There are works of high art in all these cultures that go back all these years. And there's something very beautiful about that. (Creativity in Later Life Project, 1994c, p 9) How does this wider sense of community emerge through lived experience? In this case, the writer's awareness of a global fellowship was sharpened through interactions with members of the extended community of writers. The writer recounted the moving experience of meeting native Africans in the remotest parts of the continent who were eager to share with him whole novels that they had inscribed in flimsy dimestore notearticles. These examples could be multiplied endlessly. They suggest some of the ways in which a person's relationship to a domain forms and evolves within a community of practice. That means everything. Shift your perspective and your body will move with your mindset. The SEALs and the Marines are big on making sure you give more than you think you can. Most of the time people are capable of doing more than they think they can. So in your mind you should never be thinking can't or won't or don't. Instead, you will. You will do more than you think you can do, and you're going to love how it makes you feel. You have to focus so that you don't get caught in the pitfalls of the things you are not comfortable with. Remember what Brad wrote on my wall: Discomfort is where the change takes place. Discomfort can mean so many things--straining under the effort of a weight, mentally pushing yourself when you think you have no more gas, or pushing thoughts from your head that stand in the way of your success. Behavior therapists would call this an example of systematic desensitization--by taking small risks, you systematically desensitize yourself to the feeling of discomfort associated with risk and vulnerability. As your comfort level increases, it becomes easier for you to deal with the discomfort of feeling vulnerable and thus solicit help when you need it. There is nothing wrong with the strategy of playing to one's strengths, but even so vulnerabilities still exist.
A team can win with its powerful offense, but it is only a matter of time before its defensive vulnerability is exposed. While it's smart to develop your strengths, it's wise to identify and protect your vulnerabilities, as well. We all have unique vulnerabilities in different areas of our lives. Some have vulnerability at work--a difficult personality style or a skill deficiency. Sometimes vulnerability is a family risk factor--college saving is impossible, not enough parenting time. Sometimes vulnerability is in marriage--not enough time together, poor communication skills, different goals. Whatever the vulnerability, it threatens the quality of your life. Of chief relevance, they illustrate how the person's relationship to this community of practice, and interactions with specific members of it, can help create and sustain an emergent sense of the enterprise's significance. This connection to a community of practice is only one of the ways in which the gradual accumulation of connections tends to lead to a more complexly meaningful relationship to the world. Vital engagement, a sustained self-object relationship that is both enjoyed and meaningful, is one feature of optimal development. Enjoyment, or flow, is found through the tackling of opportunities for action that challenge a person's existing skills. The resulting state of focused involvement is the same, regardless of the activity in which it is found. When the relationship is felt to be meaningful as well as absorbing, the person becomes vitally engaged. Often, extended engagement with a flow activity like science or art begins in a felt conviction that the object of attention is inherently important. In these cases, the enjoyment of the relationship and its meaning may increase together. In other cases, scientific or artistic endeavors are at first undertaken for the sake of their experiential rewards alone. Flow may provide a route to meaning, in that a flow activity's subjective significance will grow richer over the course of a creator's extended engagement with it. Let's look at this another way. Have you ever watched Olympic downhill skiers when they are getting ready to do a run? They are at the top of that slope visualizing the run they are going to have.
They know everything. The slope of the hill, the condition of the snow, the location of the turns--all of it. You never see them rehearsing failure in their head. It's the same for any pro athlete. A baseball player doesn't walk up to the plate visualizing whiffing against the pitcher. If he does, he's got a problem. No, he wants to get a base hit or crush a home run, so that's what he's thinking about. You can identify specific vulnerabilities and strategies to deal with them--you can do that in discussions with your partner, family, and colleagues. But care soliciting works best when you acknowledge daily that because we live in an interactive world (the root of your cooperative instincts), there will naturally be many times when you can help yourself by getting help from others. Identifying these opportunities and taking advantage of your care soliciting instincts is using strategic evolutionary psychology. It is essential that you actively are tuned to the strategy of getting others to aid and nurture you, whether it is help in building your business, taking care of your health, or keeping finances under control. Look to get help, could be a care-soliciting slogan. Who you ask for help is another issue. A common scenario is wanting to care solicit, but having no one to call on. Just as the blackbird chick can rely on its mother for aid, you, too, need to have people you can rely on to give you the nurturing and protection you need. A lot of research indicates successful people have strong support systems. These support systems allow them to utilize their caresoliciting instincts. In this article, the focus has been on meaning-making activities-art and science--but it need not have been. Vital engagement is possible not only in mature creative work and interests like hobbies and sports, but in a whole variety of activities--raising children, fostering another's learning, performing one's craft well, serving as custodian of an institution. In an engaged life, the conjunction of enjoyment and subjective meaning characterizes vocation, social relationships, participation in the community--a person's central relationships with the world.
Nothing is so insufferable to man as to be completely at rest, without passions, without business, without diversion, without effort. Then he feels his nothingness, his forlornness, his insufficiency, his weakness, his emptiness. As far as we know humans are the only meaning-seeking species on the planet. Meaning-making is an activity that is distinctly human, a function of how the human brain is organized. The many ways in which humans conceptualize, create, and search for meaning has become a recent focus of behavioral science research on quality of life and subjective well-being. This article will review the recent literature on meaning-making in the context of personal goals and life purpose. My intention will be to document how meaningful living, expressed as the pursuit of personally significant goals, Since the mid-1980s, considerable progress has been made in understanding how goals contribute to long-term levels of well-being. When you come to me and say, I can't or It's not happening, I'm not going to listen to that. Why would you come to me with that? You might say, Well, that's how I feel. Okay then, I'll say, Let's have a different conversation. Let's change the course of this dialogue. There's a great saying in jiujitsu: You don't lose, you either win or learn. So, for example, this could be the conversation in your head, and it's the type of thing I'll try to correct. These changes to your thinking affect so much. What if the person you really want to look like is within your reach? A year from now you may look back on this--your struggle to change--and see the person you've become. Many therapists have heard patients say numerous times that Nothing is worse than going through a difficult situation by yourself. People who feel this way are often disconnected from this instinctual tool. Support systems not only serve as a means for protecting your weaknesses, but they also help you enhance your life.
Some people call it having a good network. You need to have your own ghost busters--a support team-people you can call on. It is not easy to put together any good team, and your personal support team is no exception. Mother Nature would recommend you select your team members on the basis of two criterions: trust and availability. Who are the people you can really trust? Spend some time thinking about this. When your ancestors were faced with this task, natural selection favored those who made the right choice, because trust would allow each individual to rely on the other and act in a manner that would allow him to build long-term mutually beneficial relationships, which is usually the case in a trusting relationship. Goals have been identified as key integrative and analytic units in the study of human The driving concern has been to understand how personal goals are related to long-term levels of happiness and life satisfaction and how ultimately to use this knowledge in a way that might optimize human wellbeing. How do goals contribute to living the positive life? Of all of the goals that people strive for, which really matter? Which goals most provide a sense of meaning and purpose? Which goals are worth living for and possibly worth dying for? Goal attainment is a major benchmark for the experience of wellbeing. When asked what makes for a happy, fulfilling, and meaningful life, people spontaneously discuss their life goals, wishes, and dreams for the future. For many people, of course, the primary goal in life is to be happy. Yet research indicates that happiness is most often a by-product of participating in worthwhile projects and activities that do not have as their primary focus the attainment of happiness. Whether they focus primarily on basic research or intervention, psychologists also see goal-striving as vital to the good life. Wow. Get the fuck on board. Sign me up.