Enlightened Conflict

all sins are attempts to fill voids

February 26th, 2017

dog bacon thoughts desires

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“I desire the things which will destroy me in the end.”

 

—-

Sylvia Plath

 

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“All sins are attempts to fill voids.”

 

—-

Simone Weil

 

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Well.

stop trying to convince

 

We all know at least one person who is always trying too hard.

Or maybe they always seem to be overcompensating for something.

Or even that they know they are ‘not as good as’ and spend far too much time trying to convince everyone they are at least better than maybe we know they are at something.

 

We like these people because we like the overall sense that someone is dissatisfied with the present person and seeking a better person.

 

We don’t like these people because we don’t like the overall sense of desperation and the trappings that often come with it.

 

We look at these people and … well … we think about ourselves and the crazy shit we do.

 

Let’s face it … Life makes us do a lot of crazy shit.

 

Okay.

 

It doesn’t actually “make” us … just full-throatedly encourages us to do some crazy shit.

 

It does so because it makes us desire  a shitload of things that can chip away at the better version of ourselves. And by better version I don’t mean external stuff but internal stuff … soul, integrity & character. But life has a nasty habit of encouraging us to think more about external stuff than internal stuff.

 

The size of your bank account.braver he who overcomes own desire achievment soul how winning victory

 

How you look and what you wear and whether you sport Gap or Brooks Brothers.

 

The size of your house and whether you have gold drapes or Pier1 window hangings.

 

This kind of crap can screw you up let alone destroy you.

You can get so caught up in what Life is whispering in your ear as what is important … well … over time that is all you can hear and see.

 

Life becomes almost a parody of itself.

 

‘Less is more’ becomes the mantra of everything but you personally where ‘more’ just seems to look less & less. Life can twist you into a pretzel trying to match up with all the external trappings of what it suggests you should desire.

And as you get twisted all it really does is squeeze out character & integrity & principles drop by drop as Life twists harder and harder.

 

And as you get this squeezed out of you … you will naturally get thirsty. Therein lies the big Life choice … what do you drink?

 

What do I mean?

 

Remember that kid you knew growing up who was always the bully, always the exaggerator, always the one trying so hard to show everyone how great they were … at some point they realize that they are thirsty.

Either thirsty for more or thirsty for what is getting squeezed out of them.

And don’t think Life is standing by silently.  All the while Life will whisper sweet nothings in that kid’s ear telling them what to drink to stay on their path to a ‘better person’ <and it is most likely the sweetest, least healthy alternative>.

 

Look.

 

At some point we all get thirsty … even that young bully … and your Life gets energized by what you drink <and I could suggest you get addicted to what you drink at a fairly early age>.

 

 

always more and more life desireThat said.

 

What I do know is that almost all of us end up being constantly nudged to believe we neither have enough nor are we enough.

 

And it is within those ‘not enough’ spaces, the voids if you wish to call them, in which we commit our sins.

 

We commit our sins most often as we overreach.

 

Okay.

We are tempted to overreach … in our words, our resumes, our successes, even our recaps of our ‘what we did today’ lists.

 

Some overreach more than others. But we all get tempted. And, just as I noted above, it is explainable and understandable. When Life is trying to constantly tell you ‘not enough’ you will constantly be trying to showcase ‘more than enough.’

That is a natural response.

 

And this is where people separate themselves into two basic generalized groups … those who define how they matter <enough> by an internal balance sheet versus those who define how they matter <enough> by an external balance sheet.

I am not suggesting it has to be 100%, internal or external, because most of us figure out how to commit a few ‘sins’ as possible and try and manage what they desire in a way they don’t ultimately get destroyed by their desires. Most of us figure out our ‘best version’ is pretty good … maybe less than some but more than others.

 

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“And so we all matter – maybe less than a lot, but always more than some.”

—–

John Green

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not good enough trying

But some people truly do end up in the 100% column.

 

It is quite possible someone like the Pope is close to the internal 100% judgement … but I imagine a lot of people actually slide close to this Life self-framing. It comes with some external expenses but a shitload of people are willing to sacrifice those things because they know the gold curtains fade, the money can be lost and the houses can burn down. External trappings can only provide so much comfort.

 

On the end of the spectrum are the … well … hollow people. They look glitzy. They sound confident <if not arrogant or blowhards>. They have all the trappings of success. But their sacrifice is whatever internal compass that can guide goodness or true fairness as well as empathy & compassion.

They have sacrificed counting internal cues … because external cues are all that count.  All the while they are trying too hard, seem to be overcompensating for something and … well … spending a shitload of time trying to convince everyone they are at least better than maybe we know they are at something.

 

All that said.

 

We all know at least one person who is always trying too hard.

 

This is the person who desires the things which will destroy me in the end.trying human being

This is the person whose sins are attempts to fill voids.

 

This is the person we know … wish we could change … but is quite possibly the most unchangeable person we know.

 

We all have voids.

We just need to be very very careful that what we fill that void with doesn’t destroy us in the end.

believing in your own gravity

November 2nd, 2016

  gravity-falls-breaks-sound-life

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“She believed in her own gravity, and she never considered escaping it.

 

 The world isn’t improved by reading the personal tragedy that unfolded afterwards, but there’s also no fighting it—the power that lies in hearing her words is in the totality of its acceptance.”

 

—-

Spencer Kornhaber

<slightly edited quote>

 

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“As long as I know what I’ve done, I’m not gonna worry about what other people say or think I did.”

 

 

because only I know the truth

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… believed in her own gravity, and she never considered escaping gravity-is-in-my-bonesit may be one of the strongest lines I have read.

 

 

Understanding yourself … who and what you are … is difficult.

 

Accepting yourself … who and what you are … is difficult.

 

Which, inevitably, makes believing in yourself extremely difficult.

 

Accepting less than perfection … or accepting the fact you have imperfections … is difficult.

Knowing you have flaws … and even some destructive flaws … is difficult.

 

If you bundle all of those up … well … that is your gravity.

 

For some reasons, some good and some bad, we always seem to want to fix or change our gravity <which seems … well … as I type that … kind of impossible and somewhat silly objective>.

 

Some people dislike their gravity and fight it … try and escape it … and some even suggest they want to “fly” as a version of showing their dislike for their own gravity.

 

To be clear <part 1>.

 

This gravity discussion is different than a “come to the edge and fly” Life discussion. That is about risk and trying to see what you are capable of.

This gravity discussion is about who and what you are. What grounds you day in and day out as part of what makes you … well … you.fear-of-gravity-fall

 

To be clear <part 2>.

 

Gravity can be defied.

 

Well.

