Fear less

Patrik Andersson - Take a leap

You can’t be fearless. Avoiding fear 100% is, in my opinion, not only impossible but also undesirable. But one can fear less.

The acronym “F.e.a.r.” (False Evidence/Expectations Appearing Real) comes to mind whenever I talk about fear.

It’s natural to take caution, to be prepared for the worse, to avoid troubles, to wish for the better.

On another hand, if this leads to anxiety, constant fear, being scared, having negative thoughts, always worrying, things are not that good.

So, how to fear less?

  • What I try to do is expose myself to the situation. Does a dog scare you? Spend some time with him. Are you afraid of trying new things? Try new things.
  • Read novels. Watch movies. Go visit things. Talk to people.
  • Also, try different things in general. Expose yourself to different situations and contexts.
  • Don’t let your mind wander that much. To some degree, it’s natural, on an excessive level – it’s not.
  • Reanalyze the situation – does it help you to be afraid of X? If not, could you change your mindset about that?
  • Come back to the desired state from time to time. So, if I plan not to be afraid of X, reanalyze the situation from time to time – has it changed? What can you do better?
  • Try some therapy / journaling / talking to friends – see whatever suits you.
  • On another hand, do be prepared for the worse. Have some planning. Put a gas alert system in your house (if your heating is on gas, of course). Train. Project what adversities could happen and be proactive. Having less fear doesn’t imply 100% bravery. You should be cautious, also.

Citește mai departeFear less

On savoring

Julie Jablonski - Blackberry

Via a great online course (“The Science of Well-Being” by Yale University | Coursera) I found out a definition of savoring:

Savoring = The act of stepping outside of an experience to review and appreciate it. (via »)

I tend not to savor things a lot. I’m always in a hurry, pretty much whatever I do. When I walk, I let my mind wander. Whenever I eat, I think of something else. When I work, I listen to something in the background. Whenever someone speaks, sometimes I think of something to say back, instead of being at the moment.

Some drawbacks:

  • Eating fast can, as far as I know, lead to weight issues;
  • I eat, from time to time, things I really enjoy, great food, nice food, wonderful food; but if I eat it fast, I enjoy it less;
  • Letting your mind wander can lead to creativity, but, all-in-all, it’s not so good for productivity;
  • Sometimes, the acronym “F.e.a.r.” (False Evidence/Expectations Appearing Real) comes to mind; I tend to think of things that might happen, and this sometimes leads to anxiety;
  • Although I can be more productive, I feel life passes by; and I’m not that fine with this.

What to do? Concrete steps:

  • Eat slower;
  • Focus your mind at the present mind;
  • Avoid letting my mind wander;
  • Expect the positive; placebos work;
  • Give it some time; don’t always focus on 100%; leave some things for tomorrow; allow some things to just go by.

Citește mai departeOn savoring

How does writing on the blog help?

Iain Merchant - Have you heard of 'Personal Space'!

TV cartoon called G. I. Joe: “Now you know. And knowing is half the battle.”

Just knowing about a thing doesn’t allow you to make some connections.

That’s why I like writing on this blog. It’s actually a very nice activity, I get enthusiastic about it. I enjoy every moment.

On one hand, it helps me structure my mind – if I write in order for others to understand, I have to make the ideas clear to me, first.

On another hand, I can be more open. If I write, I’ll put myself out there. I’m exposed, out in the open, I put my thoughts free for all. Anyone can see how I think.

All-in-all, blogging helps with making connections. And this helps with understanding.

I actually recommend this to others – if you want to know better, teach others.

There’s a learning method called “The Feynman Technique”, which has the following steps for learning:

  1. Pretend to teach a concept you want to learn about to a student in the sixth grade.
  2. Identify gaps in your explanation. Go back to the source material to better understand it.
  3. Organize and simplify.
  4. Transmit (optional).

Although transmitting is optional, I think it helps a lot.

Citește mai departeHow does writing on the blog help?

“Ține-ți mintea în iad și nu deznădăjdui” – Sfântul Siluan Athonitul

Caitlin Tobias - HoPe

“Ține-ți mintea în iad și nu deznădăjdui” – Sfântul Siluan Athonitul

I was there, once, in my life. It wasn’t pleasant. Actually, it was as unpleasant as one bad thing could be.

There’s a book in which a dog goes through pain. When the pain is over, he’s not the same as it once was.

A thing to remember.

Keep the faith, try, focus on the positive, insist.

But the bad things leave a trace.

Is there hope? It sure is:

Rana este locul pe unde intră lumina în tine… – Protosinghel Hrisostom Filipescu

Citește mai departe“Ține-ți mintea în iad și nu deznădăjdui” – Sfântul Siluan Athonitul

Innocence

Peter Schüler - child in time

I’ll say it again and again – I like this quote

“[…] ceea ce contează în viață nu-i niciodată inteligența, ci bunătatea […]. E lucrul cel mai bun pe care îl poate avea cineva în viață.” (Mircea Cărtărescu – via video-ul de aici)

And another one:

This philosophical razor advocates that when presented with competing hypotheses about the same prediction, one should select the solution with the fewest assumptions,[3] and that this is not meant to be a way of choosing between hypotheses that make different predictions. (Occam’s razor – Wikipedia)

Innocence is so cool! Sure, it lacks intelligence, sure, it’s not smart, but a happy heart can be forgiven for the lack of intelligence.

