This is another post in my favorite “Myths” category – this is the information that is constantly being fed into our consciousness by the mass media, social networks and “widsom” from the neighbors, parents, teachers, etc. When my kid grows up a little, the first thing I plan to do is start talking to him about the myths of our society, about the laws of the universe and how it all works :). The first myth, “Together Forever”, you can check out right here.
Today, in response to my short story about some of the not-so-simple tasks that now stand in front of me, I was wished the following: “Ohhhhh, I really-really wish you to have more white stripes in your life and less of the black ones”.
Well, yeah that’s true, and I wish myself pretty much the same thing – I wish I had less really unpleasant difficulties, I wish those basic things that give me pleasure would always be around, and, in general, I wish that I had more pleasure and moments of fun than happiness. But I had a quick reaction to this, a response: “Stop, stop-stop! What’s the deal with the white and black stripes? ” And that’s when I realized how much I’ve “stranded away” from living by this principle, this way of life.
I haven’t been treating life as a black-and-white zebra for a while now, it’s a multicolored animal for me, has been for a really long time. Yes, now, in this particular moment in life, it’s kinda hard for me and I’d like to live on a different schedule, do something else, not the things that I have to do, but I know, I’m confident that it’s all just temporary and all for good. Besides, if everything was awesome, I wouldn’t have done a lot of things by now – I’d relax and would never achieve something that will help me bring the majority of my dreams to life in the future.
I firmly believe that we come into this world for two things – improvement (growth) and pleasure.
We come with a set of flaws that we must work on and convert into virtues – with a set of key tasks in life.
The rest varies depending on how well we improve ourselves and learn to live positively, not categorically and how much we manage to increase our capacity and acceptance and upgrade all the resources. It’s just like in a game – the more “level’d up” your character is, the easier it is to pass the obstacles and the harder is it to get killed, simple obstacles are like a child’s play to you, they become boring and it’s a lot more interesting when something really exciting happens, something that’s a bit more complex.
You can (and should) consciously upgrade all the fields:
You should accept yourself with all your strong sides and your weak sides, your pros and cons, never identify yourself with your talents (that you’re an artist, a financier or a mother), and work on your weak suits – that’s when you have a chance to live a beautiful, interesting life and find that special someone that you’ll feel great living with.
Locus is yet another very important thing in this situation – it’s how you feel about everything.
Internal locus – you take the responsibility for everything that happens, and, in any situation, you think about what you can do to change everything for better.
External locus – you feel like a victim of the circumstances, you feel the pressure, they’re doing something to you (insult you, torture, don’t pay you enough, pick on you, don’t like you), you owe something to someone.
By changing your attitude towards the situation you change the way you feel about life, drastically – you change life itself and its circumstances that seemed to be external before.
The Substitution Of The Concept Of “Strength”
Besides the misconceptions with the substitution of the concept of “a problem – a task” and in addition to the duality towards everything – “black – white”, “bad – good”, “good-looking – bad-looking,” there is a really popular substitution of concepts that goes like “strong – weak».
Hence the desire of most women to be weak and to find a strong man who will carry them on his hands who they can “hang” all their difficulties on. That’s the common “I am a girl, I don’t’ want to take care of anything, I just want a pretty dress”. These women never understand that they’re hurting themselves. They want to become super-weak and break from any complicated and hard life situation or to become excessively dependent of the man, and that’s exactly what an attitude like that leads to. A woman in a situation like this needs to get stronger, but she thinks that she needs to get even weaker.
She has to become so strong that live will gradually become organized in a way that suits her best and will turn into a mostly enjoyable thing. By the way, “happiness is a by-product of a properly organized life” is my favorite expression. It will be easier to understand if we take the example of a child who can’t really walk and falls constantly, and so, he/she decides it would be better for them not to walk, but to crawl. Instead of learning to walk better and improving themselves.
I recently heard a pretty interesting statement from one guy – “I am so strong that I constantly come across weak women who don’t know how to cook and/or make money. I do not need to upgrade myself, like you say, because if I become even stronger, then the next woman that comes my way will be so weak that she won’t be able to tie her own laces!”
That was very amusing to hear, especially given the fact that the guy hasn’t upgraded any of his resources, and, apart from his addiction to work (which is also a negative factor, in fact), has nothing to boast about. Substitutions of concepts like that happen all the time, they’re all from the same category of “I work day and night, I’m tired of being strong.”
