Sat. May 25th, 2024
Fragility: How to Use Suffering to Get Stronger

Holmes House: We all want to increase pleasure and decrease pain, but the truth is suffering, even the collective suffering we experience, is often reserved for some real change to happen.

Derren Brown: There are things life throws back at you that you can’t control.

Nancy Cohn: Flexibility is critical to accomplishing your mission.

Shaka Senghor: I had the choice to give up. I had a choice to fight for a second chance.

Susan David: Difficult experiences are part of life. They are part of our contract with the world, simply because they are here.

Jonathan Haidt: What does not kill you makes you stronger. This gets to the idea of ​​the psychological principle of “prevent fragility”. It’s a cool term. This is actually an ugly and ugly term, but it was coined by Nassim Taleb because we don’t have a word for this in the English language, which is that there are some systems that get stronger if pushed and crossed. So the wine glass is fragile – if you drop it, it breaks, nothing good happens. The plastic cup is flexible. If a child throws it off the table, it does not break, but nothing good happens. But there are some things that need to be taken off the table. There are some systems that need to be pushed, things like the banking system that needs to be tested as it becomes fragile and breaks down. Bones must be tested, used or weakened. If you were to fly to Mars, your bones would be weak. The immune system, if you protect children from bacteria if you keep them in a sterile environment, you destroy the immune system. The immune system must face challenges in order to learn.

Susan David: The beauty of life is inseparable from its fragility. You are healthy until you are not. You are with the people you love until you are not. You have a job you love until, for some reason, that job no longer works well. It is really important that as humans, we develop our ability to handle our thoughts and emotions in a way that is not a struggle; In a way that embraces them, is with them, and is able to learn from them.

Derren Brown: The ancient idea of ​​happiness, which the Stoics somewhat enjoyed, was that happiness was a kind of tranquillity. So this is really about a recipe for avoiding unnecessary turmoil and anxiety. So don’t try to control the things you can’t control. Now the only things you can control are your thoughts and actions, and that’s it. That’s it. And if you accept the idea that outside of your thoughts and actions everything is fine, it is fine as it is, and you let that thought sink into your soul, then you have a very good model for avoiding unnecessary turmoil and anxiety. The opposite of all this thinking is the American obsession with, forgive me, positive thinking and optimism — that you can, by believing in yourself and setting your goals, bring the world into line with your goals. Indeed, we can’t.

Susan David: I have concerns about the overarching societal messages we hear, which is that we should focus on being happier, choosing to be happy, and thinking positive. Now, just to be clear, I’m not against happiness, but my concern with the current rhetoric, is that I think what it actually does, paradoxically, is prepare people for higher levels of unhappiness. Let me explain why: First, what we do know is that when people focus over and over on being happier, when they set it as a goal, when they value the idea of ​​happiness, there is a body of research that shows that over time these individuals become less happy. Now, why is that? One of the things I talk about in my book Emotional Resilience is the idea that expectations are disappointments waiting to happen. When we overestimate the idea of ​​happiness as a goal, we essentially set ourselves up to perceive every slight and every disappointment as evidence and proof of the fact that we are not effectively achieving that goal. So in a very strange way, valuing happiness is ultimately not the path to happiness.

Holmes House: You know, I flew in this morning from L.A., and we’re here in New York, and the thing I’m going to keep repeating in my head over and over again is, “Resist nothing,” which sounds so silly, but for me, it’s the real key to happiness, trying again, says Richard Rohr. “,” Love learns to say yes to what is. And this is one of the most basic tenets of this kind of thought perspective, is learning to say yes to what is. As Eckhart Tolle says, “It is madness to resist what is happening.” It’s crazy. Obviously, if you can change something, if something is unpleasant or physically painful, and you can pivot, yeah, resist, resist — like, I’m all for that. But if your flight is delayed, you can watch people start to struggle. So, something unpleasant happens: the flight is delayed, but the suffering happens when it begins, and you can watch this happen from what I and I call “witness plays.” You’re watching yourself make up a story, and that’s where the suffering comes in. It is your association with the way you think things should be. And of course, I still do this. Please don’t think – I’m sitting on a chair, I’m not floating. But you see the story start happening, and you go, “Delta or United should do better. They always do.” This is like the first level. Then you start saying, “I’m going to miss this thing” or “I’m going to be late for dinner.” and “Damn, my ticket is too expensive.” And you know, that’s the story that we’re building. Really, something has happened. flight delay. It might have been completely preventable, but it does happen. You need to find a quiet place inside where the basic fact that you are actually involved is enough value and dignity to be taken advantage of at any given moment. You only change through suffering. Otherwise, why would you change? Why would you change? It works.

Shaka Senghor: The things I learned about resilience during my time in prison is that humans, I think by nature, are very resilient. Oftentimes, we don’t realize our resilience until we encounter obstacles and circumstances that challenge and push us. And it looks different for everyone. You know, when I think back on my prison journey, I had some very negative experiences. I had some big hurdles to overcome, including, you know, prolonged solitary confinement, which they estimate is designed to drive a person insane after 90 days. And what I found in that environment is that people figure out ways to cope and survive when they are forced to do so. And for me, I found I was resourceful when my back was against the wall. If you acknowledge what you’re going through, and realize that it’s an obstacle—it’s that dark moment—but you also realize that there’s a light on the other side of that tunnel, then you can get through. And for me, I think hope is probably the cornerstone of resilience. As long as you have hope, you can get out on the other side of anything. Once the light of hope dims, there will be no way out on the other side. And for me, I think that’s flexibility. I always thought, “If I focus on the goal instead of the pain, then I can get to the other side.” And this is how I live my life. And for me, those things epitomize the reality of resilience.

I think there are three things, three of the ingredients that make you resilient is being optimistic. Optimism is integral to overcoming adversity. I would say the second thing is to be really resourceful and figure out in your environment what are the things that you can use to help you deal with whatever you’re going through? And then I think the third thing would be, you gotta have amnesia. I know this probably sounds crazy, right? But what I’ve found is that a lot of times we replay memories that are no longer there over and over in our heads. And what that does is it holds you hostage. And so, once you start to release those memories and realize that you can never get that space or that time back, or that experience — then you can move on with life. You know, because now you have removed the shackles from your feet and become more mobile. And I think to be resilient, you shouldn’t be thinking about what happened in the past, and you should really just focus on what you need to do going forward.

Nancy Cohn: The first step to sharpening and strengthening our flex muscles is to take the first step into fear, into the unknown, into uncertainty, which we all—leader included—have within ourselves. It doesn’t have to be a big step. You don’t jump, you know, you don’t jump off a building in a high area, you don’t have a superhero cloak, wand or Gandalf magic from “The Lord of the Rings”. You have the ability to take one small step at that. And the great thing about plotting stories of leaders over time is that you know that each one of those people gets a little bit more resilient, a little bit quicker to enter the fear state, a little more courageous to enter the fear state with each step you take—and so it’s cumulative. It’s about the mileage of going into our fear with just one small step, tightening our core, squaring our shoulders, going at it, and then accessing more of our inner strength, having more access to our resilience. So flexibility is crucial. However, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t come from above, we can’t download it to our iPhones, but we can discover it within ourselves, develop it within ourselves, and find it stronger and easier to get each time as we go forward.

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *