adamcrowe + regret   29

Aeon Ideas -- Why the demoniac stayed in his comfortable corner of hell by John Kaag
'...Jesus and the disciples go to the town of Gerasenes and there encounter a man who is possessed by evil spirits. This demoniac – a self-imposed outcast from society – lived at the outskirts of town and ‘night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones’. The grossest part of the story, however, isn’t the self-mutilation. It’s the demoniac’s insane refusal to accept help. When Jesus approached him, the demoniac threw himself to the ground and wailed: ‘What do you want with me? … In God’s name, don’t torture me!’ When you’re possessed by evil spirits, the worst thing in the world is to be healed. In short, the demoniac tells Jesus to bugger off, to leave him and his sharp little stones in his comfortable corner of hell. -- ... Those who are the most pointedly afflicted are often precisely those who are least able to recognise their affliction, or to save themselves. And those with the resources to rescue themselves are usually already saved. As Kierkegaard suggests, the virtue of sobriety makes perfect sense to one who is already sober. Eating well is second nature to the one who is already healthy; saving money is a no-brainer for one who one is already rich; truth-telling is the good habit of one who is already honest. But for those in the grips of crisis or sin, getting out usually doesn’t make much sense. -- Sharp stones can take a variety of forms. -- In The Concept of Anxiety (1844), Kierkegaard tells us that the ‘essential nature of [the demoniac] is anxiety about the good’. I’ve been ‘anxious’ about many things – about exams, about spiders, about going to sleep – but Kierkegaard explains that the feeling I have about these nasty things isn’t anxiety at all. It’s fear. Anxiety, on the other hand, has no particular object. It is the sense of uneasiness that one has at the edge of a cliff, or climbing a ladder, or thinking about the prospects of a completely open future – it isn’t fear per se, but the feeling that we get when faced with possibility. It’s the unsettling feeling of freedom. Yes, freedom, that most precious of modern watchwords, is deeply unsettling. -- What does this have to do with our demoniac? Everything. Kierkegaard explains that the demoniac reflects ‘an unfreedom that wants to close itself off’; when confronted with the possibility of being healed, he wants nothing to do with it. The free life that Jesus offers is, for the demoniac, pure torture. -- ... The demoniac reflects what theologians call the ‘religious paradox’, namely that it is impossible for fallen human beings – such craven creatures – to bootstrap themselves to heaven. Any redemptive resources at our disposal are probably exactly as botched as we are. -- There are many ways to distract ourselves from this paradox – and we are very good at manufacturing them: movies and alcohol and Facebook and all the fixations and obsessions of modern life. But at the end of the day, these are pitifully little comfort.' -- It's hard to get enough of something that almost works. ~ Vincent Felitti -- Don't you know that a midnight hour comes when everyone has to take off his mask? Do you think life always lets itself be trifled with? Do you think you can sneak off a little before midnight to escape this? ~ Søren Kierkegaard
psychology  freedom  anxiety  regret  Kierkegaard  OttoRank 
march 2019 by adamcrowe
The Book of Life -- Whether or not to have Children
'Making a good choice simply involves focusing on what variety of suffering we are best suited to – rather than aiming with utopian zeal to try to avoid grief and regret altogether. -- ... The insight that all choices are, in a sense, hellish, was best expressed by the early 19th century Danish Existential philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, who summed up our options in a playful, but bleakly realistic and exasperated outburst in his masterpiece, Either/Or: “Marry, and you will regret it; don’t marry, you will also regret it; marry or don’t marry, you will regret it either way. Laugh at the world’s foolishness, you will regret it; weep over it, you will regret that too; laugh at the world’s foolishness or weep over it, you will regret both. Believe a woman, you will regret it; believe her not, you will also regret it… Hang yourself, you will regret it; do not hang yourself, and you will regret that too; hang yourself or don’t hang yourself, you’ll regret it either way; whether you hang yourself or do not hang yourself, you will regret both. This, gentlemen, is the essence of all philosophy.”' -- ... For those of us contemplating whether or not to have children, the message is dark but consoling in its bleakness: you will be at points very unhappy whatever you choose. With either option, you will feel that you have ruined your life – and you will be correct. We do not need to add to our misery by insisting that there would have been another, better way. There is, curiously, relief to be found in the knowledge of the inevitability of suffering. It is, in the end, never darkness that dooms us, but the wrong sort of hope in that most cruel of fantasies: ‘the right choice’.'