The fear of being strong usually comes from the fact that the strength is just hypothetical and there are no resources. It’s pretty hard to feel what real strength is all about, and that’s why it often seems that when you are strong, you are charged to the max. Nobody complains about real strength (never); they do complain sometimes about spending too much strength in some situations – yes, they do that, but that’s all temporary, and situations like that help to optimize life and the use (spending) of strength. There will be a separate post about strength and weakness and strong women.
About Difficulties And Upgrading Yourself
I, for example, really like Viktor Frankl, I want to read all of his books.
His most famous book is “Say “Yes” To Life! A Psychologist Experiences the Concentration Camp”. Viktor Frankl was a psychiatrist and a Jew. He was imprisoned in the Nazi Germany’s death camps. His parents, his brother and his wife died in the camps – they were sent into the gas ovens. His entire family was killed, except for his sister. Frankl himself suffered torture and countless humiliations and never knew what his fate would be: Does this all lead to the ovens or maybe he will be among the “saved ones”, those who remove the dead bodies or rake the ashes of those who burned?
One day, while lying naked in a small room, he started realizing what he later called “the last one of the human freedoms”, the freedom that the Nazi invaders couldn’t take away from him! They could control all of his surroundings, they could do whatever they wanted to his body, but they could never take away the freedom of choice from Frankl, the choice of reaction to what was happening! He and only he could decide how everything that was happening around affected him. Between the things that happened to him, or the stimulus, and his response to them, was his freedom to answer that question.
After some time, thanks to mental and emotional training, Victor Frankl obtained the highest level of inner freedom in conditions of severe external imprisonment, becoming a source of inspiration for the prisoners around him and even some of the guards. He helped others to find meaning in their suffering and dignity in their prison lives. In the midst of the most humiliating circumstances imaginable, Viktor Frankl used the human capacity for self-awareness and discovered a fundamental principle of the human nature: between the stimulus (external circumstances) and the reaction to it, we, the humans, have freedom! Freedom of choice!
That’s what I’m striving for 🙂
To have conscious, controlled, proactive (as opposed to automatic) reactions. That everything’s wonderful in any situation, everything’s fascinating and interesting, and not bad-good. Basically, I’m almost there – more or less, compared to where I used to be, but I still want to improve myself. Toltecs also say that the biggest success for the warrior is to have a tiny tyrant. I do have one in my life, but he’s not actually a tyrant – he’s nothing really, because according to what the Toltecs say, a tiny tyrant is when somebody really threatens your live or freedom or can cause you actual physical harm, as in the case of Viktor Frankl. And I have tons of help from my tiny tyrant, it’s just that sometimes he really gets on my nerves, sometimes I want to remake him a bit – it’s the little things, but he’s actually really helpful and beneficial.
Hey, how else can you train yourself? When everybody around you is happy, kind, white and fluffy? So, I, for example, am learning to separate the borders, so to speak, to appreciate the person as he/she is, not to judge – I’m learning to be thankful. In other situations, I’m learning to optimize my concentration and efficiency in work, I’m learning not to get distracted and appreciate every minute; I’m learning to relax, learning how to switch to the “Tank” mode whenever I need it, I’m learning to prioritize my tasks and take care of them in the first place and I’m learning to determine the not-so-important stuff and to say “No”. Yep, I’m doing a lot of learning.
Alexander Palienko has been talking a lot recently about the fact that we can never have ideal life. So, if everything’s ideal in your life at this moment, has been for a long time, that means that something’s going wrong. When everything’s perfect, you need to go and immediately change something, to improve it, to go for something new, until it all goes bad.
Just recently, I thought that I’ll take care of thing and make everything right at the end, and everything will be perfect. No, now I understand that it won’t be, and I’m not striving for that anymore. But I am striving to establish the most convenient and pleasant basis for me, a foundation. At the end of the day, all kinds of new, difficult tasks will come up, as if I’m climbing a ladder. But, thanks to the upgraded basic resources (they are actually not that strong, but I’m getting there), I’ll be able to deal with them steadily and swiftly, and it might even turn into an enjoyable thing.
That’s why on the inside, right where the core is, I’m always generally calm and even satisfied with everything. But, of course, during an emotional moment or physical fatigue, yes, sometimes it’s really-really hard, and anything can happen in terms of reaction. Then, after a good night’s sleep, I look at that situation and ask myself – “Well, what was that terrible thing that happened to you? Well done, you did everything right” :). And that’s how it’s gonna be from now on. Even if you work hard on some single responses (for example, you manage to never get offended), there will still be some situations when they’ll come out, but on a more complex level – again, just like in a game.
What do you think about strength and weakness? 🙂
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