Responsibility is defined in the dictionary as:
“A duty or obligation to satisfactorily perform or complete a task (assigned by someone, or created by one’s own promise or circumstances) that one must fulfill, and which has a consequent penalty for failure. “
This is a good definition. It is an external constraint that you can use to hang yourself with (metaphorically speaking of course).
It is your ability to respond to someone else’s needs and accommodate them over yours. It is the opposite of freedom and feeding yourself. Because your effort goes towards feeding (power, nourishment, or other) others.
Responsibility is the same as enslavement because you serve someone else’s needs. There is no benefit for you. It is an obligation to someone else, and somebody else’s needs should not be your main concern. Some people trap others with responsibility.
Responsibility can limit your options and create a cage of “the right way to act.” People get depressed when they cannot complete their tasks because they feel responsible. For example, when you take care of a sick friend. When you nurse, pay for them and love them, there is less space for your own freedom. You might get depressed because you feel trapped. And you may come to resent them because the situation is a trap.
Responsibility is Control
Another example is if you take on responsibility for your friend who’s studying with you in a joint project. The project is due soon, but they leave you to do it for over a week. They have left you with the responsibility to complete the project alone. it takes away your freedom. How can you be friends if they keep doing these things? It makes it impossible for you to be friends with them.
Responsibility with people who like controlling other people is selfishness. It can lead to “resistance” on the part of the other person. This leads to the selfish person becoming even more controlling. Taking on responsibility with people who are this way is destructive. It is not selfishness but self-preservation to remove yourself from their company. No one wants to destroy themselves and their own well-being. Especially for others who abuse their good nature. Responsibility is the exact opposite of freedom.
Responsibility or Freedom
Responsibility is an obstacle that keeps people from being free. It is something that many people can’t avoid. It can take up a lot of their time. Freedom is when you have no obligation or responsibility to do anything. A free person can respond because they are not obligated.
A slave does not have the ability to respond. Their obligations keep them from responding. They are busy fulfilling their master’s needs and wants. When they do this, they are neglecting their own needs. A free person can act, not react from conditioned responses. Responsible actions are only an excuse for one’s inability to be free. People who are being bound will always feel a lack of freedom. They will struggle against life because they cannot do whatever they want.
Trapped by Responsibility
People who enjoy responsibility will not respond when something extraordinary happens. Their duty compels them to obey their programmed nature. They don’t know how to respond when something extraordinary happens in their life. For example, when they lose a loved one or get cancer. They can go into denial, bury themselves in their responsibilities, or break down.
They cannot respond because their obligations stop them from performing the appropriate actions. They may well go into denial and dig themselves deeper into their responsibilities. This is sad because they have ceased to live and have become an automaton.
Responsibility is the same as enslavement. Freedom is the opposite of both enslavement and responsibility. Enslavement is the inability to act, while responsibility is the inability to be free.
Pressure to Take Responsibility
Responsibility is nothing but a lie. It comes from a few people who feel threatened by others having freedom. Those who want to pressure us into conforming according to their wants. People who believe responsibility will make them happier fool themselves. They lock themselves into pain and denial. They will never experience any happiness because of it.
Responsibility is the opposite of freedom. When you are responsible for something, you have an obligation to it. Any kind of goodwill comes from the fact that you are feeling obligated. It is a feeling of not being good enough for yourself.
Conforming to Society
Responsibility has to do with the law, not freedom. Laws are not freedom because laws are not always right or fair. Some people want to make their truth into law, making it impossible for people to be free. If you’re responsible for something, it holds emotional constraint over you. If you develop an emotional bond with something you feel you must take care of. Because that’s what responsible people do.
Responsibility does not guarantee happiness. Happiness comes from freedom, not responsibility. The more responsibilities you have, the less free you are. The fewer responsibilities you have, the freer you are. A person might be responsible for the happiness of someone. That person might also be responsible for the happiness of someone else. When this happens, it is possible that the first person will never feel happy. They will feel like they deserve to be happy, but no one else returns anything to them. So, they are in a no-win situation.
Being Responsible for Yourself
You base your responsibility on your sense of obligation towards something or someone. Compare this to how much you care for yourself. The more responsibilities you have for others, the less you are free. It’s impossible to be free when you are responsible for someone else’s well-being. But it is possible to be free when you’re only responsible for yourself.
It all depends on where people set their boundaries. People who want to be responsible do not take free time for themselves. They will end up with no time for themselves at all. They will always be working toward their obligations and forgetting their own needs. Everything they do will feel like a duty toward someone else’s existence.
Through responsibility, you can feel good about yourself. You can have as much responsibility as you want. It won’t make you happier than if you had no obligation at all. When you take on responsibility, it is important to balance it and take time out for yourself.
Power Over Others
Some people want to feel responsible for other people’s well-being as an ego feed. They enjoy having power over others. This makes themselves feel better about who they are as an individual. These people may become bitter because they feel burdened. People who don’t take responsibility for their own freedom will always be stuck in a no-win situation. They will never be happy, and they’ll always want to take care of others. They don’t understand that it’s impossible to take care of everyone. The truth is that responsibility is nothing like freedom. Because responsibility isn’t real freedom.
Buddha asserted that life is suffering
“Life is difficult. Only when we accept that we can develop the tools to cope and move beyond it”
He also said
“We will have problems.”
By accepting these ideas, we understand that responsibility adds to life’s burdens. We need to have money and a support system such as a family to survive. Yet, beyond the basic needs that also serve us, responsibility is a burden imposed on us by others. They do this to shift the burden from their own back onto yours.
Over the years, that burden has become so exaggerated that it has turned into an obstacle to living. We have been browbeaten into believing that it is important to bear the world’s hardships. By taking full responsibility for others’ lives, you only shift the burden from them onto you. This has never been a healthy way to meet life’s challenges. Living in this manner has taken the edge off personal freedom. For somebody who shirks their duty of care for themselves, loses a lot. They lose flexibility, adaptability, and emotional intelligence. It also makes them more likely to be stuck in the past or fearful of the future.