philosophy  choice  humility  decisions  Kierkegaard  regret  pessimism  * 
january 2019 by adamcrowe
The Book of Life -- Career Therapy
'#The Agony of Choice: A lot of the reasons why we don’t move forward is that we are terrified of choice – and because, implicitly, we believe that there might be such a thing as cost-free, perfect choice and, by extension, a flawless life. -- To liberate ourselves to move forward, we should accept – with robust courage – the inevitability of pain around choice. The difficulty of choosing can mean that many of us spend our lives avoiding hard choices, which ends up being a kind of choice all of its own. But there is no alternative to picking something and to making our peace with the compromise that every choice entails. -- We procrastinate, at times, in a desperate attempt to keep at bay the cruel limitations of reality. If we move city, we might have new work prospects, but we’ll lose our current friends; if we devote ourselves to one specific career, other sides of our character will be neglected… If we delay choosing, all options appear to stay alive, at least as possibilities. Yet that is a grave illusion. We should quell our procrastination by accepting that not choosing is in itself a choice and that every choice will necessarily mean missing out on something important. -- We should get better and faster at making decisions, sure in the knowledge that every decision will be in its own way slightly wrong and somewhat sad – while also slightly right and somewhat good.'
work  existentialism  psychology  decisions  choice  freedom  regret  humility  philosophy 
december 2018 by adamcrowe
The Book of Life -- When Someone We Love Has Died
We may feel we didn’t always love them as we now we wish we had. There were things we didn’t do, or things we wish we hadn’t done; things we’d change, if only we could. -- We do not have to worry. We treated them as living beings, and this is what they would ultimately have wanted and expected. Most of what we needed to say made its way to them indirectly. We didn’t have to put it explicitly into words at a pivotal moment. They knew or guessed. They didn’t say everything either. It’s how human relations function: we do not have to spell everything out, because we do so much of the work in our own minds. They knew enough that we cared and why, at points, there were difficulties. They understood that there was sufficient love; it’s why we’re thinking of them now.'
philosophy  death  regret 
july 2018 by adamcrowe
What’s the best way to avoid regrets? by Oliver Burkeman
'...unpursued dreams have a tendency to stay in the background, gnawing at you only quietly, until suddenly it’s too late. -- Of course, the challenge is figuring out what that is. “Do what you want” risks becoming a call to impulsiveness and hedonism (and plenty of regrets, of both the ideal-self and ought-self varieties). That’s why I like the trick, with its roots in the work of Carl Jung, of flipping the question and asking not what you want from life, but what life wants from you. Looking beyond your immediate whims and desires, what’s trying to come into being through you?'
psychology  regret  ownlife 
june 2018 by adamcrowe
The Book of Life -- On Bittersweet Memories
'Surveying bits of our past – perhaps while in the bath, on a walk, or a flight – we may come across a particular type of memory colloquially known as ‘bittersweet’. -- We might remember afternoons we used to spend, when we were little, with our grandmother. Together we’d do a bit of weeding in her tiny garden, then we’d make lunch and play cards. Sometimes she showed us her old photographs of her own distant childhood. We enjoyed those times very much – but the memory of them is mixed up with the knowledge of what happened later. In adolescence, we pushed away from her, we almost never visited – and she died before we’d found our adult selves. She never got to know about the love we now feel for her. We wince at our recollections. -- ... In themselves, bittersweet memories can seem small and not very important. We perhaps don’t think about them very often; it can feel ticklishly uncomfortable to do so. But they’re quietly pointing us to something major about the human condition. Bittersweet memories force us to acknowledge that the positive in our lives is never far from being devilishly entwined with something more difficult. We feel, in the presence of bittersweet memories, the pain of being flawed, error-prone, time-short and regretful humans. -- It would, in a sense, be easier if things were more clear cut; white is simple enough to take and black, too, can be coped with when we know it has to be borne. It’s the grey – with its mercurial admixture of hope and regret – that is so hard for our minds. We long to call some people pure and dismiss others as monstrous, and we do the same with sections of our lives. But to be open to bittersweet memories is to accept ambivalence: a capacity to have two contrasting, opposed emotions about the same thing without disowning either. Both are important, neither can be denied. We’re recognising, rather than denying, the fiendishly mixed character of experience. -- We speak of bittersweet memories, but the territory they cover extends over far more than select bits of the past. We should, more rightly, also be ready to speak of, and reconcile ourselves gracefully to, bittersweet marriages, careers, holidays, weekends… Indeed, to the grandest and most necessary concept of all: that we are fated to have bittersweet lives.'
