If You Find Yourself in a Hole…

Sometimes I stumble upon a quote, and I feel compelled to analyze it, to find layer upon layer of meaning, to add my own thoughts, ideas, and perspectives to it.

And this quote… I had to write about it.

We are rarely aware of the fact that most bad things that happen to us are a result of our own actions.

We dig our own holes.

Yet, we act like everyone else is to blame. An indifferent Universe, a world ruled to act to our disadvantage. But the truth is that we dig our own holes. We are always responsible. We are always in control of our minds, reactions, words.

As they say, karma is how we respond to what other people do to us.

That’s what I think about when reading this quote.

If you find yourself in a hole…

Sometimes it feels like a surprise.

How did we end up here? How did we lose ourselves? How? Why? When?

The truth is that one small mistake after another, we ended up some place else than where we intended going.

First we make choices, then those choices make us.

Stop digging.

I love this subtle remark.

The hole was of our own making all along. Our predicaments, misfortunes, failures, adversities…

The fate is not in our stars, but ourselves.

Our outer world/appearance is a reflection of our inner world.

Years and years of neglect when it comes to our bodies, nutrition, rest, exercise will lead to certain diseases, even though doctors rarely point to our mistakes.

You gotta STOP digging.

This is the most important advice of them all.

We often further ruin our chances of overcoming adversity by getting emotional, taking even worse decisions, arguing with people, putting the blame on everyone but ourselves, or trying to change what was never ours to change.

Stop digging.

Calm down, assess your situation, try to be as rational as possible.

You know what will happen if you keep doing what you’ve always done.


  1. Will Rogers is up there with Mark Twain among the greatest humorists of all time. Especially in today’s world, we need humorists now more than ever willing to poke fun at all the crap and bring out the brutal honesty we need. And that quote there is very much in the line of a “kick in the pants” that everyone needs every so often.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s not about “staying calm”. It’s about GETTING calm… as quickly as possible. We all have emotions. We have to deal with those emotions. There is no avoiding this. If we act during the height of those emotions, there is a chance of making things worse (sometimes it makes things better, but…).
      So, what needs to happen is that we deal with the emotions when we realize our bad situation or happening… express them; vent, cry, laugh, whatever. But deal with them as quickly as possible in order to GET calm. THEN we will be able to “stop digging”.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. There is somewhat of a Paradox here. When one finds themselves in a hole of depression, it is not an act of pulling themselves out of the hopelessness and despair that leads them to the other side. In fact, it is an act of pushing through that fosters hope and new beginning. I absolutely love this quote and your analysis of it. We need to stop digging, just long enough to decipher what we are digging for, and then, who knows, we may just break free to the other side and discover the inner essence of our realized soul.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This post caught my attention from the get-go! I’ve watched a lot of Disney and Pixar movies on repeat with my daughter, and one line from Incredibles 2 has struck me, inspiring an “ah-hah!” type of moment for me. I don’t know how many times I had watched Incredibles 2 before paying attention to Agent Rick Dicker saying, “If you want to get out of the hole, put down the shovel.” For me, I was like…no duh! How simple of a concept, yet often overlooked. Your post shares detailed sentiments and the breakdown of what this phrase actually means, and I’m happy to know someone else appreciates the wisdom. Although the source I found this phrase is different than yours, I feel they are the same nonetheless. Cheerio fellow blogger.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Okay I love this. My kids will sometimes ask me what about kids that live in Africa born in terrible conditions? How does this “dig yourself out” apply to that? Truly curious for your answer not trying to be combative

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “If you FIND yourself in a hole.”

      Sometimes it’s not a hole of your making, but this does not stop you from digging yourself even deeper. We cannot control most of what happens to us, but we can decide how to react.

      How many people blame the economy for being poor? Why not blame themselves, their work ethic, the value they add to society? How many people blame their countries, their families, that one girl who broke their heart…

      It’s not a hole of your own making, but you’re still trying to dig rather than climb up to the surface, which only happens as a result of you assuming responsibility even though the fault is not yours.


      1. Yes, I get that. 100%. I do. I suppose I’m just trying to figure out a way to explain to my kids (and perhaps myself) what to do if you’re born into a caste system or culture where you are screwed from the beginning. As an American, and having been sober a good while, I don’t believe in ever EVER being a victim. But when someone is born into abject poverty, they ARE victims. I suppose even they have their own minds that no one can control, but it’s so much harder for them. Then again, rich folks are in prison in their own brains, too. So… I think I just answered my own question. LOL. Thank you for the forum to think about this. And, as always, may I please add that GRATITUDE is the answer to it all. You can be wealthy and complain about the paint on your fancy car, or be poor and grateful for a delicious bowl of rice. Okay, done now.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Epictetus, one of the most influential Stoic philosophers, was born a slave.

          Circumstances mean almost nothing. And a lack of resources is a way to better develop skills.

          If my father hadn’t gone bankrupt, and I didn’t have to find a way out of abject poverty, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

          Yes, it wasn’t a hole of my own doing, but I was in it all the same.

          We often forget that the universe is indifferent. It just is. And we just are.


  5. Some of the greatest discoveries are made when digging a hole.

    But finding yourself in a hole is different.

    When you realise your are in a hole, maybe its good to dig sideways a while, then up to the light.

    Your blogs are certainly a great map of how to do this

    Thank you for the adventure.

    Liked by 1 person

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