say it in my book:

        Life Is A Set Up. There are four fundamental sources that supply situations with frustration and possibly devastation to our lives. As these unwanted events occur, we are set up for misfortune and heartache:

                              1 - The Inconsiderate or Abusive Acts of Others,
                              2 - Accidents that happen due to Human Error,
                              3 - The untimely movements of Mother Nature, and
                              4 - Consequences of Mechanical Failures.

       Life is a Set Up: welcome to earth! Get used to it, get over it, and get on with it! However you respond —whether gracious or grumpy—you will act according to the disposition of the animal that you are, presently. Anyone might respond well when surrounded by loving and patient people, but what comes out of you when the going gets tough? (And by the way, the going will get tough . . . that's life.)

       The way you respond to unkind or abusive acts, the way you respond to unexpected events of accident, nature, or mechanical failure . . . reveals who you are at the heart. How you handle hardships exposes the very core of your character. Making a firm commitment to Changing Your Stripes means continually asking this essential question:

* * * * *
As bad things happen to me,
and I am Set Up by Situations beyond my control,
how will I respond to these trials and troubles
to further my greatest growth of character?
* * * * *
Changing Your Stripes, 2nd Edition, page 2

       How we respond to accident, oppression, or abuse IS the result of “an inner decision.” This is not merely a good-sounding theory, but what Viktor Frankl discovered from his experience of enduring torture and abuse in a Nazi death camp. Frankl learned that the ability to make this inner decision is mankind's “final freedom.” No situation, no matter how tragic or terrible can keep us from this choice, this freedom.

* * * * *
It's not What Happens to you in Life, but how
You Respond to “What Happens” that matters most;
oppressive people may compel your flesh, but no power
on earth can force you from Inner Liberty—
it is yours to lose or keep.
* * * * *

Changing Your Stripes, 2nd Edition, page 16

Responding in non-crappy ways . . . to the crap that life throws you, is NOT merely a matter of choosing it; in other words, it does not happen via the Head. Instead, responding well to Life's adversities is a matter of the Heart.

Now if following the impressions of your Heart were easy to do, then everyone would be doing it. But the fact is that most people are NOT doing it—and most people's lives are NOT happy, instead they are crappy.

One of the obstacle that makes following your Heart not-so-easy to do is called Self-Deception--a.k.a., "foolin' yourself." Self-Deception is the problem that you don't "think" you have a problem—yet you do, and you don't perceive it. Freud calls it being "in denial."

Crissy, if you will internalize the ideas I have referred you to . . . by deeply pondering these ideas in your heart, you will form the foundation of a good beginning! A good start toward making a Happy Life even amid Life's twists and turns. Follow your Heart and you will find the Pony!


Matt Moody, Ph.D.
Social Psychologist

* * * * * * *

The Greatest Prize
for Life's labors isn't
in material possessions
or impressive accomplishments,
but in the progress of personal character.
You labor for your own becoming, this is your richest reward.
Who You Become is your greatest possession,
make it your Masterpiece!

(Changing Your Stripes, 2nd Edition, page 274)

The book, "Changing Your Stripes" presents principles for getting out of
the ditch in which you've been dumped (the difficulties of which you are a victim), and
the ditch in which you've jumped (the difficulties for which you volunteer).

"Mastering a challenging situation
is ultimately a matter of
mastering yourself!"

- Matt Moody 

"Changing Your Stripes," teaches you the principles that lead to lasting change,
making you a new kind of creature capable of communicating
with calm, even as storms of contention swirl.

If these principles resonate and ring true,
then . . . this book is for you!

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Changing Your Stripes is a
unique reference book that will help
you understand, . . .
and solve all of
Life's ever-appearing problems.
Here are more reasons to buy

Changing Your Stripes

Social Psychologist & Personal Advisor

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