Thursday, 24 September 2020

What the Wise Ones Want Us to Know About the Now

The thing to remember is that you should allow yourself to choose what's right for you--never allow the moralizing whispers of society to get in your ear and distract you from your path. One common fallacy is that money is evil; Fact of the matter is, however, America rose to prominence on the backs of those who spurred this trend--entrepreneurs and artists who set off alone, with different goals. Not everyone wants to be an entrepreneur, nor should everyone (or even most) strive to be. But had Edison, Steve Jobs and Jimi Hendrix become bankers or retail clerks, I suspect the world would have been far, far worse off for it. Each man had a clear goal--Edison to invent, Steve Jobs to revolutionize computing, Jimi Hendrix to change the guitar. And while there is little doubt that their level of organization differed from there on out, you'll see time and again that, if you desire a good life, you must plan to some degree. This varies from person to person; The new thoughts shouldn't just be positive for positive's sake but need to be realistic as well. A positive but unbelievable thought has little or no chance of helping. For instance, replacing our original thought of `Nobody likes me' with `I'm the most popular person in the world' is worse than worthless as we'll inevitably encounter plenty of situations that cast doubt on this. Once we have gained an increasing awareness of our thought processes and can consider more constructive alternative thoughts, we're likely to experience something called cognitive dissonance - a state of `psychological discomfort'. We've all had times when we hold a particular view only for it to be confounded by new information. The feeling we get then is the same as we should expect now and, although it sounds less than desirable, it represents an essential part of the improvement process. Because when we hold two thoughts that are inconsistent with each other, our brain works to resolve the difference. We either reconcile the two cognitions or gradually eliminate one of them. The good news is that by carefully evaluating our initial negative thought and (usually) finding that it lacks support we're already nudging ourselves in the direction of our alternative. Deliberately seeking and accepting evidence that supports the better thought will further improve the chances that it supersedes the poor one. If he does spend time with them, the activity must always be focused on his enjoyment. Family activities are never pleasant or fondly remembered by the children because they are never geared toward family fun.

The children are made to do whatever their father wants to do--no discussions, no compromise. Narcissistic men bore easily with the daily routine of having a family. Resentful of the mundane tasks of fatherhood that do not feed their egos, they'd rather spend time with other families that are impressed by their charisma, charm and grandiose stories, and are chock full of narcissistic supply. Narcissistic fathers find every reason not to engage with their families. Having little or no patience with their children, all child-rearing is left up to their wives. While their wives are busy taking care of the family, they are out looking for excitement and gratification elsewhere, often from other women. Narcissistic husbands typically have mistresses on the side. It is not uncommon for them to have second families and second homes. One afternoon a senior monk told us, Today we will have a silent lunch. Remember to chew your drinks and drink your food. What does that mean? We don't take the time to consume our food properly, the monk said. When you drink your food, grind the solids into liquid. When you chew your drink, instead of gulping it down take each sip as if it is a morsel to be savored. TRY THIS: SAME OLD, SAME NEW Look for something new in a routine that you already have. What can you spy on your commute that you have never seen before? Try starting a conversation with someone you see regularly but haven't ever engaged. They feel it will shackle their creative spirit and be a fruitless endeavor. This misconception stems from overzealous organizational texts that suggest you implement wildly detailed and obsessive principles.