Let’s just say that you can learn to jump, fly or elevate <but you will inevitably get pulled back at some point>. So you can defy your gravity for moments in time.

 

But gravity is … well … gravity, i.e., it remains no matter what as part of Life.

And, while everyone faces gravity, your version of gravity is different than someone else’s.

 

You may like someone else’s gravity. Shit. You may dislike gravity. It doesn’t really matter. You either believe in your own gravity or you end up fighting gravity your entire Life.

 

And that is where that opening quote is so powerful … such a strong Life idea.

 

If you believe in your gravity, flaws and destructive qualities included, and do not try and escape it … you use what you have to the bet of your ability rather than fight it.

 

You believe in your gravity, the good and bad, as part of what can create some space in the world for you and no one else.

 

genaertional attitudes powerlessYou believe in your gravity, and understand it, and accept it, and believe it is what inevitably guides your feet down some path in Life.

 

By the way, this does not mean you are unapologetically comfortable with yourself … you may actually even find yourself slightly uncomfortable with your gravity … you just accept it … and believe it inevitably makes you who you are.

 

 

And, in the end, I imagine if you do not try and escape your gravity you stop looking at other’s gravity, you stop listening to people telling you to try and change your gravity and … well … you decide to use your gravity to become the hero in your own story.

 

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She needed a hero so she became one.

 

—–

Unknown

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the reality of overcoming shit

October 13th, 2016

 tattoo-overcome

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“You can overcome anything … short of death.”

 

Abi Ketner

 

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I tend to believe most of us are pleasantly surprised by how well we overcome shit.

 

shit creek survivorThe reality is … well … 99.9% of the time we overcome anything thrown our way.

 

Well.

 

That is if you assess success as “short of death.” If you do not then overcoming gets judged on a variety of fairly creative measurements.

 

But if you strip away everything but ‘death’ as the only failure measurement … well … that means if you recognize you cannot be destroyed, you actually recognize you can overcome just about any and every thing.

 

That affects how you make choices & decisions.

 

 

That affects how you feel about yourself.

 

That all sounds good … and relatively simple … but it is relatively difficult to embrace as a thought and attitude.

 

I actually do not believe this is a Life lesson.

 

I believe it is something we simply struggle with throughout Life.

 

We gain & accumulate things as we grow older. Life experiences, titles, professional experience, money, things and acquisitions … oh … and family.

 

That is reality.

 

And reality hates … absolutely frickin’ hates to be destroyed.

 

We face shit everyday … some big shit and some small shit … and as we face it we view it through bifocals — what reality will be destroyed and how do I protect against it and … well … what do I really want to do.

 

If you focus solely on the latter you will feel really really good about yourself <in Bad 27 7 doing shita semi selfish way> but I can almost guarantee that doing so will come at the expense of some reality in your life. It may be a small expense and it may be a huge expense … but an expense it is.

 

If you focus solely on the former you will most likely have a fairly comfortable reality but I can almost guarantee that doing so will come at the expense of some moral relativity <sense of self stuff> in your life. It may be a small expense and it may be a huge expense … but an expense it is.

 

That is why I said this is a constant struggle for us in life.

 

We know most of the decisions and choices we make will not kill us … but we have to weigh what that choice & decision will kill in our reality.

 

On this one topic I can actually share some personal experience.

 

I have shed the former stuff at some point in my Life & career. I dropped the titles, the compensation, the career, the responsibilities <I do not have a family> and all the past stuff <as well as I could>.

 

Now.

That doesn’t mean that simply destroying it all meant it went away mentally.

Just because destroying everything you feel like you have earned <not deserved> doesn’t translate into some personal ‘slotting’ from that point on – I had that salary so anything less is bad, I had that title so anything less is bad, I had that type of home so anything less than that is bad, etc.

 

That mental aspect takes some time <at least it did for me>.

 

But once I reached a point where I recognized that the only way I could actually be destroyed was death itself … well … doing the right thing and doing what I wanted to do became a shitload easier when trying to overcome shit.

 

I admit.

While not a luxurious life … it is a luxury not many people have.

 

But to attain this luxury I almost had to destroy reality. That sounds kind of extreme. I imagine there is another way to do it <one would hope, wouldn’t one?>.

 

Ok. Look.

 

That isn’t really the point.  It isn’t because I am certainly not suggesting people ditch their reality just so they can always make their decisions based on what would make them feel good as a person. Reality comes with some responsibilities which deserve to be acknowledged.

 

 

I imagine my real point is that more of us should recognize everything is overcomeable. Your worst day, your worst decision, your worst choice, your worst anything … if it doesn’t kill you, can be overcome.

 

I say that because far too often in the moment where the worst is occurring most of us aren’t thinking about the fact we cannot be destroyed … we are worrying about being destroyed. That in and of itself most likely puts us in a position in which we are much more likely to make the worst worse <and, at best, make the worst as palatable as possible>.

 

do what you must by YoshiteruShit happens. That is a given.

 

But not all shit is created equal and not all shit outcomes are created equal.

And while all shit can be overcome … if you are a little more fearless when the shit hits the fan, a little more inclined to believe “what the hell, I am not going to die,” I would argue you may actually be more likely to come through the shit not only alive & well … but not as stinky.

 

And even better? Whew … you will sleep well that night knowing you had destroyed what may have destroyed you without destroying your soul & character.

 

unapologetically comfortable with yourself

October 2nd, 2016

 reminder-unapologetic

 

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when youre unapologetically comfortable with yourself, people really dont know what to do with you.

 

—-

 

from monochromaticblack

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people get mad when they don’t understand the source of someone else’s confidence. lol thats wild.

 

 

from monochromaticblack

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Well.

 

projects-complete-finish-progress-businessI loved both of these thoughts written by a young African <Nigeria I believe> woman on her tumblr site.

 

I love them because they do not mean you don’t want to improve <in fact most of these people acknowledge they are work in progress which actually is the foundation for their confidence and comfort with self> but rather espouse a strong belief in self – or being comfortable in your own skin.

 

I say that, yet, most people see these things as cocky or not willing to listen or be accepting constructive criticism.

 

They are wrong.

 

It is just a reflection of a strong self-awareness. And an awareness of what is going on around them. And a willingness to adapt to the situation at hand <therefore each situation aligns with the appropriate confidence rather than trying to stay a square peg and face a round hole on occasion>.

 

To me … this type of discussion around self awareness driven confidence is almost like discussing the difference between the actually appropriate “I couldn’t care less” versus the more common less appropriate phrase “I could care less.”

 

They clearly mean different things and, yet, misused so often they are misheard and misinterpreted.