You Before Others
So, if you please others, you will never have enough of what you need. We will always be lacking in something that others have, so you can never feel warm or complete. We will always be looking to the next “big” thing in life. We stress things we don’t have and how to get them. We do this even though we may already have more than what we need in life.
On the more positive side, having enough money and material goods is the basis of taking care of ourselves. Yet, we must also learn to take care of ourselves from a higher perspective. This means we learn to take care of our feelings and emotions. We try not to be destructive or hurtful to others or ourselves. Emotions can be very destructive, especially when turned inwards. When we have responsibility placed on our shoulders, it becomes a pressure. Through understanding it, we create a resistance to it.
Imagine putting a ton of weight onto a balloon. It will pop! Responsibility is the act of adding that pressure and hoping the balloon will not pop. In the end, it will pop. We see this in many of the tragedies that humans inflict on one another. Responsibility leads to oppression, which leads to an explosive outcome. Our minds, bodies, and emotions cannot take the pressure.
An appropriate response to this is to shrug off the responsibility. We can respond to a situation in our present experience. We do this without considering other people’s expectations of us for the future. The ‘you did it once, so it’s up to you to keep doing it’ is bullying. You have a right to be yourself and take care of yourself. Responsibility is taking care of others, not you, and oppresses you.
Taking care of yourself is freedom. We only have a true responsibility towards our own survival, this is ‘the will to life’. Everything we do in life is for our own benefit or is not done. Responsibility is a negative thing. When we take it on as a burden it only leads to problems and unhappiness.
This is another topic because it may not make sense to some. Some believe that altruism has no payoff, but these are beliefs that massage the ego.
As stated above, it is important to have a support system. It is also important not to take any responsibilities that you are not willing to take. When we live completely in this present moment, there is no room for responsibility in our lives. We accept no past or future expectations or demands on us. Because responsibility without payback is a burden that leads to punitive situations.
“That thing is said to be free which exists solely from the necessity of its own nature and is determined to action by itself alone. A thing is said to be necessary or rather, constrained, if it is determined by another thing to exist and to act in a definite and determinate way.”
Man and Woman
BE KIND – TO YOURSELF
Be Gentle with Yourself
When you pressure yourself to do something unpleasant, your ego is working against your will to life. When you force yourself to do things you don’t want to do, you accept an unacceptable situation. This acceptance is timidity, bullying, where the victim is you, and the bully is also you. So, be gentle with yourself, acknowledge the ego in control, keeping things as they are. Just observe it, even if it seems wrong. Actual change only comes through understanding.
For Spinoza, timidity is power. Spinoza calls it evil, meaning a diminishment of power. When fear of power being stripped away from us is more frightening than the fear of timidity, we are timid. When you are in fear, you cannot function rationally because your emotions control your actions and reactions. Fear is a part of the fight and flight system, and it evokes timidity. When you act timidly, you block your desires and thwart your best interests. In other words, timidity is the power of action that you turn against yourself. Therefore, it is a form of self-hatred.
Timidity is power. Spinoza has a lot to say about timidity. It is something he calls evil, in which he means a diminishment of power. When we act timidly, we fear a more frightening diminishing of power. Fear is part of the fight and flight system and evokes timidity. When you are in fear, you cannot function rationally because your emotions control your actions or reactions. When you act timidly, you do not acknowledge your desires and thwart activity in your own best interest. Therefore, timidity is the power of action that you turn into and against yourself. As such, it is a form of self-hatred.
Spinoza mentions timidity as part of consternation (or, as we might call it, procrastination). He likens timidity as part of the double ideas or actions of consternation. On the one hand, you are confused because you are timid, yet you remain apprehensive on the other hand. Hence, confusion. This lack of action leads to indecision and may take on the form of procrastination. Procrastination is nothing more than double timidity. It is what they call a catch 22 situation where you cannot win.
One way to win is to observe the timidity and don’t try to change it. The change will never come by force. Any change will happen necessarily through your observations of it, not by force. Alternatively, you can go right into timidity and be timid beyond the possibility of your imagined dreams. You can do both to observe your timidity with greater clarity. These two behaviors are something to play with as exercises.
Therefore, consternation arises from a double timidity. It can better be defined as a fear which keeps a man senseless or vacillating so that he cannot avert evil. Spinoza, then, also saw cowardice as “a desire thwarted by timidity.”
Courage as an alternative knows the dangers that lie ahead and yet decides how to act.
Consequently, timidity is the diminishment of your power due to fear. Understanding this fact is power. You realize that you replaced a greater imagined evil (the threat) for a lesser one (timidity). When you see both paths are viable, you have the knowledge that leads to being gentle with yourself. This understanding will work for you in tackling the thing you fear. Your insight deconstructs your timidity. This transforms timidity into power.
What can you accomplish when you are not timid?
People Pleasing and Self Diminishing
It must be acknowledged that people-pleasers are timid because they’re afraid to insist on their needs being met. Wanting to be liked relates to timidity. When you are scared, you hate the imagined cause for that timidity. Whoever or whatever you hate is the imagined external cause of your sense of a diminished state. So, if you fear flying, you hate airplanes, and if you fear your boss, you hate your boss. Then what does Spinoza say about hate?
Timidity Can Cause Hate and Pain
When we hate others, we imagine them to be the cause of our pain. However, the only real cause of our pain is ourselves. Timidity towards someone or something happens when you cannot confront the fear or exhibit your power over the fear. Sometimes this is a legitimate fear, as with a boss, yet you still have the power of action. You can report them or leave. This affect takes consistent observation to understand.
