- What Happens To Our Brains When We Exercise And How It Makes Us Happie
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- Fahrenheit 451
Rogers believed it was impossible to convince someone to change for the better. The desire to improve was, instead, the precondition for progress. They did not want my help. They were forced to seek it. It did not work. It was a travesty.
You should choose people who want things to be better, not worse. When you dare aspire upward, you reveal the inadequacy of the present and the promise of the future. A good, healthy person is an ideal. It requires strength and daring to stand up near such a person.
Have some humility. Have some courage. Use your judgment, and protect yourself from too-uncritical compassion and pity. No matter how good you are at something, or how you rank your accomplishments,there is someone out there who makes you look incompetent. The proper response to that statement is not, Well, then, everything is meaningless. Talking yourself into irrelevance is not a profound critique of Being.
To begin with, there is not just one game at which to succeed or fail. There are many games and, more specifically, many good games—games that match your talents, involve you productively with other people, and sustain and even improve themselves across time. You have a career and friends and family members and personal projects and artistic endeavors and athletic pursuits.
You might object: I should be winning at everything! Should victory in the present always take precedence over trajectory across time? What do you do to avoid conflict, necessary though it may be? What are you inclined to lie about, assuming that the truth might be intolerable? What do you fake? Even when satisfied, temporarily, we remain curious. We live within a framework that defines the present as eternally lacking and the future as eternally better.
If we did not see things this way, we would not act at all. The future is like the past.
The past is fixed, but the future—it could be better. It could be better, some precise amount—the amount that can be achieved, perhaps, in a day, with some minimal engagement. Perhaps happiness is always to be found in the journey uphill, and not in the fleeting sense of satisfaction awaiting at the next peak. What bit of chaos might I eradicate at home, on my desk, in my kitchen, tonight, so that the stage could be set for a better play?
What Happens To Our Brains When We Exercise And How It Makes Us Happie
What snakes might I banish from my closet—and my mind? Then you give yourself that damn coffee, in triumph. Maybe you feel a bit stupid about it, but you do it anyway. And you do the same thing tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. There is nothing magical here—or nothing more than the already-present magic of consciousness.
We only see what we aim at. Faith is not the childish belief in magic. That is ignorance or even willful blindness. It is instead the realization that the tragic irrationalities of life must be counterbalanced by an equally irrational commitment to the essential goodness of Being. It is simultaneously the will to dare set your sights at the unachievable, and to sacrifice everything, including and most importantly your life.
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You realize that you have, literally, nothing better to do. But how can you do all this? Pay attention. Focus on your surroundings, physical and psychological. Notice something that bothers you, that concerns you, that will not let you be, which you could fix, that you would fix.
Aim lower. Search until you find something that bothers you, that you could fix, that you would fix, and then fix it.
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That might be enough for the day. Was it really a good thing, for example, to so dramatically liberalize the divorce laws in the s? Horror and terror lurk behind the walls provided so wisely by our ancestors. We tear them down at our peril.
We skate, unconsciously, on thin ice, with deep, cold waters below, where unimaginable monsters lurk. People often get basic psychological questions backwards. Why do people take drugs?
Not a mystery. Why do people suffer from anxiety? How is that people can ever be calm? A million things can go wrong, in a million ways. We should be terrified out of our skulls at every second. The same can be said for depression, laziness and criminality. Two-year-olds, statistically speaking, are the most violent of people. They kick, hit and bite, and they steal the property of others.
They do so to explore, to express outrage and frustration, and to gratify their impulsive desires. More importantly, for our purposes, they do so to discover the true limits of permissible behaviour. How else are they ever going to puzzle out what is acceptable? Infants are like blind people, searching for a wall. They have to push forward, and test, to see where the actual boundaries lie and those are too-seldom where they are said to be.
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Kids do this frequently. Scared parents think that a crying child is always sad or hurt. This is simply not true. Anger is one of the most common reasons for crying. Careful analysis of the musculature patterns of crying children has confirmed this.