 

But … about the self awareness the quotes suggest.like-thought-bubble

 

 

I like the stubborn kind of love of thyself.

 

I like the semi-unconditional love of who and what you are.

 

I like the persistency and acceptance of the undeniable compass that resides within.

 

I like the understanding and almost commanding hold this belief has on someone’s character and behavior and attitudes.

 

I like the fact it leaves someone nowhere to go and, yet, at the same time enables the ability to embrace some type of expanded self.

 

 

I like the sense that this is a different type of self love which one can never escape no matter how hard you may try <because Life suggests you should ‘escape it’>.

 

I like the thought that it remains a version of a good friend to rely on regardless of the time of day, situation or crisis.

 

I like the fact it suggests a version of ‘home’ regardless of how far you may be tempted to stray.

 

I like it represents a source of healing from which one can replenish who and what you are … no matter what happens.

 

I like the sense of true companionship strength <thru thick or thin>.

unapologetic-false-world-real-person-pain-life

 

I like the unapologetic faith in head, heart & humanity.

 

 

I like the … well … consistency … and the flexibility. I call it a consistent flexible personality.

 

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.

If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.

 

 

Friedrich Nietzsche

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I like the idea someone can change innumerable times, yet in each iteration, will remain fundamentally the same.

 

I like the idea that the personality & character doesn’t change for, basically, functional reasons.

 

 

I like the idea it maintains the attitude of ‘the self’ and continuing to change, constantly aligning itself to changing world and what it learns.

 

And, I imagine, what I like most is that this type of self-confidence and belief in self insures that no matter how often Life and the shit it throws at you tries to put an end to its existence … you exist.unapologetic-power-go-on-scared-life

 

The dictionary tells us you cannot ‘put an end to the existence of something’ more than a single time. I would argue with the dictionary <which is surprising because I like unequivocal truths>. Life can, and does, put an end to the existence of lots of ‘self’ things. Sometimes for good but more often for the bad.

 

All I would say is that if you are unapologetically comfortable with yourself you are more likely to insure the existence of what matters and put an end to the existence of that which does not matter … when it matters.

 

People may not know what to do with you but you will always know what you can do.

 

we can do hard things

March 4th, 2016

life strong enough

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“Because if there’s one thing I learned from remaking my entire life, it’s this: we are strong as fuck, we can change our stories, and we can do hard things.”

 

Nicole Antoinette

 

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So.

 

 

When I first started writing enlightened conflict I read a variety of other blogs just to get a sense of what is good writing, good storytelling and … well … what was good. In my heart of hearts I knew what I wanted to write and how I wanted to write but over the years I had so much of the “here is what you need to do & how to do it” shit pounded into my head that I was second guessing myself.

 

 

never know how strong until only choiceTime and time again I kept finding myself reading blogs that … well … were unfiltered well written thoughts and Life episodes. They tended to be stream of consciousness and tended to make you laugh, cry, shake your head and sigh … and think.

 

They were … well … real. Real glimpses of how real people think about shit.

 

 

Interestingly, two roommates in the same city I lived in at that time <although I never met either of them> wrote separate outstanding blogs – Jamie Varon with A Life in Translation and Nicole Antoinette with Nicole is Better – which set me on the path of how I write enlightened conflict.

 

Be Real.

Tell the Truth <as it is really seen>.

 

Share it all with, hopefully, thoughtfulness and with some real-life attitude.

 

 

I say all that because I am using a quote <slightly edited> from Nicole to open this post.

 

Life rarely goes the way we plan it.

 

Shit.

 

Life rarely goes exactly the way we want it <even without specific plans>.

 

 

That is neither good nor bad … it just is. And yet in its neither goodness or badness it is unsettling. Sometimes uncomfortable. Like squirming in a hard plastic chair waiting to hear what the test results are uncomfortable.

 

 

Whether you take life by the horns and run with it or wait and seek specific opportunities at some point you will find yourself on that uncomfortable chair.

 

And on that chair you will assess who you are, where you are and what you are.

 

Uh oh. And then, sometimes, that chair seems even more uncomfortable.

 

WTF. How did I get in this chair?

 

And not only do you want to get up off that chair but you want to get out of the fucking room. You may even want to remake the entire house you live in.

 

jamie life do what the fuck

++++++ Jamie tweet +++++++

And you think … I am not a builder … how do I build a new home? I am not an adventurer … how do I go somewhere I haven’t seen before? … I am not sure where I want to go just that I don’t want to be here … how do I choose a direction?

 

 

We are strong as fuck.

 

 

We can change our stories.

 

 

We can do hard things.

 

 

Every one of us gets to a place in Life where we look around and go WTF.

What happened? How the hell do I get out of here?

 

 

Some of these places are a little deeper in hell than others … but suffice it to say they all reside in hell. And you want to get out.

 

Not to be flippant … but … you move. You get up & go. You get up & do.

 

 

You are strong as fuck.

 

 

You can change your story.

 

 

You can do hard things.

 

 

We face Life with strength or … well … you lose in Life. And most of us decide to face the hard shit because we have this inner true strength as described by philosopher Immanuel Kant … that even small decisions should be made as though we were deciding for all humanity, not just for our paltry selves.

 

In other words we realize we can change our story because the bigger story is Life … and not our ‘paltry self’ – which is actually just representative of some words on the larger pages of Life.

 

 

That doesn’t mean you feel any less lost or any more sure of where to go or what exactly to do next … it just means you have the strength to get up & go and do the hard things.

 

acceptance life adventure hugh

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“To feel lost is an indication that you want more out of your life.”

 

===

 

Jamie Varon

 

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Now.

 

Part of what I am discussing about this WTF moment is a warped version of existentialism. It is the moment you face up to where you are in Life and make a decision … a decision to be less self-deceiving, more decisive, more committed, and more willing to take on responsibility for the world you exist within.

 

 

A philosopher named Martin Heidegger suggested the reason why it takes “the moment in which you make that decision”  to make this personal decision to “do what needs to be done to address where we are in Life” rather than just doing it pretty much all the time is because we have a nasty habit of mentally creating this obstacle called das Man <translated as “the they”>.

 

 

Some nebulous “they” who suggests “they say it is a waste of time” or “they say it is impractical” or “they say the opportunity has passed by.” When pressed we cannot really exactly identify who this “they” is but we know “they” is everywhere and circumvents our personal decision making power.

 

What ‘das man’ suggests is that we convince ourselves we are not actually free to make the decision and do what needs to be done.

 

“They” constrict the likelihood of success.

 

“They” gives us the excuse to not admit we are actually free to do something.

 

 

“They” will obstruct our change and edit our story.

