The Best Way To Avoid Problems

Life has three rules, according to Dan Millman: paradox, humor, and change.

Indeed, life is full of paradoxes. Which are paradoxes at first sight only, but are grains of wisdom at a closer look.

We all hear that prevention is better than cure. Long-term investment is better that immediate fire-fighting. Being proactive is better than being reactive. From this I formulate one of my favorite paradoxes:

The best way to avoid problems is to create them. 

How come?

I think most of the people have a patient mentality. We realize we have serious problems once confronted with challenges we cannot ignore. And even then, we prefer quick fixes to sustainable solutions.

What is the opposite of the patient mentality? That of a student. Meaning not going to school (though that doesn’t hurt), but creating your own challenges, formulating tasks and setting goals that require high concentration and effort.

Such challenges must be tough enough to keep you focused, determined, and alert.

Build a relationship. Contribute to a community. Move to another country. Change your profession. You name it.

And here is the thing. If you consciously create these “problems”, if you keep the fire burning, life will bring less or zero misfortune. Why should it, if you’re already busy sorting out your stuff? 🙂

It’s easy to “learn and grow” once life slams you into the face. It’s much harder to do so when things are shiny and rosy.

After all, this is what responsibility means: creating your own challenges and solving them creatively, rather than facing “unexpected surprises” from the world in a panic mode.

 

 

Castaneda And Frankl: A Bridge Between Esoterics And Psychology

Carlos Castaneda and Viktor Frankl are undoubtedly some of the greatest thinkers (and practitioners!) humanity has ever produced.

While they took different approaches in their lives – i.e esoterics and psychology – quite many connections can be made between the two.

One obvious common thing is the idea of responsibility that is a cornerstone for both authors.

Castaneda says that in order to be efficient you need to take on responsibility for your own life and accept the fate as it is. This is the difference between a warrior and an average man.

Frankl in essence tells the same. Responsibility, together with freedom and spirituality, is a pillar of human existence.

No matter which approach or tradition we may prefer, both of them share the same profound point. We are the ones who are responsible for our lives. And if we want to have things we’ve never had, we must do things we’ve never done.

Other posts on Viktor Frank’s Man’s Search for Meaning:

The Pillars Of Human Existence: Spirituality, Freedom and Responsibility
Three Types of Values That Make Life Meaningful
Where Space for Growth Lies
Death Makes Life Meaningful
Heredity And Environment Vs. Will and Action
Knowledge Vs. Wisdom

The Pillars Of Human Existence: Spirituality, Freedom and Responsibility

Note: translated from Russian, highlighted by me.

Spirituality, freedom and responsibility are three human’s existentials. Not only do they characterize human existence, but they also constitute the same. In this sense spirituality is not just man’s feature, but rather his constituting peculiarity. Spiritual is not only present in human beings in addition to the corporal and psychic like in animals. Spiritual is what distinguishes man from anything else, what is essential in him and only for him.

A plane remains a plane of course when moving on the ground. It can and it constantly has to move on the ground! But only when up in the air it proves to be a plane. Likewise man starts acting like man only when he is able to overcome the inherent psycho-physical conditions of his organism.

This possibility is true existence, and to exist means to constantly go beyond your own self.

Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

Other posts on Viktor Frank’s Man’s Search for Meaning:

Three Types of Values That Make Life Meaningful
Where Space for Growth Lies
Death Makes Life Meaningful
Heredity And Environment Vs. Will and Action
Knowledge Vs. Wisdom

There’s Nothing Wrong With Dirty Politicians

Simply because they pursue their interests. And we all do.

The issue is with the public that elects dirty politicians, not politicians themselves. Politicians suck because voters suck. That is why I haven’t voted for 10 years now, and ain’t planning to do so in future.

“What about the civil duty?” – one might ask. “How can you hope to change the country if you don’t participate in the election process?” Bla-bla-bla.

To this I will reply: “Cut the bullocks, will you?”. Thinking that representative democracy gives a freedom of choice is the biggest illusion of all. There is no bloody choice. At least in the times we’re living in. The only choice you get is between Pepsi and Coca-Cola. Feel the difference?

By the way, states are not run by politicians. Surprise-surprise? Well, formally they are, but in truth politicians decide very few things. Check out Colin Crouch’s book Post-Democracy for some insights here.

Democracy is dead. Democracy, at least in the form that we witness today, is manipulation of minority over majority in order to pursue its (minority’s) interests.

Let me conclude on this. Political elites are always a reflection of the society they represent. Every nations deserves its political establishment. So in order to change the country you live in, there’s no need or sense in voting for another democratic ass-jack.

All you need is change yourself.

If YOU Need Something, YOU Do It, or How To Keep Yourself in Harmony

MORAL VS. NATURAL LAWS

I don’t believe in moral laws. I don’t give a damn about what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad’. Everything is relative. Besides, our own attitude can make a situation either positive or negative. What I do believe is there are laws of nature that help to save our energy. From the outside they may look like moral principles, but they have nothing to do with morality whatsoever. The key word here is energy.

There is one simple yet amazingly effective rule in this regard. It goes as follows:

If you need something to be done, do it yourself.

There is another perhaps better known variation of this:

if you want something well done, do it yourself.

