Struggle easier is the wise lesson to learn from your mistakes
Were you taught that life is a struggle? Of course you were. And so was I. We heard adults say silly things like “no pain, no gain.” And “if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.”
That might have been sound advice when you were young. But now that you’re older is it wise advice?
There’s only one way to find out. If at first you don’t succeed, don’t try and try again.
Fail if you must, then try something else. Try something easier. Try not to be so trying. Believe me, no pain will be your gain.
(At my age, “no pain” is all the proof I need.)
Going With the Flow Gets You There in the End
Life is a struggle. Or so we expect based on social conditioning. Yet nature has many examples which show the success of the easy way. Like rivers. They find the easiest flow to the sea.
Have you swum across a river? The inexperienced river-crosser aims at a point directly across and struggles against the current. But the experienced river-crosser merely aims to cross and flows with the current to the other side.
If you aim for a very specific spot, then you must “tame” the river. But why not merely aim to cross, ride the current, and then walk to the desired spot?
Often when an inexperienced river-crosser gets about halfway, he realizes his struggle has exhausted him. Now he must choose. A final fight against the current, or give in and go with the flow.
The choice to let go is to admit that struggling is often simply nonsense.
Change Your Mind About a Change of Heart
I am all for being rational and objective in the name of the scientific method and all that. Yet, I cannot help feeling (note: feeling, not thinking), I cannot help feeling that we often go too far trying to be so logical.
Surely there is a big difference between a change of mind and a change of heart. The one is about thinking differently and the other is about being different.
I suspect that people who have a change of mind do so because they are not admitting to their feelings underlying the change. And because they don’t admit to their feelings, they inadvertently become their feelings. Witness how they say things like “I am angry” instead of “I feel angry.”
By not admitting that anger is a feeling, they become their anger. Now that’s irrational!
It is better to acknowledge your feelings so that your mind can rationalize your change of heart.
How To Decide When To Flow With Your Gut
Don’t let all this neuro-brain research fool you. We use only three types of decision-making strategies and we use them at different phases of life.
When in doubt, you can go with the flow, go with your gut, or go with your intellect. In other words, you can do what is easiest, what feels right, or what makes sense.
Kids tend to go with the flow because it’s carefree. Mature adults tend to go with the gut because of experience. And young adults try to appear rational because they crave credibility.
I have reached the phase of life where I am experienced enough to go with my gut. But I’ve run into an unexpected problem. The more I use my gut, the bigger it gets and the more I want to go with the flow. Because I want to be a kid again?
No, because it is less strenuous.
Welcome to my side of the nonsense divide.
Previous post you may have missed: Why Opening Up Is Riskier Than Bottling Up
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