External triggers are an accidental cause of most emotions, including hope, fear, pleasure, or pain. Your response to that external thing is what hurts you. Emotions are triggered through imagination due to an accidental external cause. This trigger can recollect a painful memory or evoke fear of a negative expected outcome. The only real thing is what is happening inside you.
A caveat here is that we are not dealing with physical pain but emotional pain and timidity.
We understand that people can get stuck in timidity and destroy themselves because they fear somebody’s approval. An instance of this is a young boy who wants to be liked by a girl. He wants to ask her out but is too timid to do so. He is terrified in his imagination of the humility he will feel if she rejects him, so he never takes the chance. This lack of action is unfortunate.
Perhaps we believe that our self diminishment will reward us? This idea is inadequate because we cannot possibly know what another person wants. The only thing we can understand is our own needs and desire. As such, we strive to further the occurrence of what we imagine will lead to joy. We avert or destroy what we believe is contrary to pleasure or leads to sadness. Adequate striving empowers us, and this requires courage to be ourselves and know our nature.
Focus on What Gives You Pleasure
Part three of the Ethics gives us an insight into this. It reminds us to further focus on what we imagine will lead to joy and enhance our power. Therefore, keeping our attention on the things that strengthen our existence will give us joy. Focus on keeping the beast fed and striving for power. When we focus on something where we have experienced disempowerment, it will lead to sadness. We cannot escape the roller coaster of pleasure and pain. But it is worth noting that understanding this process generates power within us. This power can overcome timidity and turn it into a necessary action of force. We are no longer timid; we are taking the option, which is being gentle towards ourselves. Action may even mean punching the boss on the nose and walking out!
“People-pleasing withdrawal” is hesitation in following a course of action. We are fearful because we are afraid of how others will react. When you follow a course of action for yourself because you don’t feel that it will please others, it’s about the fear of losing love and approval from others. Because of this fear, we continue to give our power and authority to them. We try to please them in every way possible. Yet, they have no idea who you are when you do this because you suppress your true self. They will likely prefer your authentic self. They probably know or suspect what you are genuinely are anyway.
This behavior applies if someone felt that they always must do what other people want. They fear people being mad at them or stop liking them. This person would feel guilty when they refused a request from someone else and would often apologize unnecessarily.
This particular person also has difficulty acknowledging their needs, making decisions on what they really want, etc. They might not even know their individual wants because they are ignorant about them. They are victims of their imagination and lack of self-knowledge.
How Emotional Investment Leads to Aggression not Timidity
People who consistently do things their way and refuse to listen to others may also have an overly strong sense of being right in doing so. Many of the following statements can be accurate, but some aren’t necessarily true:
“I never make a mistake; I’m very much a perfectionist.”
“If I change my mind, it’s because my mind is changing.”
“It’s not fair when other people can change their minds. And they shouldn’t be able to change their minds anyway. Why should I change my mind if you’re not willing to change yours?”
“If you don’t like something, then just refuse to do it.”
“I’m never wrong about anything.”
Now obviously, those statements above aren’t necessarily a good thing. The person can be very dogmatic and stubborn. They might also have trouble understanding others. They may not accept that others have different needs regarding interaction, such as not being interrupted. It’s all about how the person uses their behavior.
Being Flexible by Using Timidity as Power
It’s a lot easier to be flexible when we’re not so emotionally invested in something. And we don’t have to deny others’ wants, desires, and feelings either. Yet that doesn’t mean they can have everything they want. It does mean they’ll have to let go of a fear of losing love or approval from others. Most people who refuse to listen to others are more afraid than others who are timid, yet they are so asleep that they dare not acknowledge it within themselves. Fear underlines most interactions between people, and the most fearful tend to be the most aggressive. When someone timid learns to challenge them, they crumble or get aggressive. Either way, their inner equilibrium has been destroyed. You are the accidental cause of their disempowerment. It is a state they have feared for all their life and avoided.
Stepping out of emotional investment with this person is not easy, but it is liberating. Well done!
Be gentle with yourself and forgive yourself for your fears.
– and why it’s not always in your own best interest.
Find Out More from Martin Butler
Check out Martin Butler’s web site for the philosophies of Spinoza and more
What Is The Cost Of Being A Good Member Of Society?
Ask yourself – what does it cost to be a good member of society? The actual cost of fitting in is to contort ourselves in so many ways that it eventually becomes unbearable, and the prison that contains us must break. When this happens, we try to escape, but we are usually at a loss and keep turning in circles due to ingrained patterns, ending up at the same point where we started. As children, we learned these patterns, but as adults, they become our prisons. One way to get out of the rut is through understanding.
We don’t understand why we can’t escape from this trap, but the solution is simple. Programmed to go around the same track we cannot see an alternative because we have never used another method to break free. We can only look at the situation after trying so many things and know that we remain back where we started. Escape is only through observation and eventually understanding. With understanding about suffering, we can work through our situation and achieve peace within ourselves.
Families and Control
Families are a formidable source of social conditioning. Everyone in a family feels that somebody must meet their needs. However, they are not listening to one another so that no one has their needs met. They talk behind each other’s backs, and they have fixed expectations for each family member. Once cast in a role, it is almost impossible to escape. As they grow up, the only way to be good is to follow this role. The aim of being good is to get approval from the family and fit in. If we are not that way, then we are rejected and have no one.
The primary function of families is socialization to keep the individuals manageable. From an early age, members are already divided by how much trouble each individual is likely to cause. It may seem impossible for human beings to treat one another in this way, but it happens every day.
Parental Love and Conforming
Parents do not love their children equally and show them this in countless ways. They may appear loving, but inside they project their fear of the child or rejection onto the child. Caregivers expect the child to be the “best” and train them to mirror everything the parents wanted from life. Parents have already fitted their children into precise roles. They have a role model of expectations from each child. If children fall short, then they are punished. The child gets a spanking, is grounded, and is put outside or yelled at with no explanation.