Yet this is absolutely not the same. The second phrase allows space for others to do what you need, i.e. if you want something done really well, you’d better do it yourself. The meaning of the first phrase allows no compromise. If you need anything to be done – in any case you are the one who needs to do it.

And by anything I mean absolutely anything. Not only the ‘big decisions’ like changing a job, moving to another country, enrolling into university, etc., but also smaller and even smallest things.

Got angry that the bus got late and you’re late for work? Stupid bus driver, right? Or how about starting from home 5 minutes earlier next time?

Getting pissed off because of dirty dishes in the kitchen sink? Why don’t you clean them yourself, buddy? It’s you who’s pissed off after all, aren’t you?

Screaming because of high workload in the office? Getting fed up with the job – oh yeah, we all know that. Then why don’t take a few time management lessons?

And so on and so forth. You get the idea.

ISN’T THAT OBVIOUS?

Well, apparently no, if millions of people continue wasting their time on complaining, feeling insulted, angry, frustrated and so on. The list of energy-wasters can be endless here. Yet our energy is limited. Did you know that?

Energy is everything. We need energy to move forward. We need energy to achieve our goals. We need energy to live. To lose money is a big thing. To lose health is a disaster. To lose a friend or a family is a tragedy. Yet to lose energy is to lose everything.

With this in mind, guess who or what is to blame for all your faults, mistakes and wrong decisions? The government? A stupid boss? A bad day?

Really?

Just look in the mirror. The answer is there and is obvious.

Ultimately the principle “if you need it – you do it” means owning responsibility for virtually everything you want to change. Instead of complaining, feeling miserable or blaming everyone around we can start taking actions. We can deal with problems instead of getting drowned mentally in them. The amount of energy we spend is the same.

TWO TYPES OF FAMILIES

To illustrate the principle put in the title of this post, consider how chores and duties are divided in the two family models described below. Let’s name them “traditional family” and “free family”. Check it out and think – which one would you like to create, and in which one would you like to live? Provided you need a family of course. 🙂

Traditional family: marriage bonds and duties

Before marriage the young couple was held together through mutual interest and attraction. Now there are marriage duties on top of that: as spouses they must live together, run their household and raise the children.

Both husband and wife have their assigned duties in the family. They must perform their own duties and mustn’t interfere with the partner’s. Otherwise the norms of the family life are broken. The blame is always on the one who doesn’t do what he ought to do.

Mutual help between spouses is a must; all problems must be solved together. If a husband doesn’t help his wife, she has the right to get offended and resort to other means to involve him in the life of the family.

Free family: freedom and mutual interest

A husband is not his wife’s property, a wife is not her husband’s property, and they cannot limit (forbid) each other in anything. There are limits of course, but only internal ones caused by respect, love and gratitude towards the other spouse.

Neither husband nor wife have any duties: everybody does in the family what he or she finds necessary. If you need it – you do it. If you don’t like how it’s done by your spouse – do it yourself without complaining.

Mutual help is welcomed, but not a must. Everybody solves his owns problems without putting them on the spouse’s shoulders. My beloved one is not a crutch – I can stand still on my two legs. Thank you if you helped. If not – no problem. Nobody owes nothing to nobody. So there can be no problems or complaints between each other.

CONCLUSION: DON’T WASTE YOUR ENERGY

The essence of the “do it yourself” principle is not that you must be a jack-of-all-trades, or a superman, or a super housewife that knows or can do everything. You can ask for help if you don’t know or can’t do something on your own.

The idea is YOU need to ask or act instead of being overwhelmed with negative emotions because no one around is helping you.

This is how energy is saved. No complaints, no offense, no harsh feelings – just do it or ask yourself!

Democracy Is Dead

In his famous quote Winston Churchill said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.

I don’t believe in democracy.

What I mean I don’t believe in the well-known and commonly accepted type of electoral or representative democracy, when people “empower elites to act on their behalf”. What this results in is giving power to scoundrels, bandits and maroons who abuse the authorities they get and resources they receive.

I’m fed up with this democratic bullshit.

“Democracy is the power of majority?” Shut up.

“Democracy is the power of majority with respect of minority”? Are you kidding me?

“Democracy makes everyone equal”? Get away from here.

Democracy, at least in the form that we witness today, is manipulation of minority over majority in order to pursue its (minority’s) interests.

The best definition of true democracy I’ve come across so far was given by Erich Fromm, one of the brightest contemporary philosophers and social thinkers. In his interview with Mike Wallace Erich Fromm defined democracy as ” an organizational society and a state, in which the individual citizen is – feels – responsible, and acts responsibly, and participates in decision-making.”

The crucial word here is responsible.

As long as every individual takes on responsibility to change the neighborhood, city, country, the world, and first and foremost – himself – democracy will reign.

Delegating the responsibility to solve the most burning issues – in one’s own understanding – to a mythical ‘government’ or ‘president’ is not democracy, but rather a form of psychological transfer due to reluctance or inability to solve the problem yourself. Such behavior is typical of children, not adults.

To wrap up, check out this example when an average guy form South Central LA started doing what the state “should do” – ensuring proper food security and public care. And make your own conclusions.