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Books Psychology Quotes

‘Humor was another of the soul’s weapons in the fight for self-preservation’

Humor was another of the soul’s weapons in the fight for self-preservation. It is well known that humor, more than anything else in the human make-up, can afford an aloofness and an ability to rise above any situation, even if only for a few seconds.

Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

As Trevor Noah puts it, “Laughter doesn’t need thought.” It is intuited.

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Life & Philosophy Psychology

Building emotional agility

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Find the space in between.

“During the average day, most of us speak around sixteen thousand words. But our thoughts – our internal voices – produce thousands more.”

— Susan David, Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life

They say the quietest people have the loudest minds. But even extroverts have noisy heads.

Our inner dialogue is all over the place. The harder we try to tame the monkey mind, the crazier it gets. But instead of anxiety loop, we can “step back and ask: “Is this useful?”

How we react to our inner-narrative predetermines our well-being. We have to keep our emotions in check. Recounting his time in an extermination camp, Viktor Frankl wrote in Man’s Search for Meaning:

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

We may be naturally fragile. But we can strengthen our emotional agility to withstand our impulses. It’s not about forcing optimism, rather, it’s about dancing with the fear, and maintaining courage and curiosity despite self-doubt. As health psychologist Kelly McGonigal notes in her Ted Talk, the stress of caring can strengthen resilience.


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“No situation repeats itself…”

No situation repeats itself, and each situation calls for a different response. – Viktor Frankl

Belief systems are fragile. They’re most vulnerable when we need them most.

What people misunderstand about beliefs is that they’re guesses for how things usually work. Beliefs represent a framework for action.

You should master the fundamentals so you always have something to fall back on when the unpredictable occurs.

However, a strong belief system should also leave open the possibility of change and improvement so you can achieve practically anything.

Beliefs are the toolset, adaptation is a means of survival.

If every problem had the same solution, none of us would be where we are today. Innovation emerges when you’re challenged with what feels like the impossible.

The standardization and inflexibility of beliefs is what holds modernity back. Keep beliefs grounded but somewhat flexible so you can tweak your approach. Experiment when it’s necessary.

Every situation is distinguished by its uniqueness, and there is always only one right answer to the problem posed by the situation at hand.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Quotes

Viktor Frankl: Happiness must happen

Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it.

Viktor Frankl