The child does not feel that they are being treated unfairly but instead believes that their parents are both just and right. Because of this, they obediently fit into the roles they have learned to live within. There is something surreal about this situation since a child has had no part in its conditioned behavior from birth. These roles do not fit them as individuals but rather as their parent’s ‘model’ child. Children learn from their parents how to be good. They may not agree, but they are not going to sacrifice being included by disagreeing. If they break the rules, they are warned to stop it and are punished every time. In this way, they fear what will happen to them if their parents discover who they are beneath the surface. Their freedom of expression is a privilege that can be denied at any time.
We learn this while young, yet we usually carry this fear with us throughout life. There is no question about obeying even though we may not understand why we have to be like this. It is the only way we have learned to live and the only way our society expects us to live.
Starting to Learn About Being A Good Member Of Society
Education can be transformed into a place of comfort, allowing children to discover an understanding different from the role they have learned to conform within.
Through the broader experience of the world, they may grow up with a sense of pride in who they are as individuals and not conform to an expected role. The contrast between who they are and their conditioning is a challenge to be met. It is one we seldom realize, let alone take.
No Longer a Child and No Longer a Slave
The more we learn about ourselves and our environment, the freer we become. We begin to understand that there are so many ways of living a life with less suffering. As see how we are all born into this world, and we accept that suffering is a natural part of our existence. However, when we see things clearly and do not accept our conditioning for life, our understanding will change. Suffering is a fact of life, but through understanding, suffering no longer controls us.
Many people believe in this system of obedience even though there is no reality or truth behind it. The child believes what it learns to be true and has every reason to trust its caregivers as it knows nothing else. Habitual behaviors continue out of the need to please the caregivers around them for survival.
Rebelling against childhood conditioning is challenging because it is easier to be good than to understand. In being good, the one who is acting believes themselves to be good, therefore, have nothing to criticize or change about themselves. The individual sees all the faults in others but not within themselves. Thoughts of actually trying something different frightens them into inaction. They may wonder if there is anything wrong with what they are currently doing – even though they suffer considerably. The fear of trying something different keeps most people trapped in this cruel stalemate.
As an adult, this learned system is broken because it no longer serves you as it did when you were a child. We can question and dissect the beliefs we have been raised with, seeing them as rules expected of us rather than truth. Seeing the truth is liberating once we realize that these people have no reason to be correct because, like us, they do not know what is true. They do not know everything, and they can be wrong.
Because now you are an adult, you see that other adults are not perfect. You can see things clearly and do not need to accept any role or title unless it serves you. It may not be possible for you to escape your present situation, but you can begin to see your part within this system, and that is a freedom of a sort in itself.
By understanding and realizing that you do not have free will in the situation, your observation becomes sharp, and it begins to expose all the things you believed were true. You begin to notice how you have learned your conditioning to be the way you were, in a state of suffering.
Why Do We Avoid Understanding?
Instead of the person who is overly critical of others looking at themselves, they have a fear of looking deeper into themselves. They will see that their criticism is being projected on to other people and not being as good as they would like to believe. These people are always unhappy and unfulfilled because they do not know how to live without expecting things to be as they desire.
They think that things should be a certain way, and everything goes from there, regardless of whether it is for better or worse. The overly critical person may be afraid of the various suggestions and options presented to them to help them get better. They fear that they might have to put in some work. Not understanding what this means other than they might have to take the initiative, even if it leads to success. Taking the risk is scary for most people as they would rather suffer in silence than put effort into exposing and understanding what has been happening to them and why. Avoidance is a Catch 22.
How I Overcame the Darkness
When I became aware of the feelings and thoughts that ruled my life, I wondered why some lived like this and others lived so differently. It wasn’t apparent to me because I would never have thought about these things before. But when I started thinking about them a lot, the world made more sense.
It helped when I sensed my body and observed the tensions that arise due to my emotions and imagination. I began to notice that I was pretty rigid and stuck in my experiences, even though I had no reason for it.
That led me to discover how to have a different perspective on things. There were many things in my life that I had not noticed before. When I start noticing myself, I saw what was happening and how I affect my thinking. I began to feel very angry about this, but I realized that the problem is not with other people or life itself. The problem is within me.
Understanding myself was my escape hatch out of the prison of compliance. I am so much happier since understanding how my imagination triggers my emotions and causes pain in my body. It’s all related, and the core to understanding it is through simple practice. Like learning scales to play the piano, this practice builds on itself, and it belongs to me. It’s not the property of a therapist, doctor, or any outside influence. It’s mine.
Pressure Cooker Or Field?
Would you rather be in a field or in a pressure cooker? How can having space and being constrained help you understand yourself?
You only feel the pressure of things that constrain you when they are under pressure. When this happens, they appear to intensify. Without pressure, there is freedom. With freedom, issues that constrain and depress you appear to be less significant. They appear less critical simply because there is more freedom. When you are constrained and in a pressured environment, complex issues become more significant. It happens because there are fewer distractions. And there is a greater concentration of sensations, emotions, and thoughts.
Therefore, the pressure cooker pressure supplies an excellent opportunity to observe what is going on in your situation. If you can sit with it, observe it, and ask questions like “why do I feel like this?” “What are my emotions?” “Where are they in my body?” “What thoughts are gathered in my head in my imagination to create this?” This self-questioning is simply a drilling down of questions. Drilling down enables you to observe what lies underneath.
What do you see? What is your relationship to this pressure cooker of a circumstance or environment in which you find yourself?
The Benefits Of Being In A Pressure Cooker
The pressure cooker can become a mirror where we can see the patterns and circumstances where we find ourselves. It generates an obvious reflection of how things are going on with ourselves and our relationships. There is an opportunity to observe what is inside ourselves closely. This observation helps us understand what we need to address. Sometimes the pressure cooker can reflect a shortcoming, an imbalance in life that needs to be corrected. It is just like a thermometer. If the pressure cooker is not full of water, it will not overheat or explode.
