The above passage was shared with me today which was a good reminder to show more appreciation in life when things are going well rather than just dwelling on the negatives. Most probably would read this passage, think “Okay yeah, I should appreciate the good moments more” and carry on with the day. However after reading this excerpt, letting it resonate, I wanted to dive in and think deeper. Curiosity started looming to understand WHY do we complain so easily, rather than discussing all the positives from our days? And more importantly, figuring out a strategy for HOW to go about solving this.
According to the author above (unknown source, but if you know feel free to comment) we complain because we don’t put enough value on life when it’s going well. We anticipate everything will perfectly align but if the plan deters, WE FREAK OUT. The result is we effortlessly complain, and struggle to voice our gratitude as often. A philosophy which was repeated in few different sources that I have studied lately started to come to mind and was an indication as to why this may be.
It’s seems we live in a world where we expect everything to align and go as planned, rather than expecting disaster. This sounds negative initially, like you’re living in a depressed state. However, when you’re prepared for the worst case scenario, you won’t be disappointed if things don’t work out. And if they do end up working out, you will appreciate them more. We have a greater appreciate for things if we know it’s the last time we will be seeing them. Derek Sivers, someone I recently started following after hearing him on Tim Ferriss’ podcast, suggested to practice expecting disaster as a means to thrive in an unknowable future. This is a concept derived from stoicism. In other words, practical pessimism. This means envisioning a negative outcome of a situation so you can actually control your reactive behavior better to work to your advantage no matter the actual outcome out the situation. Make sense?
To better explain:
“To practice it [practical pessimism], consider in full detail the worst-case scenarios in any given situation. Seneca, for example, taught his students to remind themselves that their loved ones would one day die. The thoughts may be dark, but they can allow you to appreciate all that you have without taking it for granted.” (Feloni)
In the book “The Obstacle is the Way, by Ryan Holiday,” the author mentioned how before going into space, the one skill we make sure to train more than any other is the art of not panicking. Also known as, dealing with disaster. This way, if or when disaster does strike, we have trained for it and are mentally prepared on how to behave. This makes perfect sense, and is a logical concept to apply to life.
Initially after reading this passage, my mind raced while pondering all the information I have studied regarding handling situations in life. From the teachings in Tim Ferriss’ podcast, Derek Sivers philosophy, the stoics, and the book which contains lessons of stoicism as well, we are able to better understand why we act the way we do. Reading into philosophy provides more education on how you can mentally train and prepare yourself to better manage situations life throws at you.
Be objective when times are bad, and be grateful when they’re good. No one said this life is easy, but if you educate yourself to understand how life and the universe work, it’s worth it.
Stay curious, stay creative, stay hungry.
#LeaveYourMark #FailForward #ChangeYourMindset
How ‘Practical Pessimism’ Can Make You More Successful (Business Insider)