As long as you have a good heart, even though “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”, I think that’s the way to go.

Do good, as good as you can do it, and you’ll be forgiven for the lack of intelligence in making things right.

Citește mai departeInnocence

Sfântul Serafim de Sarov – “Atenție la duhul întristării, căci aceasta dă naștere la toate relele”

corinne glaziou - Happy August

Sfântul Serafim de Sarov: “În mod aparte, pentru a păstra pacea sufletească trebuie evitată acedia și să te străduiești a avea un duh vesel și nu trist. Trebuie să încerci să ieși din această stare cât mai iute cu putință. Atenție la duhul întristării, căci aceasta dă naștere la toate relele.”

I see this happening quite often. Sometimes, I can be irritated by something, and I make poor decisions. It helps to be happy.

You can’t be 100% happy, you can’t laugh or smile all the time.

But the placebos work – if you imagine yourself in a happy state, you’ll tend to actually enter that state.

Trying to be happy will, at the end of the day, make you happy.

Citește mai departeSfântul Serafim de Sarov – “Atenție la duhul întristării, căci aceasta dă naștere la toate relele”

How I receive feedback

A Gate - Grow up

Mistake 1: Thinking people give feedback the way they want to receive it

[…]

One of the hardest things I’ve had to learn is that humans aren’t pure functions: an input that works one day and gets one result, then again another day and get an entirely different result.

The same is true of how people give and receive feedback: someone may give you feedback in a particular way, but they prefer to receive much differently when it comes to themselves.

(Mistakes I’ve Made as an Engineering Manager | CSS-Tricks)

This happens to me quite a lot. I sometimes give a lot of feedback, some of it is perceived as aggressive, but when others give feedback to me, when others tell me some things, I tend to overreact.

I’ve gotten better with both parts, I think, as time passed by – I was able to receive feedback without getting upset, and I was able to give feedback which is as little emotional as possible.

Still, at the end of the day, there’s a gap between how I give and how I receive feedback.

Two battles:

  • When I give feedback: “Why don’t you like this? It helps you grow!”.
  • When I receive it: “I know it helps me grow, but it’s not easy to take in”.

Citește mai departeHow I receive feedback

“I’ve got the power!”

Finn Frode - Friends forever (2015)

“I’ve got the power!”, you might think.

But what is personal power?

  • On one hand, it might look that power comes from aggressiveness. Being tough, fighting, never giving up, persisting.
  • On another hand, what I think real power is – is humility. Sure, persisting in something is good, but you need humility for that, to admit that you might be wrong. You can help others, you can be available, you can be open and vulnerable.

A lot of times, I see power mistaken as force. “Push things!”, they say. But being able to control your inner demons, succeeding despite …, insisting, having the humbleness to start from scratch – these, all help a lot in real power.

You can manipulate people, force them, make them fear you. Or you can bend the tree by having him wanting to bend, by making the tree feel more like a flower than a solid object. You can make people feel good and want to be on your side.

To me, the real power is controlling yourself.

There’s a poor joke / acronym: “BITCH = Babe In Total Control of Herself“. But it’s actually half-true: if you want to be powerful, you need to be able to control your urges and emotions.

Don’t be aggressive, but control your emotions. That’s not how people commonly see the acronym.

Citește mai departe“I’ve got the power!”

“Stupid is as stupid does” – Forrest Gump

Patrick McDonald - George Best, the tormented genius

“Stupid is as stupid does” – Forrest Gump (1994 movie)

About the above quote: I don’t think that Forrest Gump is either 100% smart or 100% stupid.

The quote makes you think – is someone who acts stupid really stupid?

There are two ways to look at this aspect:

  • You can have intellectual issues, thus be considered stupid;
  • Do wrong things, thus be considered stupid.

I think that putting a label on Forrest doesn’t help anyone. He tries his best to make the world better and works a lot for this aim.

From time to time he does something rather silly, but in the big picture of life, this doesn’t matter.

Then there’s the act of looking at stupidity – while you are confronted with two options – A and B – it is rather difficult to choose between the two. After some things occur, it’s easy to look back at the life and claim “Oh, I would have done better in the same context”. I’m not so sure about this logic.

Also, there’s really no 100% intelligence. The smartest people do silly mistakes.

You might think that you are not stupid, from a true perspective. An imaginary reply, at some point:

[PILATE]
But what is truth? Is truth unchanging law?
We both have truths – are mine the same as yours?
Jesus Christ Superstar – A Rock Opera: Trial Before Pilate / 39 Lashes – Andrew Lloyd Webber

There’s no 100% objective on success, in this case, you can do something which is considered both silly and very smart – at the same time. Se Forrest Gump’s life.

Citește mai departe“Stupid is as stupid does” – Forrest Gump