The same is true for our hearts. If there are no obstructions or conditions that cannot be easily overcome and broken down (such as problems in one’s relationships), you will have peace of mind and heart. When the pressure cooker is full of problems and issues, the heat inside goes up. But as soon as these problems are resolved or dissolved, then the temperature will go back down. So, you see, it is essential to keep your pressure cooker clean and tidy. Then its ability to cook is at its finest.
Pressure in Relationships
For example: If you are in a relationship with someone who constantly accuses you of not having feelings for them, this can create emotional and mental pressure. This pressure will create a lot of conflicts, and it is easy to feel overwhelmed. It may even drive you to want to give up or make you resent the other person. As a result, you may start to feel anger towards the accuser or become bitter about the relationship. You may even find yourself in denial of your own heart, thinking, “I should do this” or “I need to do that.”
But if you observe and listen to your feelings, you will know this is not the case. You may find yourself thinking, “the other person has a problem with their relationship with themselves,” or “they are just too concerned about what others think of them.” You might think, “maybe if they were more confident about themselves, they would be able to have a better relationship with others.” You will see that these thoughts and feelings are coming from you and not from the other person. Then you can be aware of how you feel. Because then you know when this relationship is not going anywhere. The issues are inside you because you are the one feeling them.
Observe To Understand
Once you observe this, there is a clear shift internally. You understand the bitterness you feel towards the other person dissolving. From this understanding there will be a softening of your heart towards them. When this happens and the pressure cooker is clean, you will be able to see the situation differently. It will be easier to find solutions. When you understand this, you can start to have the relationship that you want. If this shift does not happen, then growth is hindered. It can end in a stressful and hopeless situation. The only way for people who are stuck to move forward is to break away from it.
In my view, what we need to break away from is identifying with our issues. For example, if I see you in a traffic jam, I might say, “this is unfair.” But if I observe it more closely and let go of my identification with this situation. I then see that the traffic jam is because many other cars are on the road. Perhaps this means that other cars are not driving well, which causes problems for all the drivers. So, the solution is not to get angry with the other cars or feel annoyed about it. The real solution is to fix the problem at the source with understanding. Maybe if everyone learning how to drive correctly and better in a safe manner. Then there will be no cause for a traffic jam.
Each driver will be more thoughtful and aware of their driving. If each driver focused on how they were driving. Then they will learn very quickly that driving safely actually helps everyone and prevents accidents. Because everyone will feel safer and more confident, the pressure cooker situation will be gone. So, when I see you in a traffic jam, I am not angry with you or the situation. I know that there is a traffic jam because there are many others who are also driving badly. So, it’s natural for me to get upset and want to teach everyone how to drive better. This is just an example and might be unrealistic. Yet it’s worth remembering that no one understands the whole situation.
What Are Fields and How Do I Use Them?
Fields offer a different outlook. Having the freedom to explore. To understand through observing yourself and others in the unconstrained space. Offers freshness and new lightness that allows for change within your experience.
Fields take practice. Just as going to a gym or learning another skill, it is vital to develop your understanding gradually. The first thing is to start to be aware of your patterns and seek to free yourself from them. Everything becomes amazingly simple in the field when you can see clearly there is no “other” person. It is when we get caught up in our dramas with other people that things become complicated and difficult.
The ultimate truth is that we are already awake, as it were. The real power is to open our eyes and wake up from the dream. That alone is our highest nature because it allows us to play freely and without bounds. To exist with fear of retribution or failure. This place of freedom within us allows us to become like children again, and we can let go of the adult pretensions that separate us from our purest, most innocent, and ecstatic nature.
What it means to practice is to cultivate this higher state of awareness in our everyday life. This practice does not mean retiring to a monastery, but it simply means seeking the truth every day. When we wake up in the morning, we should ask ourselves what is indispensable. We can then let go of the rest. Of course, nothing is completely unimportant. Everything we do ultimately plays a role in how we grow as individuals and reach our full potential. However, there will always be some things which can be done later or not at all.
Does Success Depend On Being Smart?
Do you value success as our society defines it more than being happy? If so, join the rest of the monkeys lying, cheating, and stealing. But if you want to be happy and healthy, then read this article. You will discover why smart people are not successful.
In today’s competitive society, the most-wanted and most-valued people are the ones with the highest IQs. The idea is that they will be brilliant and have a lot of potential in life. Unfortunately, IQ is not a template for success. The logical and rational thinking qualities of a person are also relevant. The world is full of exceptional people, and many of them are not successful. For instance, Albert Einstein, the smartest man ever lived, felt he was not successful in his own life. He had huge self-doubt. For this reason, he felt lonely because he could never understand what makes other people happy.
How Do You Determine Success?
Success is subjective, so the definition of success can vary from person to person. According to dictionary.com, success is a favorable or prosperous outcome: the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like. Achieving this definition can be disturbing. Some people are happy while others are not. Why is happiness not success? Achieving success creates another problem because it is both relative and competitive with other people.
Einstein himself said that “everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” In other words, to be smart, you must spend time thinking and analyzing everything. This notion can prevent you from becoming successful in others’ eyes. They may consider you to be a social outcast and a geek. This external judgment can also keep you from forming and expressing your truth. Because your mind will want to go back to what everyone else says, thinks, and does. In Einstein’s case, his mind went back to ethics. He stated that “Without ‘ethical culture,’ there is no salvation for humanity.” Although brilliant in his field, his success was limited in other areas. He was a founding member of the German Democratic Party, and later had leanings towards Baruch Spinoza’s philosophy. Therefore, he determined success as someone of value rather than wealth. There are many famous quotes by Einstein to look up on this.