 

 

To be clear.

 

We all indulge in this thought process.

 

In fact.

 

We indulge in this thought process the majority of the time in our lives.

 

 

That is, of course, until you reach a moment. A WTF clarity moment. And in that moment you have a choice … free to believe you are not strong enough, you cannot change your story, you cannot do the hard … or … free to believe you are strong as fuck, you can change your story and you can do the hard things. That is the choice.

 

 

Let me end where I began.

 

With Nicole’s quote.

 

 

When you hit that moment. Just get it in your head the truest of true Life truths:who dares strong possible

 

You are strong as fuck.

 

You can change your story.

 

You can do the hard shit.

 

 

Life rarely goes the way we want it to go let alone plan it … but we are all more than capable enough of dealing with all the twists & turns … and when faced with the WTF moment … we have enough to do the hard stuff to change our story.

when bad shit happens and you need to talk with yourself

January 17th, 2016

life interesting scared shitless doing

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“Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and applause of the many, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.”

 

 

 

Longfellow

 

 

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“Because to influence a person is to give him one’s own soul.

 

He does not think his natural thoughts, or burn with his natural passions.

 

His virtues are not real to him.

 

His sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed. He becomes an echo of some one else’s music, an actor of a part that has not been written for him.

 

The aim of life is self-development. To realize one’s nature perfectly-that is what each of us is here for. People are afraid of themselves nowadays. They have forgotten the highest of all duties, the duty one owes to one’s self. Of course they are charitable. They feed the hungry and clothe the beggar.

But their own souls starve, and are naked.

 

Courage has gone out of our race. Perhaps we never really had it. “

 

 

 

Oscar Wilde

 

 

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talk to myself

Well.

 

This is Life … shit happens. And, more importantly, inevitably shit happens to us.

 

 

When that happens, the shit, suffice it to say … we all have a talk with our self.

 

 

Unfortunately … most times we have a shitty talk with ourself. Yeah. We tend to know shit about talking to ourself.

 

At the root of our shittiness of self conversation is typically a variety of creatively destructive aspects:

 

 

 

You can blame external ‘forces’ <”not my fault”>.

 

 

You can blame yourself <blame spans lack of confidence to lack of skills>.

 

 

Let me stick with the latter <because only losers consistently think the former>.

 

 

To begin … what I will tell you is that when the shit hits the fan you can get a startling clear picture of who & what you are.

And sometimes it ain’t pretty.

 

And it ain’t pretty because we do not even begin the conversation right.

 

 

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“Some conversations are not about what they’re about.”

 

 

Anne Carson

 

==

 

 

 

More often than not the conversation you have with yourself aren’t the conversations you think they are.

 

What I mean by that is when bad shit happens most of us, in the moment or near the moment, are thinking causally – stimulus/response stuff.

“Shit happened because this shit was done.”

 

 

At worst this conversation with yourself sounds something like “you stupid shit.”

 

 

It is really only later that the problems truly arise … because the conversation continues and you start delving deeper & deeper inside yourself.

These conversations are sometimes call ‘soul searching.’

 

I, instead, refer to them as ‘soul wrenching.’

 

doubt

During the deeper conversation you encounter doubt, fears of being good enough, self-uncertainty … these are the assholes you sometimes have a conversation with when bad shit happens.

And, unfortunately, they all went to a debate school and unfortunately they all like to talk a lot when given the opportunity.

 

 

 

Here is what I have to offer <as someone who has certainly had his share of both bad shit happening and shitty conversation with myself – albeit I tend to believe all of us have>.

 

 

We spend far far <far> too much time in these conversations on comparison type shit.

 

 

Yeah.

 

It is natural … I mean … well … how else can you decide whether you are worth a shit unless you compare yourself to someone who IS worth a shit?

 

 

But, frankly, most of our sins are borrowed … just echoes of what is around us.

So when bad shit happens the conversation really should be about you and with you.

 

 

And therein lies the next level of a self shitty conversation.

 

 

And it is a little weird because it is a Life paradox.

 

In general … research shows over and over again that we overestimate our abilities … we think we are better than we really are at things.

 

And, yet, when bad shit happens and we start having this shitty conversation with ourselves … we have a tendency to think of ourselves as flawed … not good  … flawed.

 

 

<figure that one out …. Will ya?>

 

 

truth perspective post christmasSomehow you gotta find the middle ground in that paradox.

 

You have to first uncover a realistic perspective of whatever shit that happened and then focus on … well … moving on.

 

 

 

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“One does not walk into the forest and accuse the trees of being off-center,

 

Nor do they visit the shore and call the waves imperfect.

 

So why do we look at ourselves this way? “

 

 

 

Tao Te Ching

 

 

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I imagine I could just suggest here that bad shit happens, you have shitty conversations with yourself and that you should have these conversations with the non shitty aspects within you when it happens … but I kind of think what gets you through shit sometimes needs a little more ‘oomph’ to get you through it. The ‘oomph’ is rooted in the moving on thought I just shred above.

 

 

I suggest something simple. It’s kind of a mindset. Not any ‘happy hippie shit Secret stuff’ just an attitude that can kind of get you through when bad shit happens.

 

 

I don’t know where I found this quote but I love it:

 

 

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“I didn’t come this far, to only come this far.”

 

 

Unknown

 

==============

 

horizon road destination open

I love it in its simplicity.

 

Bad shit happens.

 

In work and in Life.

 

And inevitably we have those shitty conversation with ourselves when bad shit happens.

 

 

But … you know what?

 

You didn’t get that far just to get that far.

None of us do.

 

And sometimes you just have to remember that and, possibly, one of the best times to remember that is when you are in the middle of a shitty conversation with yourself.

 

difference between positive thinking and hope

January 21st, 2015

hope versus positive thinking

 

“The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little.”

=

Thomas Merton

=

———————-

“You can’t be happy if you’re thinking about being happy.

Happiness is either there or it’s not, and if you’re thinking about it, it’s not there. “

=

J. Parata

——————

 

 

 

 

Ok.

 

 

 

hope cup of

 

On new year’s day I wrote about a pragmatic hope … a practical version of hope < http://brucemctague.com/2015-creating-rational-hope-eliminating-rational-ignorance  >  … or a rational version of hope … and all of a sudden I received a bunch of emails talking about ‘thinking positively in 2015″ and how that will power ‘good things.’

 

 

Whoa.

 

While I love hearing from people about what I write … sometimes I step back into the conversation because I think someone has misconstrued my thinking.

 

 

 

2015, shit, any time is about Hope … not positive thinking.

 

Let me be clear.

