Wednesday, 16 September 2020

No more screaming into pillows

I tend to lack remorse. I tend to want others to admire me. I tend to be unconcerned with the morality of my actions. I have used deceit or lied to get my way. I tend to be callous or insensitive. I have used flattery to get my way. I tend to seek prestige or status. I tend to be cynical. I tend to exploit others toward my own end. Values tend to be single-word concepts like freedom, equality, compassion, honesty. That might sound rather abstract and idealistic, but values are really practical. They're a kind of ethical GPS we can use to navigate through life. If you know your values, you have directions that point you toward the people and actions and habits that are best for you. Just as when we drive through a new area, we wander aimlessly without values; Values make it easier for you to surround yourself with the right people, make tough career choices, use your time more wisely, and focus your attention where it matters. Without them we are swept away by distractions. WHERE VALUES COME FROM Our values don't come to us in our sleep. We don't think them through consciously. I can hardly believe I'm getting paid to do something I enjoy so much.

I've left a class on such a high I barely remember the drive home. That feeling can last for hours, even days. Researchers call this joyful state flow, the loss of self-consciousness that happens when we're completely absorbed in an activity, whether it's intellectual, professional, or physical. Flow can be achieved through activities such as running a race, playing the violin, or writing a article, as long as the activity is voluntary, intrinsically motivating, requiring skill, and challenging in some way. When we are in flow, we lose track of time and self while controlling our attention to meet challenging goals, is how Dr Gary Gute, University of Northern Iowa professor, describes it. We do our best and feel our best. Flow gives our intellectual and emotional resources a workout, helps us extract meaning and enjoyment from life, and powers the transformation of anxiety, boredom, and suffering. A growing body of scientific research proves that flow is positively correlated with happiness and that people who experience a lot of flow also develop increased concentration, better performance, and higher self-esteem. The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times. Whatever you want, give first, and watch what you receive. There are high spots in all of our lives. And most of them have come through the encouragement of someone else. I don't care how great, how famous or successful a man or woman may be, each hungers for applause. YOU DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH YOU AFFECT OTHER PEOPLE Example is not the main thing influencing others. It is the only thing. I remember it well. I was at a party and some woman I knew only fairly well, sat down with me and said, You don't know how much you affect other people. Hearing that for the first time was like being hit with a ton of bricks. I tend to expect special favors from others.

I want others to pay attention to me. The least possible amount of points that can be scored on this test is 12; The true scoring of the Dirty Dozen is a bit more complicated, but scoring it this way will give you a general idea of where your abuser falls on the dark triad spectrum, if at all. Another measure of dark triad traits called the Short Dark Triad (SD3) was created by Paulhus and his colleague Daniel N. This quiz contains a series of sixty statements, such as: It's wise to keep track of information that you can use against people later. I know that I am special because everyone keeps telling me so. I like to get revenge on authorities. Each statement is rated from one to five, one being strongly disagree and five being strongly agree. Rarely do we even put them into words. But they exist nonetheless. Everyone is born into a certain set of circumstances, and our values are defined by what we experience. Were we born into hardship or luxury? Where did we receive praise? Parents and caregivers are often our loudest fans and critics. Though we might rebel in our teenage years, we are generally compelled to please and imitate those authority figures. Looking back, think about how your time with your parents was spent. Playing, enjoying conversation, working on projects together? What did they tell you was most important, and did it match what mattered most to them? The best moments usually occur if a person's body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi claims in his article Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.

Csikszentmihalyi is one of the pioneers of the scientific study of happiness and a founding figure of positive psychology. He discovered that people find genuine satisfaction during the flow state of consciousness, particularly with activities that involve their creative abilities. He insists happiness does not simply happen but must be prepared for and cultivated by each person by setting challenges that are neither too simple nor too demanding for one's abilities. The main thesis of his work is that happiness is not a fixed state but one that can be developed as we learn to achieve flow in our lives. His definition of flow is a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; One key aspect of flow is that while in it, nearly all the brain's available inputs are devoted to one activity, which is why the perception of time changes. The brain is too focused on one thing to keep track of stray negative thoughts, or even discomfort. That explains why a runner might experience a runner's high, or why I can forget to eat lunch when immersed in a writing project. While Csikszentmihalyi is quick to point out that one can achieve this state through activities such as fishing, playing the guitar, cooking, or reading, he considers the practice of hatha yoga, in particular, one of the best models to describe what happens when psychic energy is flowing. What an impact. I greatly appreciated what she said, and from that day on I've made it a point to go out of my way to make time for others. Really get into their heads. Make them think. Force them to examine their lives and pull themselves up by the bootstraps. I've met many others who have decided to make time for others too, and their reactions from people, like what I've seen in my own experiences, range from shock to real joy. I'll bet you're one who likes to help people too. Only a handful of people ever take the time to ask the questions of others that cause them to go beyond the Hey, how's it going? As you can imagine, if you desire to positively affect the lives of others, many of the people you encounter will want to pull away from you because you have caused those squeaky, rusty wheels in their brain to start working again. Yet, as the great philosopher Socrates has said, A life unexamined is a life not worth living. There is plenty of information available online if you are interested in learning more about the SD3.

Those who score high on these types of assessment tests have been found more likely to commit crimes and wreak havoc in organizations. In fact, correctional institutions are overloaded with dark triad personality criminals. Other studies conducted by Dr Jonason have shown that night owl type people tend to have more dark triad traits than do morning people. In Jonason's own words, It could be adaptively effective for anyone pursuing a fast life strategy, like that embodied in the dark triad, to occupy and exploit a lowlight environment where others are sleeping and have diminished cognitive functioning. The personality traits of those with narcissistic personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder and those who are high machs all indicate a presence of mental illness. Mental illness varies in degrees from mild to severe, as do each of the three personality types that make up the dark triad. Though the common traits and behaviors of all three disorders are certainly offensive and maladaptive, those who possess them are not considered mentally disabled or insane. They all operate deliberately and with full comprehension. The traits shared by those with the three disorders of the dark triad are: Who did they want you to be? What did they want you to accomplish? How did they expect you to behave? Did you absorb these ideals, and have they worked for you? From the start, our educations are another powerful influence. The subjects that are taught. The cultural angle from which they are taught. The way we are expected to learn. A fact-driven curriculum doesn't encourage creativity, a narrow cultural approach doesn't foster tolerance for people from different backgrounds and places, and there are few opportunities to immerse ourselves in our passions, even if we know them from an early age. This is not to say that school doesn't prepare us for life--and there are many different educational models out there, some of which are less restrictive--but it is worth taking a step back to consider whether the values you carried from school feel right to you. The similarities between yoga and flow are extremely strong;

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