When Is Happiness Success?
Happiness is subjective as well. Based on personal values, beliefs, and experiences, it is essential to a person. Psychology Today says it is different for each one of us because definitions depend on our situation and values. You can realize happiness at any point in time. But rarely will you have a perfect life or moment when you are happy all the time. In conclusion, it is useful to understand that success and happiness are not linear. Both can go up, down, or sideways depending on your mood, actions you take, and other factors.
This article’s purpose is to show that intelligence is only one piece in the puzzle that determines success. Other factors, such as effort expended to achieve your aims and life goals, also decide on so-called success in life. Yet this may still be a success as measured by society, not our personal idea of success. If we look at the list of Einstein’s failures, it will be noticeably short. He had a good IQ and had many ideas, and he was intelligent. But he failed to reach the success that he felt everyone else achieved at that time. When it comes to success, what is important is not necessarily your IQ. It is also your goals, your knowledge and how much energy you are willing to put into your work. Although, the real question to ask yourself is whether this success also achieves happiness in your life.
Why Is Success Measured in Wealth?
In his book “Think and Grow Rich,” Napoleon Hill said that “the more you get out of life than you put in, the more success you will have.” The statement suggests that success depends on how much effort or energy we are willing to invest.
To understand this point, let’s take a quick look at where people are right now in society. And consider how this will change by 2030. The data of the current social status of the American population comes from the following indicators:
Average income: $49,764
Median household income: $61,372
Number of unemployed persons aged 16 and older: 9.7 million or 10.7%
Percentage of children in poverty (under age 18): 17.7%
The poverty threshold for a family of four: $26,500
As can be seen from the above data, many people in America are well below what is called successful. Meanwhile, there are increasing numbers of billionaires cropping un on this planet. In 2030, most American people will be relatively less wealthy than they are today. Only a tiny percentage of people will still be leading amazingly comfortable lives. Others will not have a chance to lead a life at all. Life has become more difficult. It is not just money, but also about health and happiness that determine success in life. Without even one of the three, your success in life is compromised. Income and quality of life are real issues for many when it comes to being successful. Money increases the quality of life. For many being smart doesn’t even enter it.
Technology, Capital, and Jobs
It is worth noting that this trend is not limited to America. Artificial intelligence or robots are automating jobs. These robots have already taken over millions of jobs in manufacturing, transportation, and other industries. The world’s largest retailer, Alibaba Group, is using robots to pack and ship products by recognizing a customer’s needs.
Let’s now look at some of the most financially successful people in history.
Bill Gates, a co-founder of Microsoft Corporation, is one of the most notable figures in modern history. He is listed among the world’s wealthiest people and has been called “the man who saved capitalism.”
Steve Jobs, the co-founder, and CEO of Apple Inc., became financially dominant due to his iPhone and iPad inventions. He is one of the most successful people in modern history.
Warren Buffet, an investment guru, is another phenomenally successful person because he made billions of dollars from his investments. He now ranks among the wealthiest people on earth.
Elon Musk, a driverless car pioneer and owner of Tesla Motors Inc., is also one of the world’s most successful people.
Jeff Bezos is a business magnate and founder of Amazon. He currently ranks among the world’s top five wealthiest people.
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook Inc., is one person who became a billionaire at 23 years of age.
Overall, we can infer from these examples that becoming successful is easier than it seems. It does not take a genius or natural talent. Instead, it just takes luck, hard work, and determination to achieve your goals. More importantly, it takes knowing what your goals are. Being in the right place at the right time is a highly significant factor behind financial success. Big technology earnings are getting continually richer.
What About the Future?
Bitcoin may generate a new breed of financially successful people. These people will mainly gain from being in the right place at the right time.
So, if these people didn’t have high IQs, what enabled them to become successful? Also, why did Einstein feel he was a failure and was unable to appreciate his success?
If we dig deeper into this question, we may find that the difference is how much effort they exerted in achieving their goals. As we all know, nothing comes easy in life. Whether you are an ordinary person or a genius like Einstein, you must work hard to get good grades and get a job that pays well. Yet in the future, this may not be enough. What Einstein did to become successful was not necessarily the wisest choice. He just focused on his interest in mathematics and physics. Because of this he failed to understand the nature of humanity. That humanity created the atom bomb using his research. His simple equation of E = mc2 created the most destructive human force on the planet. So, beware of seeking success blindly as it can bring about personal emotional destruction.
At the same time, it is universally accepted among employers that people interested in a subject better perform their jobs. Those who are not interested tend to underperform. For instance, if you like working with teenagers, you will better understand them. Compare this to someone whose specialty is not education or teaching. It is regrettable to see that many people today are not interested in something. They may take up a particular subject because it seems attractive to them. However, they may not put enough effort into their goals. It is vital for those who want to achieve something to put more effort into what they are doing.
Your future depends on co-existence of success and humanity.
Be Interested in Something You Are Good At
I have also noticed that the most challenging part of achieving one’s goals happens not at the beginning. But during the middle and latter part of the endeavor. It would help if you thought about these points when you are trying to get your goals accomplished. Anyone can learn to like something they are good at. So, why toil at something you love if it does not serve you in any way. You will eventually learn to resent it. Loving music doesn’t make you a good musician. It can make you a frustrated and angry person. Especially when the piece you produce is continually below your expectations.
Satisfaction in doing something well creates dopamine, serotonin, endorphin, oxytocin, or the ‘happy’ chemicals. Adrenaline, cortisol, and norepinephrine respond to stress and cause us to go into fight or flight mode. A small amount of the stress hormones can help you concentrate. Although, an excess of these chemicals will turn you into a raging tiger and may cause you severe physical consequences.
