It can be difficult to spend time with anyone without picking up traits or habits that you dislike in them.
For many people these negative elements quickly shape into the dislike of the person. Without allowing room for differences and mistakes our journey can be littered with a sequence of shortlived engagements. This in turn can result in having a very select group of friends with a narrow spectrum of insight, potentially limiting both your personal growth and exposure to the diversity of life.
The 'Flash of Good' principle challenges one to invert your thoughts by searching for the one key aspect you can respect and appreciate from every person you meet. This can be a skill, accomplishment or even something as superficial as aesthetics. Make this your key association, and as you become aware of issues force yourself to focus on their ‘Flash of Good’ so that your feelings don't easily get routed by negativity.
Try to separate a person from actions, behavior and faults. Throw emotions at events, not the person. This is not forgetting, excusing or supporting the differences; it is purely an approach to abstract negative feelings from how you treat people.
Have a very low baseline expectation from everyone. People are self-serving, weak, overbearing, untrustworthy, cold and unforgiving. Every single exception that contradicts the dark corners of our nature is something worth appreciating and a potential candidate for their 'Flash of Good'.
Monday, 29 July 2013
Saturday, 6 July 2013
How do we define what we are? We have impulses, desires and feelings within our environment that forms strong gravitational forces. These forces influence our decision making and how we interpret the outcome.
Two extreme views:
1. What we feel is what we are. The belief that our nature is given to us; our emotions are our guide on the path of self-discovery.
2. We become what we want to be. Nothing is set in stone, we are who we choose to be, a constant work in progress.
Fully understanding yourself is difficult. The intricate journey that comes together in our present self is very difficult to express in black and white ideologies. With that said, my philosophy is heavily weighted towards crafting yourself into what you want to be.
Some points I take to heart from the opposing viewpoint include:
· Some behaviors are near impossible to alter after passing a certain point.
· Simply embracing life is more spontaneous.
My primary concerns:
· The belief that our nature is provided puts distance between us and the results of our actions. Removing the need to take responsibility for your actions, because as long as it feels right, it must be.
· With no direction there is no control of what one becomes. I have little confidence in the general good of humanity. We are not isolated and our choices affect those around us. If not for one’s self the individual should be mindful of who they are becoming to those around them.
Can we change our nature?
I believe that these Silent Forces that come from within is our minds interpretation of a very complex assimilation of our complete past and current environment. The part that we could gain some control over is the interpretation - the area I refer to as your Inner Core’s 'Chamber of Thoughts'.
Stop believing in your feelings. You might be surprised to find how much of your nature started with a flip of a coin and slowly grew into the pillars you hold them to be.
Most people treat this room as a black box, a magic Eight Ball that has the supposed wisdom of their true self. This is because the outcome can become fairly predictable even though the mechanism seems mysterious. Complexity is, however, not a reason to shy away from self-discovery. Start by firstly identifying the forces (observe inner responses to a wide range of situations) and then methodically dissecting them into raw principles and finding their potencial origins. By reflecting on them you are able to make adjustments to your current foundation.
An effective strategy for reconditioning is ‘Black Bagging’ (See previous post) unwanted thoughts as they form, declaring your new view and quickly moving on.
This takes time and dedication; it is a slow disciplined process that requires continuous introspection. The more time you spend in this room the more you will develop a thought-driven lifestyle that will allow you a deeper understanding and control over your nature. Take time to think, organize and examine what happens around you. Making a specific alteration is heavily dependent on how deep you allowed yourself to go down the opposing rabbit-hole and how strongly you want to change.
I am the result of past choices and experiences, my character and emotions are a result and not the origin of who I am. My life is my responsibility, even in areas influenced by others; I solely take responsibility for who I am today as well as working towards what I want to become.
1. Change your thoughts, as they are the seeds that form your nature.
2. Change your actions. Make conscious changes to align to new viewpoint.
3. Allow the new actions to fall into predictable behavioral patterns.
4. When the new view is in harmony between what you think, what you do and how you feel then you have successfully reconditioned yourself.
The longer you continue on this path the easier it will become. Do not get over confident in your ability to change. There is no easy removing of the old ways - only creating new ones over them. Avoid triggers that can pull you back e.g. fondly indulging memories that are in opposition to your current viewpoint.
The battle is in your mind and usually happens long before you are faced with a choice.