psychology  ambivalence  regret  awe  absurd 
april 2018 by adamcrowe
The Book of Life -- The Nature and Causes of Procrastination
'A boy of seven is in a toy shop with his grandmother who is going to buy him a present. He’s trying to make up his mind. He could get some special pieces of Lego, which opens a vista of the spaceship he’ll be able to make. Or he could get a wooden swing bridge that he could drive his model cars across – and engineer amazing accidents with. But he can’t have both. -- The result of this need to choose is indecision and a degree of agony. The boy asks his grandmother if they might come back another day. Until he decides, both prospects remain possible. It’s only when he actually opts for one or the other that the fatal moment will arrive. Whichever he chooses, he’ll be losing the other – and the special zone of happiness it promises. It’s a difficult moment. His grandmother is doing her best to please him, but he’s plunged into the agony of choice: he’s confronting what philosophers have called Existential Angst. -- In 1843, the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard (who developed the term Angst) published a book called Either/Or. His thesis was that life constantly forces us towards decisions: we can marry and be constrained, or be free but miss out on cosy long-term companionship; we can be sober and thoughtful but cut off from our times or we can join-in, be sociable – but know at the back of our minds that we are wasting our lives; we can seek fame and money, and get very stressed or we can opt for a quiet life, but always be haunted by the idea that we’re eluding our real possibilities. Kierkegaard made another observation: the difficult of choosing means that many of us spend our lives avoiding choice, which ends up being a kind of choice all of its own. There is, in his eyes, no alternative but to face choice and the compromise that every choice entails. Procrastination isn’t merely a delay, it’s a symptom of not recognising that we humans have to choose and always lose out through choice. -- We procrastinate, at times, in a desperate attempt to keep at bay the cruel limitations of reality. If we move city, we might have new work prospects, but we’ll lose our current friends; if we devote ourselves to one specific career, other sides of our character will be neglected; if we break off a relationship, well be free but we’ll lose all the sweeter moments we do actually have with this person. -- If we delay choosing, all options appear to stay alive, at least as possibilities – but only for a while. Yet that is a grave illusion. We should quell our procrastination by accepting that not choosing is in itself a choice and that every choice will necessarily mean missing out on something important. We should get better and faster at making decisions, sure in the knowledge that (as Existential philosophers teach us) every decision will be in its own way slightly wrong and somewhat sad.' -- We will never be all that we could have been
psychology  existentialism  choice  loss  regret  possibilityspace  anxiety  procrastination  Kierkegaard  decisions 
january 2018 by adamcrowe
Quillette -- Collision with Reality: What Depth Psychology Can Tell us About Victimhood Culture by Lisa Marchiano
'...If anxiety is our chief malady, avoidance is its coddling nurse, always ready to assure us we need not risk confrontation with that which makes us uncomfortable. When we heed our fear, we stay safe, but we also stay out of life. Jung never forgot about the dangers of avoidance. Some 25 years after his period of school refusal, Jung wrote the following: "Life call us forth to independence, and anyone who does not heed this call because of childhood laziness or timidity is threatened with neurosis. And once this has broken out, it becomes an increasingly valid reason for running away from life and remaining forever in the morally poisonous atmosphere of infancy." -- I’ve seen the adults that teens who withdraw from the life’s arena become. In my consulting room, they speak of lives unlived, and suffering unredeemed. It isn’t just that the world misses out on their talents and productive capacity. (Though that is no small loss – imagine if 12-year-old Carl hadn’t overhead his father’s conversation that day.) It’s that the story they came into the world to tell doesn’t get told. -- The Times piece profiled an appealing teen who, like Jung, struggled with school avoidance. Unlike Jung, however, this teen eventually dropped out of school after failing to overcome her anxiety. According to the Times, she spends most of her days at home alone texting friends, relieved never to have to set foot in a high school again. The issue here isn’t just about kids who can’t get to class. The stakes are higher, and have to do with a life of meaning and purpose on its way to being forfeited. -- Jung noted that “a neurosis is always a substitute for legitimate suffering.” His childhood fainting spells served as a substitute for the very legitimate suffering of finding his way into adolescence and facing his fate as a poor clergyman’s son who would need to establish a profession and make a living. The word “suffer” comes from a Latin word meaning to bear, to carry, or to endure. When we suffer our fate rather than avoiding it, we become actors in our own drama. Suffering becomes part of our personal story, that with which we must wrestle. In the words of Rilke, it is a “harsh hand that kneads us,” changing us and leaving us “proud and strengthened,” even in defeat. When, on the other hand, we externalize and medicalize our pain, we run the risk of becoming its hapless victim. -- Thousands of years before anyone spoke of an “internal locus of control,” the poets and bards of earlier epochs knew the decisive importance of walking toward one’s fate. The one who did this was known as the hero. Whoever daily confronts uncertainty and fear, no matter how mundane the gesture, is heroic in the psychological sense. “We each have an appointment with ourselves, though most of us never show up for it,” writes Jungian analyst James Hollis. “Showing up, and dealing with whatever must be faced in the chasms of fear and self-doubt, that is the hero task.”'