It is also important to note that Einstein was not born a genius. He became a genius because he worked extremely hard at his goals and was able to achieve them. You may be wondering what I mean by this. Sometimes, people are born with talents and abilities that easily allow them to achieve their goals. However, those talents don’t always make people successful.
Take, for example, Mozart or Michelangelo, who were both prodigies in the arts. Mozart was a genius whose talent made him successful as a composer. He was good at what made him successful.
It is useful to remember that it is not enough to be born with good abilities in a specific area. Because you still need to work hard at achieving your goals. Even top athletes need to train to achieve gold medals. The more you work and put effort into your objective, the easier it gets. This is the way to succeed at something.
I have noticed one thing that helps people achieve their goals is doing more than they are comfortable with. So, if you feel comfortable getting stuck in your comfort zone, it is a good idea to do less of that. Go for more challenging things instead.
Here I want to stress what I consider the single most crucial factor for success. It’s about taking small steps towards one’s goals and becoming more confident along the way.
“If you believe, you can achieve.”
To achieve the things we want to achieve, we need to have a vision of what we want to achieve. We also need to know why we want it. Achieving your goals is not as hard as it seems at first. You need to unleash your inner power and understanding. Then apply some basic lessons you’ve learned along the way. There are some challenges on the list that may currently be beyond your present capabilities. So, work on them step by step to reach the ultimate goal. Even if for a brief moment, take pride in doing simple things well. This effort will build your confidence to do more things.
Note that many of these tasks require extra effort, which is necessary to become an expert. Unless you have a passion for learning new stuff, pick one undertaking and do it as best as you can. In the end, you might be surprised to know that it’s not such a difficult thing to do.
“…our limitations are often more about our beliefs than our abilities.”
What Are Your Values In Life?
People have different values in life. The things that matter to them may not matter to you. What you consider as success may not be the same as what others regard as success. As mentioned earlier, “success” is relative and subject to one’s opinion.
What improves your quality of life is the decisions that make you happy and contented.
“Hard work produces results, but people who work hard and are happy do more work and get more results than those who are not.”
If you want to be successful, it is vital to consider giving up what you love most. If what you love does not benefit you, it will drain your resources and you will grow to hate it. Kill your best-loved projects if they do not serve you. Work hard at your goals, and when committed, that concentration fulfills you. Then there is a strong chance that you will achieve your goal happily when the time comes.
Being happy in life means being content with what we have and now and being passionate in our striving.
The 6 Key Points to Success
Learn What You Are Good At
Practice Getting Better At It
Become Passionate About It
Challenge Your Comfort Zone
Follow Your Own Path, Not The Herd
The Illusion Of Control
Control is an illusion. It’s the idea that you only have power over your life because of your decisions and subsequent actions. I learned this was wrong after years of struggling with self-control and trying to be a different person. We do this to fit into the world or to achieve something. You can work hard all day, resist temptations, and make all the right choices. But you can still fail miserably if you don’t understand this truth about life.
Don’t be discouraged by this, because I have been there. I have learned how to live a better life by not letting others into my head. The world wants you to believe that everything is out of your control. Your mind and most people’s efforts are there to convince you of this. When you don’t listen to them, the only thing that matters in life is how much you enjoy it. Control is inappropriate when considering these things.
You do not have to win every battle to win the war. You can’t always control every situation. Nor can you force someone to love you or change your environment completely. But you can learn how to deal with it if things don’t work out how you would like. Drop expectations and embrace possibilities. In time you will find that you can do more than you are doing now.
Live In The Present
You can only live in the present – forget the past and don’t worry about the future. If you act now, then it will lead to other actions in life. You cannot control your next step. And sometimes, when we try too hard, we make things worse. So, observe when these occasions occur but don’t overthink beforehand.
When you make a change, it’s helpful to understand that you will never win every battle. If you did, you would become bored by life and always be looking for another challenge. It’s like fighting a war – you are never going to win it. When you fight something, it fights back. Instead of fighting, we can learn to accept that things will change. And we can allow life to move on naturally. There can be absolute joy in observing the outcomes. Going with them rather than fighting every step of the way can be so rewarding.
We can influence the future by acting in the present. Being the master of your destiny by following your desire is like going on a walk you have never been on before. It is one where you can see the wonder around you at every step you take. Spinoza said, ‘The whole universe is the manifestation of thought.’
Understanding is Everything
When you understand that control is an illusion, you realize that your actions and thoughts are the only things you can control. You can adequately control these by being present in every moment of your life. You cannot always control nature, but you can learn to live with it. If you face something that you don’t like, then accept it and move on with joy.
Learn to say no to things that you don’t want to do. You can only do so much, and at some point, you have to say enough is enough. It doesn’t make you a bad person or a failure. Instead, it makes you more likable as you are kinder and more thoughtful towards yourself. This way, you can be authentic towards others as well as yourself. If you feel stuck in life, then remember there is always a way out. Ask yourself what it might be?
Letting Go Of Control
You cannot control anything as everything happens as it does and could never happen in any other way. But if you organize some small area around you or perform some behavior with no goal other than doing it for yourself. This act can give you the illusion of control. We all like to feel in control. But sometimes we must face the fact that nothing is under our control, and that’s OK.
You can’t stop things from changing; you can only adapt to change as it happens. You don’t have to worry because you cannot avoid change. It will happen anyway – so why resist?
To achieve peace, observe what you do want. Self-observation is less likely to take you into fear. When you think negatively and are in fear, you focus on what you don’t want. That focus on the negative and judging everything negatively is being in the world of inadequacy.
Just as a wise person does not make judgments and instead makes observations, we cannot judge. We don’t know the context in which someone decides. It’s like judging someone for cutting off in traffic. They might be unaware of what is around them at the time because of some internal conflict. If you make efforts to understand yourself, what goes on outside you is less significant. You will be less dependent on judging others for your expectation of their responses.
