Enlightened Conflict

life is too short to be angry with yourself for being human

October 8th, 2016




“Some days you just have to say ‘fuck it, I did what I could today’ and just let go of all the stuff you wanted to do.

Life is too short to be angry with yourself for being human. “



(via thissadghost)


“Compassion directed toward oneself is true humility.”


Simone Weil



“Honestly, you just take a deep breath and say fuck it.”


Johnny Knoxvill



tug of war jonothan marsh

Perfection, or the pursuit of perfection, may be one of the biggest mental challenges that anyone – business or in Life – we face psychologically.



It is a tug of war mind game between wanting to do your best and measuring what your best looked like. this tug of war brings out the absolute fucking worst in managers. Leaders, businesses and individuals.

Suffice it to say … this is the absolute worst game in Life & business.


While I think about this often, as I think most people do, I can say it reared its truly ugly head again as I read a sadly insipid article on Ted Ideas written in some pseudo intellectual vein with regard to cause & affect <in that a negative action will have negative ripples you are responsible for … even if it is not immediate> and that more people should do and think positive thoughts because it causes more positive ‘effects’ <ripples> which you will also be responsible for.


Yeah … the ‘net net’ is be positive and you will be responsible for positive things.




That is certainly … bullshit.


Our actions ripple.


And the whole idea that if we have a positive intent and think positive thoughts that all the ripples will impact people positively is … well … absurd. Maybe even a little nuts.


Many of our actions do not have an immediate effect.


And, frankly, encouraging people to invest gobs of energy suggesting ‘positive intent has some positive affect you cannot even imagine’ makes the whole pursuit of perfection take on an additional level of absurdity <which will inevitably only encourage non positive thoughts with regard to self and peals of laughter in hallways of businesses around the world>.



I am all for being positive.

And I am absolutely all for positive intent.


Unfortunately Life and business is more likely to judge me on … well … outcome.


So encouraging people to think that approaching everything positively means you need not worry or even think twice about the action you took ,or are about to take, is stupid.


This absolutely crazy article blamed a systemic lack of awareness with regard to action & reaction as the reason they … well … “we want you to know, that we are all being affected by these actions, whether it is you who has made the decision or not, because the actions that they take are so negative, the reactions will be extremely negative and far reaching. You will be affected, directly.”


Good god almighty. People actually believe this crap?


Negativity and negative reactions are far more likely to occur if you have a smile on your face and say positive things and take a stupid action which creates a bad affect.


It is absolutely correct to state that every action, no matter how small, has an effect.

It is absolutely correct to state that the effect may not be immediate <but inevitable>.


But, as with everything, not all actions – little or small — are created equal.


And this is where that whole fucking perfection comes into play.

Pursuit of perfection more often than not adds on a layer of ‘fear’ to choices <and the inevitable actions>.


I would suggest that how we manage our ‘fear choices’ have a larger impact in general as they ripple out.

I say this because our fear choices can often represent the best, and the worst, in us from a behavior standpoint, a character standpoint and even a skill standpoint.


I will also suggest that attaching “be positive” to “fear choices/moments’ is a task of fools.




Pursuit of perfection, even if you are absurdly positive, makes the effect of your action almost one big frickin’ lottery.


Suffice it to say that even the most well thought mature choices may go awry.


That doesn’t make you any less perfect.

That doesn’t make you any less positive <or more negative>.

That simply makes you human.


You control what you can and recognize that most of it all is out of your control.damage-control




You make your choices.

You endure the consequences.

You move on.


Life is too short to be angry with yourself for being human.

no exits

September 14th, 2016



“I was a little excited but mostly blorft.

“Blorft” is an adjective I just made up that means ‘Completely overwhelmed but proceeding as if everything is fine and reacting to the stress with the torpor of a possum.’

I have been blorft every day for the past seven years.”


Tina Fey



“The mind can go either direction under stress—toward positive or toward negative: on or off. Think of it as a spectrum whose extremes are unconsciousness at the negative end and hyperconsciousness at the positive end.

The way the mind will lean under stress is strongly influenced by training.”




Frank Herbert



Life does not have any exit signs.

shit-day-exit-lifeOnce you enter you are in.


And this even includes shit days.


And I kind of think this is why so many of us encounter stress.


We use meditation, ‘time outs’ and a whole variety of tricks to relieve the natural stress of Life but … well … you cannot exit.


And, yet, we all keep searching for some fucking exit to get us out of whatever we are currently unhappily dealing with.




Origin of Stress


Middle English (denoting hardship or force exerted on a person for the purpose of compulsion): shortening of distress, or partly from Old French estresse ‘narrowness, oppression,’ based on Latin strictus ‘drawn tight’

In physics, stress describes the force that produces strain on a physical body (i.e.: bending a piece of metal until it snaps occurs because of the force, or stress, exerted on it).



And sometimes that is where I think stress enters.

It enters when we seek exits.

hope girl in window

In addition I think that stress is constantly looking in the windows constantly looking for a way in … and we are constantly looking out the window at them worrying. We worry because … well … most of us don’t like being boxed in by Life. We just feel more comfortable knowing there is an exit.




Once again.

Life does not have exit signs.


And, holy shit, that stresses us out.


And this is bad unnecessary stress versus good stress. Good stress? Yeah.


The stress response in humans is facilitated by the adrenal glands, which sit on top of our kidneys and spit adrenaline into our blood whenever we’re in need of fight or flight.

That stress response is crucial in dire circumstances and is important to our survival instincts.



But while Life often feels like a survival test it really isn’t. It is more really like a grind.

This means that, scientifically speaking, most of our life truly does not requires stress. In fact … by permitting stress to remain at some sort of low level hum simply keeps us on some needless edge.



this-is-hell-and-we-cannot-leave-no-exit-lifeNow, that said, having no Life exit signs REALLY matters when … well … something occurs where you start frantically looking for a fucking exit.


When is that?


Research has shown that although the type of events which result in the release of stress hormones are different for everyone there are common elements to situations that elevate stress hormones in everyone <amusingly, the acronym for the common elements is ‘NUTS.’:






Threat to the ego


Sense of Control





I don’t think we talk often enough about the no exit thing. And because we don’t far too many people dwell on shit <mistakes and “what if scenarios”> because we didn’t accept the right frame of reference for dealing with whatever it is we need to deal with.


And while research shows that some elite performers have an uncanny ability to clear their heads after making errors and constantly move on … I would suggest it is less about leaving mistakes behind and more about the fact they are better at accepting that they are ‘stuck where they are and no exit is magically arriving’ and they basically accept ‘it is what it is.’


This attitude certainly affects how someone manages stress and absolutely positively affects performance.


Can this attitude be taught?


Well … yes and no.


Managing stress is not as simple as doing yoga or relaxation techniques or any ‘go online and find the 5 secrets to reducing stress.’

Stress is a very personal thing and a very … well … complex thing.


It is not as simple as saying “I will no longer do this.”

The brain has lots of different circuits built on top of one another which seemingly provide feedback and stimulus to our most primitive and primordial response systems.


And, yes, what I just wrote certainly suggests that the complex connections encourage everyone to accept that, yes, it is all in your head.

But we make the complex even more complex through many of the mental gyrations we go through to eliminate or limit stress. It seems like it would be much simpler to begin attacking stress at a more foundational level.


Maybe like … well … getting people more comfortable with the fact that Life has no exits. And maybe accept that where you are is where you are. And maybe that where you are is much better if you aren’t always looking around for some frickin’ exit which doesn’t exist.



“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”

Sydney J. Harris

Enlightened Conflict