psychology  mythology  monomyth  anxiety  agencyvspatiency  victimhood  faggotry  shame  narcissim  regret  humility  stoicism 
december 2017 by adamcrowe
The Onion -- Network Engineer Would Be Systems Manager If He Could Do It All Over Again
'Despite a long and successful career of identifying and solving network-infrastructure-based problems, the 47-year-old told reporters there will always be a little part of him that regrets not having instead followed his youthful ambition of designing technology solutions as a systems manager. -- “If I could tell my younger self one thing, it would be to go with your gut and take a shot with systems management, because if you don’t, you’re always going to wonder what might have been,” said Miller, who by his mid-20s had established himself as a network engineer, passing up the prospect of a more fun and rewarding career as a systems manager. “Who knows where life might have taken me if I hadn’t spent the past two decades devising, configuring, and supporting communications networks? What if, instead, I were managing, planning, and coordinating IT systems?”'
TheOnion  work  absurd  regret  satire 
may 2017 by adamcrowe
Society for Personality and Social Psychology -- Sex Differences in Regret: All For Love or Some For Lust? by Neal J. Roese
'Few sex differences in regret or counterfactual thinking are evident in past research. The authors discovered a sex difference in regret that is both domain-specific (i.e., unique to romantic relationships) and interpretable within a convergence of theories of evolution and regulatory focus. Three studies showed that within romantic relationships, men emphasize regrets of inaction over action (which correspond to promotion vs. prevention goals, respectively), whereas women report regrets of inaction and action with equivalent frequency. Sex differences were not evident in other interpersonal regrets (friendship, parental, sibling interactions) and were not moderated by relationship status. Although the sex difference was evident in regrets centering on both sexual and nonsexual relationship aspects, it was substantially larger for sexual regrets. These findings underscore the utility of applying an evolutionary perspective to better understand goal-regulating, cognitive processes. -- ... Women and men tend to be similar in many life domains in terms of a tendency to emphasize regrets centering on promotion rather than prevention failure, but women differ from men in emphasizing regrets involving prevention to a greater extent when it comes to romantic relationships. -- Extrapolating from other research on regulatory focus, we might further expect diverging emotional nuance in women’s and men’s romantic regrets. For example, prevention failure is associated with anxiety-related emotions, whereas promotion failure is associated with dejection-related emotions (e.g., Higgins, Shah, & Friedman, 1997; Roney, Higgins, & Shah, 1995). From this vantage point, future research might reveal that women’s romantic regrets have a more anxious and worrisome tone, whereas men’s romantic regrets contain more despondence. -- The present findings suggest interesting implications for the practical side of relationship maintenance. If women and men differ in the kinds of regrets that haunt them for long periods of time, such regrets may be a source of continuing misunderstanding. Disagreements may arise over how best to manage money, raise children, or maintain a household, but whatever solutions are agreed on, the long-term recollections of these conflicts will in women center to a greater extent on actions that should have been avoided, whereas in men they will reflect actions that should have been taken to produce an improved state of affairs. Recognizing these basic motivational differences might be useful for couples interested in long-term conflict resolution and represents an interesting direction for studies of a therapeutic nature. -- Further questions remain for future research. First, we found that whether individuals focused on a current relationship or recalled one from the past did nothing to moderate the sex difference. This finding suggests that there is something intrinsic to biological sex, not to relationship stage, that accounts for the sex difference. However, this conclusion remains tentative pending further investigations across a wider range of relationships stages, durations, and age ranges. Second, we concluded that sex differences in regret are domain-specific, to be found only in regrets centering on romantic relationships. This conclusion was based on the