 

The whole positive thinking business drives me a little nuts because I am unequivocally in the Hope business.

 

 

And they are not the same.

 

Not even close in my book.

 

 

Hope is about a desire for better things to happen.

 

Positive thinking is not really hope … it is about envisioning things to happen … therefore … it’s just positive things.

 

 

Now.

 

 

I am not suggesting positive thinking is about ‘confidence’ because it is not.

 

Confidence, when managed well, is a character trait.

 

On the other hand … I sometimes refer to positive thinking as ‘personal puffery.’ Puffing yourself up thru some random ‘positive thoughts about myself or what I believe I deserve.’ In fact … I think that is where that whole fake law, law of attraction, begins … with puffery.

 

 

Anyway.

 

Positive thinking is all about making the intangible tangible in your mind. Its about creating the thought, an image in your mind, that what seems impossible isn’t just possible … it becomes real.

 

 

Conversely … Hope is all about accepting the intangible … and accepting that it hugh impossible mad hattercould become tangible … not just in your head but in reality.

 

What seems impossible just appears … well … as not impassable.

 

 

 

It is the simple acceptance of what could be possible.

 

 

Semantics?

 

Maybe.

 

 

 

But a huge crevasse in between the two.

 

 

Look.

 

 

We don’t all need positive thinking to be successful <but … we do need some doubt or cynicism to balance>.

 

However … we all need hope.

 

 

A hopeless existence just isn’t worth living. Shit. We humans instinctively know this … that is why we spend days, hours & minutes searching for hope.

 

Unfortunately … we sometimes settle for something a little short of hope.

<insert “Uh oh” here>

Because of that, with good intentions to feel good about where we’re headed, we mistake positive thinking for genuine hope.

 

 

The real difference between the two seems to come down to their sources.

 

 

Positive thinking flows from the human will … from the choice to believe that everything will turn out all right <whether it actually does or not>.

sell hope i can

 

 

 

On the other hand … Hope seems to rest on character on the promise that Life offers <albeit it may not look that way all the time>.

 

 

Positive thinking seems to depend on us … while Hope seems to depend on Life.

 

 

 

Oddly <or interestingly>.

 

 

After looking at some research … it also seems that there are some character traits which affect how we think about positive thinking and hope.

 

 

It appears how we have developed our character <or how we think about things> makes a difference.

 

 

 

For example.

 

How we view our behavior through a certain filter – shame versus guilt. This filter is developed within our childhood.

 

 

Shame is the feeling that I am a bad person … where guilt is the feeling that I have done a bad thing.

 

 

 

Shame is a negative judgment about the core self which can be debilitating & diminishing. Shame makes children feel small and worthless and they respond either by lashing out at the target or escaping the situation altogether.

 

 

 

In contrast, guilt is a negative judgment about an action, which can be repaired by good behavior. When children feel guilt, they tend to experience remorse and regret, empathize with the person they have harmed, and aim to make it right.

 

 ===

 

 

The idea of positive thinking grew in the 70s and is certainly popular as we manage our shame versus guilt feelings.

 

Positive thinking has become a way of handling whatever happens to be bothering you.

 

 

The positive thinking movement continues to be strong today, culminating in recent years with the massive success of “The Secret” book and movie which prescribes tapping into the “law of attraction” <which is not actually a Law> to attract good things in your life simply by thinking about them.

 

===

 

 

Well.

 

 

Unfortunately … sometime Life cannot be ‘handled.’

life is a beautiful struggle

 

Life is … well … lived.

 

And therein is where Hope resides.

 

 

Positive thinking is not only flawed thinking but a fallacy.

 

They posit that positive thoughts are supposed to generate positive feelings and ultimately attract Positive life Experiences. This is the belief that positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will <wherein the reality is that a balance is the best>.

 

 

The true death knell of positive thinking is the tendency to expect the best.

 

 

 

The majority of Life is actually not portrayed in ‘the best.’ We get glimpses of the best and at times we brush up against the best but more often than not we do not attain the best.

 

 

 

Therefore one of three things happen:

 

We accept less than the best but call it the best.

<all the while thinking positively of course>

This is a sad compromise.

This is called ‘settling’ which is a word you never hear in positive thinking psychology <mumbo jumbo>.

=

  We become blind to reality.

The close ‘one time’ becomes the example of positive thinking proof which blinds us into ignoring the 99 other times our misguided positive thinking guided us into a less than fruitful path.

=

We become … well … discouraged.

This can create some false optimism <false positive thinking> in that we live under the belief that ‘we are due’ and ‘it will happen the next time’ and we will not change behavior <which has created the outcomes to date> and end up with the same results over and over.

 

 

 

 

In addition positive thinking generally promotes a “more is better” approach to positivity.

 

 

Some proponents of positive thinking would argue that if you don’t have the wealth, health or happiness you want out of life, it’s because you allowed some negativity to creep in. Only by shutting these thoughts out and focusing on the positive can you be successful.

 

 

Well.

 

That is kind of bullshit type thinking.

 

Life is … well … what happens.

 

 

And Hope is more about Life.

 

Hope for something better. Not anything specific … just better.

 

 

Therefore it accommodates negative emotions <doesn’t reject them> recognizing they help us to flourish in our lives.

 

 

In fact … one research study found an ideal ratio of 3 positive emotions to every 1 negative emotion for human flourishing.

 

 

Yup.

 

3:1.

 

 

To be clear.

 

Not 3:0.

 

 

This means it is all about accepting both positive and negative emotions <in whatever ratio they happen to exist> and then acting consciously, while staying true to personal values and goals.

 

 

Hope enables people to develop standards for judging their actions, feelings of empathy and responsibility for others, and a sense of moral identity, which are conducive to becoming a better person.

 

 

hope this way

——–

“The miserable have no other medicine

But only hope.”

=

William Shakespeare

——-

 

 

Hope enables people to see, and find, something beyond the miserable.

 

 

Hope enables the ability to look for the unknown. Hope, by definition, is a feeling that what is wanted … will happen <or some desire accompanied by expectation>.

 

 

 

Children seem better at this Hope thing than adults <maybe that is why we adults created this whole ‘positive thinking’ bullshit? … because we stopped being good at Hoping?>.

Many times I wish we adults had a little more of the hope of the young. They never seem to doubt that what they hope for will happen. I don’t think we need all of that … just some.

 

 

 

Ok.

 

 

One last thought before I leave you with your own thoughts.

 

Today and Hope.

 

 

These days it seems like the word ‘hope’ is used in a pretty casual way. It is almost like we use it as synonymous with some type of need.

 

Like we need many things to happen in our lives.