The truth is, point-by-point planning and organization is right for only a select few individuals. There are some who thrive in hyper-organized environments; Most will, however, fall somewhere in the middle--benefiting from some organization, but also enjoying a modicum of spontaneity in their day-to-day lives. The reason most find it difficult to maintain organization is quite simple: they are trying to apply principles that are incongruent with their personality. You can, to some extent, change pieces of who you are. But this change will always resemble evolution, rather than a completely new species. Just as apes and humans possess a slew of common characteristics, you too will share many things in common with your former, less advanced self. If you're easily distracted, like to take constant action, and tend to address problems as they arise, it is unrealistic and foolish to plan your day step-by-step. Returning to my example, let's assume that we've reached a stage when, during time spent with our `more popular' colleague, we're sometimes convinced that nobody likes us but at other points can acknowledge our likeable qualities and the fact we have a couple of good friends. We could reconcile these conflicting thoughts by concluding `My friends are just being nice because they feel sorry for me. But by questioning these thoughts and actively recalling our constructive versions, the latter have an excellent chance of taking root and, in so doing, gradually crowding out the harmful ones. We'll know that we've succeeded when our new thoughts become the default in relevant situations - our so-called Negative Automatic Thoughts (NATs) are supplanted by one or more Constructive Automatic Thoughts (CATs). I will say more about how we can achieve this in article 9. We mustn't forget that some upward comparisons can serve a useful purpose by providing motivation and/or a method to improve. Stage 2, therefore, requires us to ask ourselves `Can I gain anything from the comparison I'm making? For instance, `My colleague seems to spend quite a lot of time emailing and calling her friends. It would be fun to do a bit more of that myself. If, however, it's `No, because I'm worthless' then we'll need to call upon our familiar, alternative thoughts again. They are highly insecure, especially when it comes to their masculinity, so validation from one woman, especially a wife, is not enough. They must keep seeking reassurance from new women through a series of affairs.

Unsuspecting newcomers rarely know these men are married. To justify cheating on their wives, narcissistic men tell themselves lies such as: She doesn't appreciate me anymore, She doesn't treat me well, She doesn't really love me, or She's lucky I even stay with her. The other women are treated much better than their wives are. They must keep up the grand facade to string these women along. If the men do have second families, those children are usually treated better than their legitimate children are. Much more narcissistic supply can be gained from a new family, one who has yet to see what these men are capable of. Some narcissistic men dump their first family and invest entirely in their new one. It is only a matter of time before the cycle of abuse starts all over again with these unsuspecting victims. Do this with one new person every day and see how your life changes. If a monk can be mindful of a single sip of water, imagine how this carries through to the rest of daily life. How can you rediscover the everyday? When you exercise, can you see the route that you run or feel the rhythms of the gym differently? Do you see the same woman walking her dog every day? Could you greet her with a nod? When you shop for food, can you take the time to choose the perfect apple--or the most unusual one? Can you have a personal exchange with the cashier? In your physical space, how can you look at things freshly? There are articles all around our homes and our workspaces that we have put out because they please us: photos, knickknacks, art objects. This neither plays to your strengths nor will result in any form of long-term success. Do not fall pretty to gurus and organizational blogs that hop up and down and tell you this is the only way.

Those are lies and misconceptions. These people are trying to sell you something or convince themselves of their own brilliance and importance; You should not feel guilty about being somewhat disorganized--so long as it consistent with your character. However, it is best to reiterate that certain principles are non-negotiable, the hallmark of almost every successful person on the planet. Unless you are extraordinarily unusual--and while most of us believe this ardently, the truth is generally otherwise--then you would be best served by applying these ideas to your own life. How granular and obsessive you get is up to you. You will find all these principles within article two; To that end, I invite you on a two month challenge. Once we've completed this process and can deal successfully with a couple of specific situations that triggered hurtful comparisons we're likely to find that those resembling them should become much easier as well. Our aim, with practise, is to reach a position where all upward comparisons can only have two possible outcomes - we either gain something helpful from them or we move on because there's nothing that can be gained. Crucially, our hurtful, inferior thoughts are no longer triggered by such comparisons: we don't feel a sense of threat when using them in any circumstances. In time we may even learn to stop making upward comparisons where we're unlikely to receive any benefit from them, reserving them for more promising situations. This is the third and final Stage and, once there, we'll have met the first of our key objectives. I compare upwards. Looking at Stage 3 you may be wondering why we carefully chose and practised alternative thoughts when we don't end up using them here. Why not miss out this step? The answer is that they're an essential part of eliminating our entrenched negative thoughts. If we don't work hard to replace them, we'll risk a relapse whenever we compare upwards. Should the first wife leave or divorce her husband before he abandons or divorces her, he will wage a tireless war of revenge aimed at destroying her life and decimating the family unit. Suddenly transforming from worst father ever to Dad of the Year, he will rally the children around him.

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