contrast to other close relationships, such as those involving friends (Study 2) and parents (Study 1), as well as to regrets evoked by achievement situations (Study 1), each of which revealed no evidence of a sex difference. The question remains whether the sex difference might appear in still other kinds of relationships, particularly those in which women may be primarily responsible for relationship maintenance and hence prevention focus (e.g., providing care for the young or elderly). -- Our findings are consistent with evolutionary theories of mate preference and selection (e.g., Buss & Schmitt, 1993; Kenrick, Trost, & Sundie, 2004; Li et al., 2002). According to this view, reproductive biological differences between women and men account for variation in mate choice. Women tend to be more cautious when pursuing romantic possibilities because with higher costs of producing offspring (e.g., pregnancy, lactation, child care), mistakes in mate selection are costlier for women than men (Trivers, 1972). By contrast, men face fewer constraints and can increase their chances of producing viable offspring by mating with more partners; hence, regrets regarding not trying hard enough to mate would be predicted to be greater for men than women. Study 3 revealed that the sex difference in regret, although statistically significant for both the sexual as well as nonsexual side of romantic relationships, is nevertheless much stronger for sexual regrets. Of the various ratings of regret intensity and frequency, by far the largest sex difference occurred on the items centering on promotion-focused sexuality. Men are vastly more likely than women to regret not trying harder to have sex or to regret missing an opportunity for sex...'
psychology  men  women  sexuality  evolution  regret 
january 2017 by adamcrowe
The Book of Life -- Aphorisms on Confidence
'...Hesitation is grounded in a sense of risk, a sense that a new move presents us with appalling dangers. But our inaction is not in itself cost free, for in the wings, out of regular conscious awareness, there is something arguably far more frightening still than failure: the tragedy of wasting our lives. -- We too easily ignore the most stupid yet deepest fact about our existence: that it will end. The brutal fact of our mortality seems so implausible, we live in practical terms like immortals, as if we will always have the opportunity to address our stifled longings – one day… -- By stressing the dangers of failure, we underrate the seriousness of the dangers lurking within passivity. In comparison with the horror of our final exit, the pains and troubles of our bolder moves and riskier ventures do not, in the end, seem so terrifying. We should learn to frighten ourselves a bit more in the area around mortality to be less scared in all others.'
philosophy  stoicism  death  regret  failure  risk 
january 2017 by adamcrowe
Evolution Counseling -- Birthdays Are The Worst Days
'Every birthday is a visible reminder that life is passing us by, that we’re on a timeline, and that at the end of that timeline lies our demise. -- Most of us are successful most of the time at repressing the unbearable dread we experience around aging and what it really means, around the fact that our secret belief in our personal immortality is nothing more than a childish fantasy. But our birthday [offers] visible reminders, they’re undeniable markers of the passage of time. -- The real problem though is that awareness of our mortality shouldn’t be repressed in the first place, it should be brought into conscious awareness on a consistent basis. It’s only when we fully recognize how short and precious the human lifespan really is that we feel motivated to live to the fullest, to ‘trivialize the trivialities’ as Yalom would say, to make every day special. -- Repressing that unbearable dread produces some psychic relief in the moment but at a terrible price, which is continuing to go about the hum drum daily routine, viewing existence as mundane and unremarkable. We convince ourselves that those important projects can wait, those important conversations can wait, those important decisions can wait, life can wait, when we convince ourselves that despite all the undeniable evidence to the contrary we’re immune and have all the time in the world. -- For many adults birthdays are the worst days precisely because they can’t contain their existential anxiety in those moments like they do most of the time. The defense mechanisms break down under the environmental pressure and that anxiety comes in waves despite the cheerful veneer.'