 

 

 

Like we need jobs, we need money, and need some ‘thing.’

 

 

We tie this Hope thing to … we need … we need … we need.

 

 

I don’t know if its because we live in such a tangible outcome oriented world these days … or that Hope and dreamers have it kind of tough as not being pragmatic or realistic enough … but regardless of the reason … Hope is being diminished into some fairly basic needs & tangibles.

 

 

Hope cannot, and should not, ever be cheapened … and certainly not ever <ever> lowered to the abysmal depths of positive thinking tripe.

 

 

Hope is more a primal need and Life expectation.

 

 

And hope is infinitely more powerful than any amount of positive thinking.

 

Hope isn’t about thinking about ‘what isn’t’ as ‘what is’… it is about believing ‘what could be’.

 

 

 

Hope is not false believing <like positive thinking ‘personal puffery’> but real believing … an acceptance that something appears impossible … and yet is not impassable.

 

 

There is a reality in hope that doesn’t exist in positive thinking.

 

 

 

To that end.

 

 

I will end with a quote from the infamous movie ‘Princess Bride’.

 

 

—-

“We’ll never survive!”

“Nonsense.

You’re only saying that because no one ever has.”

=

The Princess Bride

—–

 

 

Hope, in a very odd way, is about realism.

 

Or being realistic.

 

 

We hope that things will happen.

 

 

We envision what could be.compromise never settle for

 

 

Not guaranteed … but maybe what ought to be <believing that because it ought to be that somehow … someway … we will get there>.

 

 

 

Hope is … well … about survival.

 

It may be tempting to settle for positive thinking … but … it means you are settling for too little.

 

Do not settle.

 

 

Accept the big prize in Life – Hope.

the ‘Secret’ ain’t really a secret

March 9th, 2013

Forewarning. If you like The Secret … and live by The Secret … it will be no secret at the end of this rant that I do not believe the secret is a secret at all. So read on at your own peril.

<from the author of The Secret>secret good enough

“To create the life of your dreams, the time has come for you to love You. Focus on Your joy. Do all the things that make You feel good. Love You, inside and out. Everything will change in your life, when you change the inside of you. Allow the Universe to give you every good thing you deserve, by being a magnet to them all. To be a magnet for every single thing you deserve, you must be a magnet of love.” ― Rhonda Byrne

 

<not from the Secret>

“Success or failure depends more upon attitude than upon capacity successful men act as though they have accomplished or are enjoying something. Soon it becomes a reality. Act, look, feel successful, conduct yourself accordingly, and you will be amazed at the positive results.”William James

 

Oh boy.

I am going to discuss <rant about> The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.

secret happiness chase lifeIt really isn’t anything more than a reformulation of William James or even Norman Vincent Peale’s ‘The Power of Positive Thinking.’

Bottom line. The book to me? Tripe. Useless drivel.

Look.

If you want to do something good … well … go ahead and do it.

If you need a self-motivation “I am happy and love life” speech to yourself in the morning … then do it.

But.

Suggesting simply choosing happiness leads to success, well, that is flawed logic. And the whole “magnet for good”? … oh my. We could only all wish it were so easy.

Now.

While I can’t buy this tripe I do love the idea.

But.

C’mon. If it was really this easy wouldn’t we all have everything we truly wanted? <because that’s all we would think about … and I actually guess all of us have actually wanted to do only the things we want to do … and the things that would make us happy>.

Anyway.

The challenge with challenging a book like this is that it actually leverages from a simple Life premise … … that our thoughts <and ultimately – actions> are usually a reflection of our beliefs and attitudes. And if we want to change our reality then we have to change these beliefs and attitudes that shape our thoughts.

But it becomes easier to challenge when it actually suggests that there is a scientific premise <which is actually a made up premise> … that the ‘Universal Law of Attraction’ is a Law in which if you focus on something enough <I assume this is unhappiness as well as happiness> it is not only drawn to you but actually expands.

This made up law says ‘The Law of Attraction states that you will attract to yourself those experiences that match your beliefs: These beliefs then create your EXPERIENCE of reality. So focus on what you DO want, rather than on what you don’t want.’

Therefore <scientifically> you will not only get what you want … but you also get to live a Life only doing what makes you happy.

<insert a sarcastic “yeah … right” here>

First. There is no Law of Attraction. Not even a postulate or a theorem. Just a made up law <maybe that is it’s secret?>.

Second. You do not always get what you want. Anything. Experiences included. But I can reverse the logic and guarantee all the things you actually do, and like to do, you actually wanted to do. Reality looked at backwards will always appear closer in the “I wanted to do” mirror. And as for ‘attraction’? What a bunch of bullhockey.

The Secret is a power of intention/power of positive thinking a get what you want formula <also like Tony Robbin>.

Here is the deal.

It will “work” for some based on mathematical probability alone <if enough people think “hard” enough to ‘attract’ whatever they are seeking to attract … a few will>.

And, of course, these few are the ones quoted in the book.

I wish it was actually that simple.

The Secret neglects to inform you, but suffice it to say, it is not “attraction” but rather this is more about discipline and focus and effort.

But.

If the happiness ‘secret’ keeps your eye on your own proverbial ball … then do it.

But to suggest it is a science let alone a law with proof <because you can de-isolate specific incidents and make the argument that they are exceptions to the rule> really does make the Secret untenable if not simply a criticism of our intelligence.

It is certainly sneaky. It uses smart quotes <albeit out of context> and the book takes advantage of the fact we all ask ourselves these questions <all of us do, or have done, at some point>. Things like:

Do you ever wonder how other people do it?

How do some people find the courage to follow their dreams?

What makes happy successful people different <or what is their commonality>?

Well. Sorry. The truth is there is nothing special about the majority of them.

secret create happinessThe difference between a person who has an idea and a person who acts on that idea is one step … albeit a big step.

That step often comes down to knowing you are not alone and finding the courage within yourself. Dreaming big certainly encourages you to take that first step.

And to succeed, or find happiness, you do have to be willing to take at least some step. After that? Well. You gotta work hard. I <or anyone> can envision anything … but it ain’t just gonna be given to me.

Whenever I see a quote like “Every day when I wake up I realize I have a choice. I can be happy or unhappy. So what do I do? I’m not dumb. I choose to be happy” I kind of want to puke. Having a positive attitude, or making the best of the situation, is always good … but Life is meant to be a roller coaster ride <even if you hate roller coasters> and there will be highs & lows. You slug it out with the lows and enjoy the highs. No secret.

Now. I certainly do believe in committing to ‘show up’ in Life every day … but this quote? What a bunch of crap <or tripe>.

So.

