Vulnerability- The Birthplace of Happiness? “No one ever gets through this life without heartache, without turmoil, and if you believe and have faith and you can get knocked down and get back up again and you believe in perseverance as a great human quality, you find your way.”
The words of Diana Nyad, the first person to successfully swim the channel from Florida to Cuba, ring true. [i] Yet so many of us try to minimize, avoid completely, and when everything else fails, deny that we have been knocked down. We try to turn away from the struggle to avoid the inevitable: everybody gets knocked down. Why should we? Vulnerability. But there is no avoiding it. Tthere are many reasons for this. If we have experienced stress, trauma, or hardship early on, we may be familiar with the feeling of powerlessness and the vulnerability that goes with it. Multiple stresses or setbacks also compound the feeling of vulnerability. Certainly, the closer to home the setback is, the more it hurts. Want to Lose Weight? Four Ways to Get Some Leverage on Yourself. When it comes to weight loss, the answer is never simple.
Even with the wealth of data available today, weight loss experts, health practitioners, life coaches, and even motivational gurus still seem to be trying to crack the weight loss code. And what they most frequently tell us is that in order to lose weight, have to become accountable. We should make our goals clear, measurable, timely, and public – with an emphasis on the public part. Because when we put ourselves on the line, exposing our intentions in the public eye, the shame of failing will further fan the flame of weight loss and overcome any resistance we have. Some experts even suggest taking public accountability a step further and joining a weight loss group where we choose a sponsor – someone who will personally hold us accountable. The thing about soft commitments is that, in general, they do nudge our behavior in the direction we would like. Yet soft commitments are not the only commitments we can make. References: Why You Should Learn to Tolerate Uncertainty and How To Get Better At It.
For most people tolerating uncertainty is about as comfortable as waiting in line.
We don’t what will happen, when it will, or most importantly, how we should respond. Yet some cultures, as a whole, tolerate uncertainty better than others. This tendency was first noticed by Geert Hofstede, author of Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind. Hofstede uncovered that some cultures prepare us to feel more comfortable with uncertainty than others. According to Hofstede, there are several factors that determine whether or not a culture has a high uncertainty avoidance. In education, cultures that rely heavily on educators to have the answers display high uncertainty avoidance compared to those where children are encouraged to be open-minded. What You Didn’t Know About Optimal Experience. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, (the researcher who coined the term “flow”) originally set out to study exemplary people because he wanted to understand what constitutes those “peak experiences” often described by champion athletes, recognized artists.
However, what he discovered was a state not just where psychic entropy is absent (he calls this state “negentrophy”) but where optimal experiences happen. What Csikszentmihaly uncovered was that the state of flow differs greatly from all other states of consciousness – such as psychic entropy, where information conflicts with our existing intentions or prevents us from carrying them out. In the state of flow, the entirety of our attention is devoted to the task at hand. The example that Csikszentmihalyi gives is the difference between being distracted at work by the flat tire you will have to deal with on your way home, and being completely immersed in what you are doing. And the results are dramatically different too. References: Five Strategies For Dealing With Toxic People. They conceal their true emotions, they say one thing while meaning something else, they forget important dates, and their sharp criticisms always seem to be covered in ornate gift wrap.
There is one word (or two) for people like this: Toxic. Dealing with toxic people can be like trying to hug a porcupine – no matter what angle you choose, you get poked. And yet, toxic people may be related to us and we get caught in thinking that they should behave in ways that are compassionate, kind, and at least acknowledge some degree of reciprocity. The problem is, toxic people often operate out of a primitive character structure which may not include empathy. Fulfilling their needs comes at the expense of other people. So how do you deal with people like this? Use Assertive Communication. Set Boundaries.