psychology  existentialism  time  death  regret 
august 2016 by adamcrowe
YouTube -- [Alain de Botton]: Reasons to Remember Death
'It isn’t macabre or nihilistic to think of death. It’s the start of a proper, braver engagement with the possibilities of life.' -- It comes so soon, the moment when there is nothing left to wait for. ~ Marcel Proust
psychology  philosophy  existentialism  loss  death  regret 
august 2016 by adamcrowe
Aeon Essays -- The cure for insomnia is to fall in love with sleep again by Rubin Naiman
'Like a wild thing, sleep was lured from its home in nature, and domesticated in service of industrial life. And today, like a pet, sleep is fenced in, caged or corralled. We constrict sleep with delayed bedtimes and advanced rising times policed by a mechanistic alarm clock. Would we consider setting an alarm to truncate other natural human experiences? Imagine setting an alarm to limit time spent enjoying a meal or making love. -- ... Our epic struggles with accessing deep sleep are, fundamentally, struggles with accessing deeper aspects of ourselves. As wakists, we presume that who we are is limited to our waking-world identity. Essential parts of who we are, however, are obscured by the glare of waking life. And these become more visible at night – in the deep waters of sleep and dreams. -- Deep, natural sleep threatens our wake-centric self. It makes sense that Thanatos, the Greek god of death, is the brother of Hypnos. An uneasy, archetypal relationship between sleep and death is, in fact, common in many cultures around the world. The Dalai Lama teaches that the psychospiritual experience of falling asleep is identical to that of dying. Our familiar, waking self dies in sleep. Opening to an ongoing dialogue with Hypnos – cultivating deepening awareness of sleep – teaches us that our ordinary waking self is but a limited sense of our deeper sleeping self. -- The trajectory with which we approach sleep – how we dive into bed – will impact the depth of our descent. Surrendering our waking sense of self calls for a posture of humility. Humility is the antidote to hyperarousal. It counters the arrogance that informs our medicalisation and wake-centrism. Humility is the essential missing ingredient in our failed efforts at healing the insomnia epidemic. -- Like an airplane in gradual descent from flight above the weather, coming down from hyperarousal involves negotiating a layer of turbulence. The body might vibrate, bounce and shake as the mind experiences updrafts of anxieties, of unresolved emotions and thoughts. Our challenge is to avoid reflexively re-ascending to escape this experience. Humility is about trusting that the safety of sleep resides just beyond the turbulence. -- In contrast to crashing, dropping into sleep from sheer exhaustion or knocking ourselves out with drugs or alcohol, humility is about a conscious and intentional submission to sleep, to the care of Hypnos. It’s about intentionally putting our body to bed and then willingly losing our mind – releasing our waking sense of self. -- Governed by powerful divine forces, sleep in antiquity was achieved by invoking the gods. Invocation is about opening to a benevolent mystery, requesting divine assistance or calling to a higher power through meditation, prayer or sacred ritual. It’s about opening a respectful dialogue with sleep. Whether coming from another or oneself, that most common nightly dictate ‘Go to sleep’ is a demand. By contrast, invoking sleep is about a gentler, more compassionate conversation. It’s an invitation, as if from a lover or Hypnos himself, to ‘Come to sleep’. Invoking sleep helps us fall in love with the act.'
psychology  sleep  existentialism  loss  death  regret  * 
july 2016 by adamcrowe
YouTube -- [Alain de Botton]: What is an Existential Crisis?
"The regret-free life exists only in movies and songs. The way to diminish our anxiety and panic is to alleviate the sense that one had the option to choose correctly but failed."
philosophy  existentialism  regret 
july 2016 by adamcrowe
The Book of Life -- On Career Crises
'The witching hour for career crises is late Sunday afternoon, usually 5pm: when the vague hopes and sense of possibility of the weekend finally crash into the cold realities of the week ahead. The extent of our despair is a measure of our degree of unused potential. Career anxiety is our latent talent howling through our minds, desperate not to go to the grave unspent. -- Change begins when the fear of not acting at all at last outstrips the paralysing fear of making a mistake. -- Time to rehabilitate and lend dignity to the notion of regret: of course there will be things we will never get to do… Spread a consoling spirit by learning to ask at parties, with gentle melancholy, not ‘what do you do?’ but ‘what do you wish you might have done?’'