I had drafted a brilliant <in my eyes> diatribe on how books like The Secret are worse for humanity than even the most misguided government but I found someone who did it for me <and even more smartly than I was going to do it>.

I apologize that I cannot provide the author because when I cut & pasted I neglected to capture that information but suffice it to say I need to credit someone other than me for these well crafted words:

I think a book like this, which makes some really big claims, should, roughly, do the following:

1) Present it’s premise clearly

2) Since it’s a self-help book explain clearly what you need to do

3) Provide compelling evidence that it’s ideas work

4) Be credible.

The book does a decent job of explaining its premise, which is that everything in your life is the result of the law of attraction.

I quote, “the law of attraction says like attracts like, so when you think a thought, you are also attracting like thoughts to you.” In other words, think good thoughts and good things will come to you and if you think bad thoughts then bad things come to you.

I’ve simplified this a bit but not a whole lot as the concept isn’t rocket science.

Now, does this book explain clearly what you need to do? Actually, for a self-help book it does a very poor job of this. How do you control your thoughts? What kinds of practices and thinking produce the best results? The author and contributors basically tell you a bunch of stories about how “so and so did something and you can too by changing your thinking”.

And that’s it for the “how to” part of the book. There isn’t any.

Now, if I wanted to prove something worked from a scientific perspective it would seem to be easy to test this stuff out. You take two groups of people, teach one the secret, let the other go on with their lives and see what happens. In theory those that know the Secret would be happier and more successful than the control group. It might not be perfect but it’d be a whole lot better than what we get in this book. But, of course, you’d have to have an actual methodology to test.secret ask believe

 

Instead the authors cite numerous anecdotes of how the Secret worked. One person’s cancer went away. Another individual walks after a brutal accident. Still another finds romance. That’s all fine and perhaps it’s evidence but it’s not proof. How many people who were injured like the “Miracle Man” never walked again despite the best attitude and trying the approach perfectly?

The problem with anecdotes is that it’s easy to start with a result, work backward and assume the conclusion.

It’s also very easy with anecdotes to only present the ones that make your case and ignore those that don’t (when someone dies of cancer while practicing the secret for instance). It’s just not good enough to use anecdotes for large claims like those made in this book.

The following quote struck a nerve.

“People hold that for awhile, and they’re really a champion at it. They say, `I’m fired up, I saw this program and I’m going to change my life.’ And yet the results aren’t showing. Beneath the surface it’s just about ready to break through but the person will look just at the surface results and say, `This stuff doesn’t work.’ And you know what? The universe says, “your wish is my command.”

I thought it was interesting that the universe instantly manifest failure but isn’t quite so fast with success. In fact, a cynical individual might conclude that what they are really saying is, “when this program works it’s because the secret always works, but, on the off chance it doesn’t work, well, that’s your fault.” An even more cynical person might think, “gosh, I wonder what would help a person who failed? Maybe, a seminar with Bob Proctor would be just the thing to get them over the top?”

Lastly, is the Secret credible? On the one hand, I think a lot can be said for the idea that if you change your thinking you’d change your life.

In many ways that seems obvious to me.

On the other hand, if the secret actually was true, especially at the scope claimed by the book it would mean that everything that’s happened is the result of your thinking. So, when a child dies of pneumonia, well, it’s because they brought pneumonia into their lives. Michael J. Fox, not only did you bring Parkinson’s into your life but change your thinking and it will go away. Obviously these things aren’t true and they obliterate, in my opinion, any credibility in the book.

Not only does the book go too far but most (I’d argue nearly all) of the contributors aren’t credible. On a topic of this scope: the ability to 100% change your life and the world in an incredible fashion, does anyone really think you couldn’t find psychologists, top flight scientists, therapists and thousands of mainstream individuals to support it, if it worked? Wouldn’t there be tons of research instead of anecdotes? Instead we get a Feng Shui Master, a chiropractor, motivational speakers (err trainers), a metaphysicist, etc. combined with a half dozen anecdotal stories. So the most powerful like changing idea ever and you get it from the crew in this book presented in this fashion? I don’t think so!

 the secret big in life-is-that-there-is-no

If this idea really worked, at anything other than giving material to self-help speakers and generating repeat students, it just wouldn’t be found here. The book wouldn’t even have to be written because we’d all already know it and be practicing it. Remember, this is not a new idea, it’s been around for a very long time, and it’s been the topic of literally thousands of seminars and hundreds of books.

Catchy review title? Thought so. Robert Cialdini, renowned psychology researcher and author of Influence: The Power of Persuasion (perhaps the best book ever written on the subject) identifies six basic rules employed by politicians, advertisers and scam artists alike to persuade others. Each of them are employed quite adeptly by Rhonda Byrne in this book.

Cialdini’s first principle is SCARCITY; people want what’s expensive, exclusive, or otherwise attainable. Byrne’s mastery of this principle is clearly shown by the very name of the book: The Secret. We all learned this the first week of kindergarten as we felt the jealousy of watching two classmates, hands cupped over ears, sharing a secret out of earshot.

This message is reinforced throughout the book and its advertising campaign which pitches “The Secret” (whatever it actually is) as jealousy-guarded information hoarded by the happy, wealthy and successful. Whenever someone tries convincing you of something, whether it’s a way to make enormous sums of money, to lose weight, etc – be wary of when it’s pitched as “the knowledge THEY don’t want you to have.” Think about it – everything from the “secrets that Wall Street doesn’t want you to know” to “uncovered – celebrities’ secrets to staying young” are phrased not simply to pique your interest but to make you jealous. Appeals to our emotion are far more powerful than appeals to reason, and Byrne demonstrates mastery of this principle throughout “The Secret.”

Cialdini’s second principle is LIKING. We like those who like us, and in turn, we do business with them. Positive thinking and emotional intelligence has been linked to strong interpersonal relationships, academic and professional success, and good health, but there is a fine line when positive thinking crosses over to unjustified exuberance. Instead of simply noting the substantial benefits of positive thinking (a well-accepted principle which wouldn’t sell books), Byrne crosses the line so blatantly that anyone with a modicum of modesty would find it blasphemous.

AUTHORITY is another Cialdini principle, also in play in “The Secret” in quite subtle ways. Another technique which differentiates this book from just another book of positive thinking is the heavy use of quasiscientific language, which gives the impression that the “law of attraction” is (or will become) an accepted scientific principle, just like the law of gravity or the law of attraction of oppositely-charged particles in chemistry. Many people are both intimidated and confused by the authority of science, a fact exploited by manipulators ranging from Byrne to peddlers of magic weight-loss pills.

