Two sides to every coin, two sides to every person.
We all bobble back and forth between the two. I know I certainly have, but there comes a time when we much choose one side over the other.
Do we choose the side of conscious purpose? The side where we do work that is important to us, where we server the greater good and make a contribution…or do we divulge into greed and selfishness? Hate and anger? Violence and revenge? A sort of “me first” attitude that takes survival as one of the main success factors. I win when you lose so to speak.
Well when I lay it out like that, the second option is clearly distasteful. Who would ever consciously choose that? I might as well be asking you: “do prefer to save puppies over drowning kittens?”. There is no comparison, no logical reason to choose the second, and yet we do. Particularly when we are young. Don’t believe me?
Ever been betrayed? Got so hurt that you spent all your time focusing on a fiendish plot of revenge? So much so you could not think of anything else?
Yes? Then this is choosing the second option. Giving into hate and anger. Choosing to drown kittens over saving puppies.We all do it.
This really boils down to an issue of morality.
Should you be behaving this way? Ideally the answer should be no…but that “no” response comes from a source of tremendous personal growth first. No one starts out saying no, we all start out giving into our destructive side.
Some might argue this is bad, but I believe giving into this destructive force is actually a source of power that can be used for good later on. It can re-wire you in a powerful way that will greatly benefit you if a polarity shift from bad to good occurs in your life…granted, as long as you do not end up destroying yourself (think jail, drugs, loneliness, perpetual violence). It will become one of your success factors.
When I was younger I would avoid confrontations with people…
Often I would think to myself that it is best to just let things pass by. That by engaging the other person it would only worsen the relationship and not fix it. This is never how it works out. All that ends up happening is the following:
- You start to get walked over by other people
- You begin to get more angry by keeping it in
- You become focused with a clear mind on those who are unfair to you.
Later in life these negative experiences have become a permanent source of strength for me. Consider some of the things that could happen. You have two choices:
Keep getting walked over, or finally learn to confront.
I learned quickly that by avoiding confrontation, it only invites more of it. By demonstrating that you will punch back if need be shows others to give second thought before coming after you. It also helps develop strength of character. That you do deserve to be treated right. It fosters self confidence and self respect. Two traits that have definitely come in handy later in my life.
By letting the anger out through dealing with a problem as it arises teaches you how to deal with negative emotions.
Too often personal development has a cult focus on feeling happy. So much so that you struggle with negative emotions because you do not learn how to deal with them. By accepting your emotions and letting them be. Letting them out when you should, you learn to deal with negative emotions like anger and revenge. Avoidance never works. Acceptance does ( another very good success factor is learning the power of one deep breath).
I was focused with a clear mind, though for negative reasons.
It only served my own selfish needs, but a clear mind free from distractions has become invaluable. Being able to tap into that once negative energy that was spent focused on someone else and instead focus it on a worthwhile projects has done wonders for my productivity. I would not necessarily have realized I had that ability to focus if it were not for the negative energy in my earlier years.
The point is that strong negative emotions can become a tremendous source of strength and power later in life when you choose to do good. It becomes one of your success factors.
This has been my own case. Negative emotions are great fuel for action. Now, of course this action is destructive. It serves no one but yourself, but it causes you to take action. To focus. To strategize. To act with a clear mind focused on what you want. To center yourself with clear purpose. You’re not distracted.
It also fosters competitiveness and one-up-man-ship. A desire and passion to best those you hate. It can cause you to get carried away emotionally. To get a bit worked up, but this is far better than apathy (feeling nothing, like everything is a share of beige). So how do we cause a polarity shift? How do we take the traits of:
- clear mind
- not distracted
and focused these towards something positive? First, it requires you yourself to go through a dark period in life like I have done. I have noticed I am not alone in this. When I view highly motivated and passionate people doing amazing things in life, doing work that is important and that matters to others… the common thread is a dark period in life. Almost like it is a requirement.
The second step is to not allow yourself to be consumed by it.
To instead come through and deal with the hate, the anger, the feelings of guilt and sorrow and discover strength through self acceptance. To leverage the remnant of the negative emotions like clear mind, desire, focus, and passion into work that matters. For example, dealing with my fear of conflict has allowed me to have tremendous confidence in social situation. Tremendous courage putting myself out for all to see (as I do with this site). I do not care what anyone thinks of me. Being free from the pressures of others allows me to embrace my own uniqueness and creativity. This has clearly had a very positive impact on my life. What once used to hold me back now propels me forward.
Find the good in the bad. There is no path or process to follow, but only a destination to arrive at.
Answer me this: Do you have a soul? A part of you that can not be destroyed, cease to exist, or be damned to eternal damnation?
Your answer to this will be very telling as to your view of reality. If you say no, that there is nothing else beyond this life, then it makes sense to resort to a survival based mode of action as a success factor. If all you have is your current body, and once it’s gone it’s gone, then to preserve yourself at the expense of others makes absolute sense. To do otherwise would be foolish based on your view of reality.
However, if you said yes, there is a part of you that will exist forever. Then you can relate to the world in a very different way. Free of fear. Perhaps not free of your built in fight or flight response. That is a basic unconscious choice, but free from fake fear. Like fear of asking someone out, public speaking, or doing anything where all the attention is on you. Like leading a new results driven project, or achieving public success or public failure.
These fears are fake fears if your view of reality is one that you exist forever in some form. They become completely irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. These fears are real fears however if you subscribe to the first belief of survival as one of your success factors.
Your answer to my question is a fundamental one. It is how you view reality. How you related to the world. This is critical because you get back what you put out.
If you’re fake fear oriented (or real if you really do subscribe to this), you get back from the world:
If you operate from a view that these are fears you get back:
- joy, happiness
There is no right or wrong answer to my question. It’s simply the choice, and the results from that choice. Yes the results are very different, but it is a free choice. There is no evidence proving one way or the other. Maybe the first way is delusional. Maybe we should be more survival oriented even and at the expense of others. Instead of serving others constantly with dedication… but I find the second choice, the choice that most fears are fake fears to be much more empowering. They allow me to embrace my creativity and do work that is meaningful to me. Which allows me to live a much more happy life..even if it is a bit delusional in the eyes of some.
Success factors and survival I don’t believe are the same thing. What say you?