philosophy  work  existentialism  regret 
december 2015 by adamcrowe
Psychology Today -- Courage in Relationships: Conquering Vulnerability and Fear by Leon Seltzer Leon F. Seltzer
'...Consider here this quote by C. S. Lewis: “Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.” -- And if the challenge isn’t confronted—as in your resignedly “wimping out”—the inevitable result will be feelings of guilt, shame, or regret: in short, a compromised self-image. You’ll have violated standards you implicitly promised yourself you’d abide by. And that’s why, as a matter of personal dignity and pride, you may frequently feel “required” to heed this internal summons. -- ...the one thing that prevents you from acting in accordance with your ideals is the anxiety associated with possible failure, loss, or humiliation. And such trepidation, leading to passivity and backing off from what, relationally, you’ve needed to share or ask for, does in the moment “succeed” in averting such negative outcomes. Sadly, however, by not asserting yourself you also lose out on the opportunity to optimize the chances that your frustrations will be addressed—and hopefully resolved. -- Still, the fact is that most of us are driven by the felt urgency to forestall, or eliminate, relational disappointments and hurts by keeping inside what, deep down, so much needs to come out. To protect ourselves from experiencing a vulnerability that our most primitive (i.e., driven-by-emotions) brain assumes could threaten our survival, we hold ourselves back. And this inner constraint may well be hard-wired in us. For humankind does require that—to guarantee the continuation of the species—we safeguard whatever bond in our relationship, however fragile, we’ve been able to achieve. -- Unfortunately, in many instances we simply can’t feel secure enough with our partner to approach anything we sense could endanger this bond. And so our “security” (such as it is) is really shallow and tenuous; untested. We’re just not willing—courageously—to risk feeling refused or rejected in the effort to move toward a more genuinely secure relationship: A relationship in which, because we’ve learned to trust the other’s responses to us, we’re free to expose and express our true selves. And this despite whatever hard-core differences may continue to exist between us. -- Basically, what can hardly be over-emphasized here is that in close relationships your fears almost always center on making yourself too vulnerable to your partner’s criticisms and judgments (reacted to almost as though you’re being physically pummeled). For if you ask for what you want, you run the risk of not getting it and likely concluding that your most significant other doesn’t care as much about you as you do them. -- But the alternative, of keeping silent about your needs and desires, is almost always worse. For how can your relationship ever become the “safe haven” you long for if you repeatedly shy away from communicating your deepest thoughts and feelings, your most ached-for wants and needs? Moreover, how can you hold onto your true self when, for safety’s sake, you hide it from your partner? As the great Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard noted: “To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself.”'
psychology  relationships  attachment  vulnerabilty  fear  courage  regret 
october 2015 by adamcrowe
YouTube -- TEDtalks: What Really Matters at the End of Life
"...most of the time we spend thinking out loud together about his life. Really about our lives. And in this way Frank grieves; in this way he keeps up with his losses – as they roll in – so that he's ready to take in the next moment. Loss is one thing, regret is quite another."
psychology  life  death  loss  regret 
october 2015 by adamcrowe
YouTube -- [Alain de Botton]: Soren Kierkegaard
"Marry, and you will regret it; don’t marry, you will also regret it; marry or don’t marry, you will regret it either way. Laugh at the world’s foolishness, you will regret it; weep over it, you will regret that too; laugh at the world’s foolishness or weep over it , you will regret it either way; laugh at the world’s foolishness or weep over it, you will regret both. Believe a woman, you will regret it; believe her not, you will also regret it; believe a woman or believe her not, you will regret it either way; believing a woman or not believing her, you will regret it both ways. Hang yourself, you will regret it; do not hang yourself, and you will regret that too; hang yourself or don’t hang yourself, you’ll regret it either way; whether you hang yourself or do not hang yourself, you will regret both. This, gentlemen, is the essence of all philosophy."
philosophy  existentialism  regret  absurd  Kierkegaard  quotes 
june 2015 by adamcrowe
Psychology Today -- Willpower by Phil Stutz and Barry Michels
'If we could find something that sustained that sense of being in jeopardy, it would be a permanent source of willpower. We don’t like to think about it, but there is something you’re always at risk of losing: your future. -- Every person has his own version of a future destroyed by his passivity in the present. That’s the ultimate source of jeopardy, and the ultimate source of willpower.'
psychology  death  regret  existentialism  motivation 
may 2013 by adamcrowe
Quora -- How to master your life by Oliver Emberton
'Stop holding out for perfect decisions. Pick. Act. You can solve half the hassles of humanity this way. “I like this girl, how do I get her to like me?” Just click on her, and pick something. “But what do I say?” Anything moves you closer to your goal. Pick something. “But she might not like me!” Right now, she doesn’t even know you. Fix that. Pick something. “But what would we name our future kids?” SHUT UP AND PICK SOMETHING. -- The final lesson from The Sims is the game is indifferent. There’s no winning The Sims. Everyone dies. There’s no high score. You live your life how you want, and you alone judge what to make of it as it rolls by. This may sound familiar. But that doesn’t make life pointless; it makes life anything you choose it to be. If you want to live yours free from regret: keep your state high. Focus your time into a few select skills. But most importantly of all: go ahead and click on something.'