Since no respected physicist would ever publish a paper on the universality of the “law of attraction,” Byrne indirectly seeks experts in other ways. She attributes the success of people ranging from Einstein to Beethoven to adherence of “The Secret,” thereby manufacturing experts. After all, if Einstein and Shakespeare mastered “The Secret,” who are YOU to question it?

The last two Cialdini principles are CONSISTENCY and SOCIAL PROOF. The success of this book should leave little doubt it will be followed by more (and more expensive) forms of media peddling “The Secret.” The audio recordings, weekend seminars, advertising tie-ins, and other follow-up products certain to follow will exploit these two principles. Once people commit themselves to believing happiness will come from “The Secret,” they will attribute future successes, whether a promotion or a great new relationship, to adherence to it. Conversely, setbacks will be even more powerfully in committing people to “The Secret,” as people will attribute their failures to not living up to “The Secret” (and buying more of Byrne’s books). Consistency dictates it will be less painful to buy more books and immerse one’s self further into “The Secret” than to accept the whole premise is a quite ridiculous; while not as pernicious as a domineering cult, “The Secret” promises to charge you handsomely for a positive outlook on life.

Byrne’s book is problematic on many levels.

On its face, it’s a manipulative marketing tool meant to flatter, confuse and deceive. It’s also pseudoscience at its best, the last thing we need to encourage in an increasingly technological world which requires healthy skepticism and critical thought. Most damaging, though, is how the book perverts reality by encouraging people to equate a positive outlook on life with a childish, idiotic narcissism. Ayn Rand must be rolling in her grave hearing about the modern manifestation of her objectivist movement reduced to the intellectual equivalent of canned pork.

In conclusion, I’m not opposed to the idea on a small scale but this book just goes way too far and I’m left with the feeling that all that’s really going on is a bunch of people trying to get their name out and get you to pay for their seminars.

do your best boy——–

<well written … better than what I could have written … but I agree>

So.

All that said.

Here is my point.

Do what you need to do to keep moving forward in life.

Have dreams.

Seek to be happy.

Seek success.

However you may define all the things I just listed.

They are all good aspects of “Life survival.” And are all good objectives.

And if this book helps you to focus on these things, well, then use it.

But.

The book is not a formula nor is it the bible/Koran guide to Life success or Life happiness.

It is simply a useful tool for some people.

Nor does simply envisioning success, or happiness, guarantee success or happiness. Someone in discussing this book suggested I was debating chicken or egg first. Nope. I break the egg by noting everyone who gains happiness <or 99.9%> will absolutely say they envisioned the happiness … but I can almost guarantee everyone who has not achieved happiness <or 99.9% of them> will absolutely say they have envisioned happiness. Someone doesn’t envision any better than someone else. Sometimes you may have more drive or you may work harder or you may even simply have more talent … or maybe the happiness is tied to something to unrealistic. I do not care which you choose. This logic kills the chicken and the egg.

Books like this drive me a little crazy in that they suggest they are ‘the key’ … because if Life were that simple well … Life would be simple.

I have a secret for you.

Life ain’t that simple.

Anyway. Because the book uses a lot of quotes I will end on a quote of my own from Arthur Rubenstein:

” Most people , in my opinion, have an unrealistic approach toward happiness because they invariably use the fatal conjunction “if” as a condition. You hear them say: ‘I would be happy if I were rich’, or … ‘if this girl loved me’ … or ‘if I had talent’ … or their most popular … ‘if I had good health.’ They often attain their goal, but they discover new ‘ifs.’As for myself, I love Life for better or for worse, unconditionally.”

Good pianist.

Smart man.

Great advice <no secret>.

Love Life unconditionally … and you will be happy.

 

impassible or impossible

June 15th, 2010

===alice-with-doorknob-3

Alice: I simply must get through!


Doorknob: Sorry, you’re much too big. Simply impassible.

Alice: You mean impossible?

Doorknob: No, impassible. Nothing is impossible.

Alice in Wonderland

===

 

 

I always chuckle when I read Alice in Wonderland <a great book to keep on the shelf>.

 

 

Sure.

 

 

The author may have been a bit of a nutjob but there are gems of learning throughout the book. It is a magical story strewn with great metaphors for life.

This is one of my favorite parts.

hugh impossible mad hatter

Impassible versus impossible.

 

 

I wish I had thought of it <sigh … among other things I would imagine>.

 

Physically … some things are just not possible as an individual.

I could never have become an NBA (or even a college) basketball player. There is no chance I would have ever threatened Usain Bolt in a race.

 

Frankly there are some things in life that take some physical talent to achieve.

Even some odd things that can impact your Life <and career>.

 

 

A great orator has the gift, the art of speech, within <rather than learn through the science from without>.

 

Some people cannot travel and function well. They are just not physically capable of fulfilling some roles involving lots of travel.

 

 

Sure.

 

To some degree you can overcome some physical limits but in general you won’t be able to overcome another who has the true innate natural ability and who is possibly physically more adept or able to meet the ‘whatever’ that makes that opportunity “passible.” Sometimes the issue is just too big and is … well … impassible.

 

And, of course, there are always exceptions.

 

Hence the ‘nothing is impossible.’

 

This is a marvelous moment with Alice. And the fact it is given by the metaphorical doorknob is genius.

 

Life offers you a shitload of doors.

 

And I can promise you several things about these Life doors:

 

 

–      They will be closed when you first see them.door leads nowhere

 

That’s just the way Life works.

Some are locked, some are unlocked, some are small and some are big.

 

Heck.

 

Some are hidden and some are painted bright red <so you do not miss them>.

But they will all be closed initially … and you will have to reach out and take the doorknob. It may talk to you and it may not. But you gotta open the door on your own to decide if it is passable or impassable.

 

 

 

–       Each door when you open it has a door jamb … and it will give you the opportunity to trip over it … even if the door itself is wide open.

 

Well.

Life rarely makes even open doors easy. Keep your eyes open, head high, footsteps confident … and well … you have a chance.

 

 

–       There are a shitload of doors.

 

Life will not be frugal with regard to showing you doors. In fact … in a twist of semi-cruel intent … it will offer you more doors than you will know what to do with.

 

Well.

 

That means with all these doors available … you need to recognize the fact that the doors in life will all represent multiple challenges …. and each door may not be right for you.

 

color door spreading

So maybe if you face each one by simply deciding first ‘is it passible’ and second ‘is it possible’ you will choose the best doors to pass through in your own life.

 

 

That’s all I really know about doors that Life offers you.

 

 

Impassible or Impossible.

 

 

Outstanding thought to keep in mind as you walk thru Life.

Enlightened Conflict