Categories
Life & Philosophy Poetry Psychology

The reeducation of emotion

At peace with the thinking, not always with the thought. The lizard brain generates emotions that are not immediately subject to reason.

Emotion-action often leads to undesirable behavior, independently of our control and without our understanding.

Therefore, it’s of the highest importance to recognize the issue at hand.

Intelligence restrains the worst of our emotions and potential wrong actions. We aim for a reserved response.

Stoic in our appeal, we successfully pause. We even set aside time or reflection. Listening closely with an intense examination, we stem the tide of self-destruction.

Quick on our feet, even quicker in perspective. Don’t meet rudeness with rudeness — there are many failed attempts along the way.

Emotional intelligence is a skill that fortifies holistic thinking and tames collisions of thought.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Psychology

Brain on fire

Like putty, we can reshape the brain. The mind is elastic, not stagnant. We can birth new neurons until the day we die. 

Yet, we live on with the assumption of slow decay, where aging is a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

While most of what happens in the world is a consequence of natural, universal laws, there’s no stopping the expectation for improvement. We have to demand progress in all realms of life (biological, personal, relational, etc.) even if it means we have to fake it.

There is, of course, no reason to brainwash ourselves with motivational quotes and self-help books that try to shut our eyes to reality.  

Lest we dump problems on tomorrow, we can change today. Experience teaches us to move on with new knowledge. 

Positive psychology demands a different mode of experience. Happiness shall not be forced, but knowing it’s up to us to foster satisfaction compels us to act with just a bit more hope.

Categories
Culture Life & Philosophy Psychology

No preferences

Presets are active, combatant, and not easily contained. The true believer builds their own alleyways that offer no escape. Who are they to play God?

Thus we must loosen our grip on preferences and explore neutrality, never clinging to any belief with absolute conviction.

Parochialism is a blind spot. Shrouded by significance, we deplete the energy to see out other options.

Yet, neutrals see bridges where others see voids. The open remain unstuck, privy to ideas and new knowledge.

The enclosure is already so tight, browbeaten by popular messages. But thinking about the possibility of being neither right nor wrong shifts attention toward a beautiful constraint. Strong opinions loosely held can go a long way to fortify a premium tension. We seek confidence, not a certainty.

As we toggle between abstract and the specific, what we seek is more practical. Rightness already floats around in the head as we compel ourselves to embrace the unconscious.

Openness offers a rare opportunity to climb out of the box, to go one way, then the other. It understands that that’s how some things happen in the world, standing at the edge of possibility.

Categories
Psychology

No-makeup makeup

It’s easier to be oneself behind a mask to conceal the messy workings underneath.

But the shame in acting is suppressing the person that we are.

We can only mask our insecurity and vulnerability for so long until we yield to the unmasking powers of authenticity.

Honesty is liberating.

There is no stage nor carousel of personas worth acting for that disguises our real identity.

Being vulnerable and confident, fitting in and standing out–balancing the tension remains critical in stemming all the barefaced lies.

We’re better off with zero makeup so we can just be ourselves.  

Categories
Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work Psychology

Avoiding the losses

Every story needs a villain that disobeys the rules. Bereft of the drama, we lose interest in the hero’s tale.

Every single event that occurs in one’s life prepares them for a moment yet to come. Life begs for a beautiful struggle, where an exaggerated sense of faith begets a David versus Goliath triumph. 

When we overcompensate for our vulnerabilities, we harden our determination. “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how,” wrote Nietzsche in the Twilight of the Idols.

The last scene may culminate in success, but the movie goes beyond the screen into new chapters. Even the victor with impressive persistence rarely goes undefeated. Every hero meets their maker, accepting risk as to the possibility of a loss. 

The protagonist expects the ebb and flow of living. All the scars reinforce a type of fundamental competition. A confident attitude brings us closer to the winner’s circle than surrender does. 

Knowing we’ve got nothing to lose avoids all the losses.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Psychology

The becoming

“To be or not to be. That’s not really a question,” quipped film director Jean-Luc Godard back at Shakespeare’s most famous line.