Deconstruction and Co-creation Are A Couple
Deconstruction and co-creation are vital to your understanding of life. It is how you understand the good and bad things that happen to you. Some things are out of your control, such as the weather. Yet plenty of scenarios are dependent on your interaction with other people and the world around you. Understanding how this process happens and how you can shape it leads to you achieving your life goals.
Why Is Co-creation So Important?
Every interaction you have is a co-creation. Your thoughts, your feelings, and your actions are all co-creations. But what does that mean? What is co-creation?
A co-creation is when two or more people come together for a common goal. Whether to chat about their day or collaborate on an art project, co-creation can be mutually beneficial, selfish, or a mix of the two. It’s about coming together to solve a problem to make things better for everyone involved. Considering this definition and understanding of co-creation, it then becomes clear why it’s so important.
Co-creation is the only way we can solve problems. Problems can’t be solved by yourself as there is always someone else involved. To deny co-creation is to deny yourself the other person’s perspective in any given situation and shuts out a vast potential source of information. This sharing of experience could have been beneficial to everyone involved.
If you refuse to co-create, it is likely because you don’t feel like your problems are significant enough. You believe that they are not big enough for anyone else to be bothered with them. But remember, issues aren’t just yours; they affect those around you too. Your family, friends, co-workers, even strangers on the street are involved in co-creation with you.
Am I Alone?
Nature embeds us into our reality, and everything and everybody is co-creating that reality with you. They are not just living their lives; their life is emotionally and mentally affected by your actions too.
You are not alone in your problems. The power of co-creation gives you access to the other person’s perspective to make a better decision. Your issues become someone else’s hopes, fears, and desires too.
Let go of the belief that people don’t care and start creating with them. Let them know that you care about something important enough to want to hear their perspective on it. You will be surprised at how much they will help you out. Just as soon as you let them know, they can help you. And maybe, just maybe, they have been waiting for you to ask.
Get actively involved in developing your co-creations and co-creating with others. And remember to be open to other’s perspectives. It is a vast world out there, and no one has all the answers. Each view is a piece of the puzzle. These pieces help us to put together how we want our reality to look. Let’s create a better reality for everyone through understanding our co-creation!
Why Is My Interpretation Wrong?
Our experience of life is how we interpret the things around us, including our online experience. Everything we experience is either processed rationally or emotionally. The way we interpret things influences the decisions we make and the goals we set. To live a life living up to our full potential, we must become better creators of our reality.
How you rationalize and explain things is what leads to your interpretations. You base your decisions on your interpretations of why something terrible happened or how something good happened. We have very firmly embedded interpretations in our everyday lives. As much as they have a significant effect on how we act and react, most people don’t know how they came about them in the first place or why they exist at all.
People accept their interpretations as truth and live their lives rationalizing everything. Being stuck in the rationalization phase of thinking is very limiting. It doesn’t explain why things are. It simply explains why they happen after they happen. This lack of understanding can make it hard to learn from our mistakes or understand our feelings. We can seek out how we can change or improve things to create a better reality for ourselves.
If you experience life emotionally without questioning your interpretations, you are just experiencing life without reason. Living a life without reasoning behind your actions or decisions is living a random existence. Because you do not understand your actions’ possible consequences, you lack control of your future. Life without reason, especially regarding our imagined interpretations, is a life of which we are unworthy. Indeed, we fail to learn and keep repeating the same broken behaviors.
Understanding Deconstruction and Co-creation
Understanding our interpretations and being aware of irrationality is the first step towards improving them. It is working towards living a more satisfying life. We can start changing our story by understanding how to deconstruct our rationalizations. From this, we can construct a new reality with a different, authentic interpretation. When we take the guesswork out of the situation, seeking clarity from the other people involved, we obtain adequate ideas. Until then, our opinions are inadequate as our imagination fills in the blanks. Our brain cannot know what another person is thinking without asking, and even then, they may lie. It’s better to sit with an adequate idea and not complete the puzzle with the wrong pieces, distorting the picture.
Changing your interpretations is possible through meditation and self-reflection. For meditation, sit back for ten minutes a day and observe your thoughts. It only takes ten minutes to notice when you become caught up in your emotional patterns or others’ opinions. They may not be aware of their views because their idea is not even fully formed. This exercise is an excellent start to understanding. If you want to look into understanding deeper, read the blog post on the Heart of Practice.
First, we need to deconstruct our prejudices and learned conditioning that is attached to our interpretations. The way to do this is through observation. Deconstruction happens when you pay attention to everything that goes on around you. As a result, you act without adding false meaning to a situation or judging it in any way.
Why Are Deconstruction and Co-creation So Important?
Deconstructing your interpretation doesn’t necessarily involve trying to change it. What is valuable is learning more about your thoughts and why you think the way you do. Take pride in your ability to observe, but question if what you’re considering is worth mentioning at all. If the thought isn’t significant enough, then don’t give it any power or attention. Don’t interpret it as authentic or rational in any way.
Co-creation is the first step to changing your reality. If you can’t create a different interpretation of things, you will never make a new reality.
To co-create, you need to understand that the world around us is not static. Things are constantly changing, whether we notice it or not. Your interpretations of these changes will either lead to a new creation or keep you in old patterns. If you can explain why something is the way it is, chances are it wasn’t always that way. It changed at some point and got there based on a reason and an interpretation. So, anything could change again for the same reason and with the correct clarification.
How To Do Deconstruction
Deconstruct your interpretations of what you see by observing everything without judging or giving it a meaning. Learn to trust that learning doesn’t require judgments or labeling.
Deconstruct and reconstruct new interpretations by coming up with new explanations for things. Follow your logic and ask yourself why specific patterns exist in the first place. Going back to the ‘road not traveled’ example, why is there a road not traveled? Or how is that rock on the ground shaped like that? Learn to pay attention to patterns and look at things differently.