existentialism  regret  thesims 
february 2013 by adamcrowe
After Psychotherapy -- Existential Aloneless
'Many people – I might even say most people – are afraid of change: better the unpleasant unknown than the possibly worse unknown. Change always highlights the passage of time, as well, the difference between then and now; if time keeps unfolding … well, we know where that leads.'
psychology  death  regret  existentialism 
november 2012 by adamcrowe
Point of View -- Embracing Life, Facing Death An interview with Irvin Yalom by Ryan Howes
'You feel you haven't really lived yet; there are too many parts of you that haven't been fully experienced or expressed. You want to see the end of stories—see how your seeds sprout in the future. -- "Some refuse the loan of life to avoid the debt of death." That seems to be a central theme in your book. Could you expand on that a little bit? -- Well, there's this idea that, at one level, we move out into life, we begin to individuate, and then we become frightened at the isolation we feel. So we shrink back into the mass, shrink back into merging with others, and then we've lost our self. It's the idea that we're not really going to take it upon ourselves to really engage in life—we play it safe. We're frightened, so we don't really take advantage of what we could do in life.'
psychology  psychotherapy  existentialism  death  regret 
november 2012 by adamcrowe
YouTube -- Seinfeld: Emotional Intelligence - Self Management
If you marry, you will regret it; if you do not marry, you will also regret it; if you marry or do not marry, you will regret both; Laugh at the world’s follies, you will regret it, weep over them, you will also regret that; laugh at the world’s follies or weep over them, you will regret both; whether you laugh at the world’s follies or weep over them, you will regret both. Believe a woman, you will regret it, believe her not, you will also regret that; believe a woman or believe her not, you will regret both; whether you believe a woman or believe her not, you will regret both. Hang yourself, you will regret it; do not hang yourself, and you will also regret that; hang yourself or do not hang yourself, you will regret both; whether you hang yourself or do not hang yourself, you will regret both. This, gentlemen, is the sum and substance of all philosophy. — Søren Kierkegaard
existentialism  regret  decisions  choice 
september 2012 by adamcrowe
Rory Sutherland's Blog -- And do people in the Advertising Industry understand brands?
Maximisers (cooltards) vs Satisficers (mundanes) -- Satisficers: 'For those people, good enough generally is. Most important of all, they are not using their brand choices to compete with their fellow man, or to draw distinctions between them and their peer-group. They are using them to fit in. To conform, not to outdo. It's safe, after all. Because what you are driven by is not the idea of choice optimisation, but the much more powerful idea of risk aversion. By fitting in, you may not have the best musical taste in the world, or eat the best food, or drive the best car - but you won't go far wrong either. And, when making a puchase, what most people want, most of the time, is not the best they can buy: they want something that's very unlikely to be crap. -- Regret is a huge emotion, and people will pay huge sums to avoid it. And the avoidance of possible regret is a much bigger factor in brand selection than the pursuit of perfection.'
economics  praxeology  securityvsnovelty  decisions  risk  loss  regret  conformity  marketing  criticaldistance  RorySutherland  choice 
february 2010 by adamcrowe
Remedying Hyperopia: The Effects of Self-Control Regret on Consumer Behavior (PDF)
'The self-control literature is premised on the notion of myopia (short-sightedness or present-biased preferences) and assumes that choosing vices generates regret. An alternative perspective suggests that consumers often suffer from a reverse self-control problem—namely, excessive farsightedness and overcontrol, or “hyperopia.” This research examines whether consumers can foresee the detrimental long-term consequences of hyperopia. Five studies demonstrate that anticipating long-term regret relaxes self-control and motivates consumers to counteract their righteousness.' -- #Practical Implications: Marketers of luxuries and leisure services can prompt consumers to consider their long-term regrets, thus stimulating sales of indulgences and enhancing the postpurchase satisfaction of customers. [The message should be:] greater balance in life and “indulging responsibly” will provide the greatest satisfaction in the long run.' -- Corrective indulgence
psychology  selfcontrol  consumption  behaviours  hyperopia  myopia  virtue  vice  prudence  hedonism  regret  guilt  correction  pdf 
august 2009 by adamcrowe

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