To be is rather a false start. Not to be precludes trying. Becoming is more like it.

We think that success happens, but it’s the mistakes along the way that build up our future. 

Struggle makes us human. Similarly, the impairments that deem to weaken us end up making us stronger. 

As we overcompensate for our flaws, we excel in creating unique survival methods that are almost impossible to replicate.

Humans thrive in a slow march, detached from the cult of action and the tyranny of business and competition. Progress embraces the tortoise’s quiet and extensive route, inching forward and sometimes backward, gaining perspective bit by bit.

Said Malcolm Gladwell: “A lot of what is beautiful and powerful in the world arises out of adversity. We benefit from those kind of things,” but “we wouldn’t wish them on each other.”

We are all underdogs in something, a compromise that gets us out of bed in the morning and back to work.

We become the person we are, over time, wading into discomfort by building confidence out of effort and bouncing off our handicaps. To be or not to be, the real question is if we can keep going.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Psychology Science Tech

Information is the sum of parts

The brain is just a collection of tangled wires with neuron connectivity levels. We call its output ‘information’ because we need some way of describing chemical synchronicity.

The computer works the same way.

On the inside, it’s a collection of chips and wires with various voltage levels. What we see on screen is what we label as information.

Information is the same name we give to brain chemicals and computer voltage to describe organized chaos. While negative beliefs and rusty chips impair memory, the function of the thinking mind or active motherboard set rules for action. 

Furthermore, the conflict and synchronization between man and the machine (i.e., science fiction) continue to be the mother of invention.  

Information is the sum of parts, and it allows us to go beyond the robot. 

Categories
Life & Philosophy Psychology

How to doubt your fears

Fears are the mind-killer. They will eat the soul if you let them have their way. 

But fear is unavoidable — it’s in your DNA to fight or flight. There are no limits to what the lizard brain can fabricate. The imagination toggles with ‘what if’ scenarios, enduring anxiety before ever experiencing an event.  

Yet the head is also psychologically safe, physiologically sound. You own the decision rights to the brain domain, driven by the string of your heart.  

Fears are, in their very nature, abstract. Wade into them in their stark simplicity and irreality, and they lose potency.

Easier said than done, of course. It takes bravery to examine the validity of your negative thoughts to gain a more realistic perspective on them. 

Categories
Life & Philosophy Psychology

How to stem the fright

The actor slips over their words; the violinist freezes mid-song; the shortstop misses an easy grounder.

Mistakes happen, no matter the expert. But how many errors are due to overthinking?

We worry as a preventative, living through hyperbole in our heads before experiencing any such horror in real life.

Dizziness of anxiety indicates a lack of preparation. Deliberate daily practice not only improves our skills but also quells our fears.

We work better when we unthink. Doing the work reconciles with the monkey mind.

We may be unable to think ourselves better, inculcating a hardened thought as a placebo. But we can strengthen habit, cementing positive action through bicep curls for the mind.

Uncertainty tries to shipwreck lives. Doubt likes to spread and replicate like a virus, preempting all our efforts and encouraging us to play it safe.

All the energy comes from beheading the internal resistance and replacing it with hard work. We must permit ourselves to attack life and refuse to negotiate with the dialectic and its ”what ifs.”

Thankfully, we starve for expression. Our craft is a serious matter.

Discipline is freedom. It’s the only thing we can fire up to help control rising self-doubt.

The most significant gains in confidence come from executing the production process itself.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Psychology

Gagging on the dizziness of freedom

Devoid of context, an abstraction so genuine it steers clear the badge of authenticity.

We, meaning-seeking creatures are lost in the dizziness of freedom. We follow an inner narrative only to see it conflict with the ideal stories we tell ourselves.

Dreams are saturated with misleading formulas that destabilize our consciousness. The truth lies between the lines, soaking in the gray space.

We may drink it black or flatten it with white, knowing all along that the coffee is the mere vehicle for imbibing caffeine’s truth serum.

Awake, finally embracing the certainty of being forever lost. We gag on two sips of Americano and spit anxiety back out again.