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August 15th, 2018
“I hate it, but I’m going to endure it until I understand it.”
Recently someone said this while drinking a beer.
A beer. Usually, if we order something at a restaurant, we enjoy it, or we are ok with it. But if we hate it, we have the culturally accepted option of sending it back in order to get something new.
This person, had a much different idea of what it means to experience something. The overwhelming majority of people never ever put on this sort of perspective. Restaurants are for pure enjoyment. Often sustenance and nutrition aren’t even a consideration. Just raw gustatory pleasure. Certainly not any kind of arduous intellectual endeavor, which is exactly where such useful perspectives are left quarantined in our lives.
Often it’s for work or school and under duress that we endure the difficult process of interacting with a given subject without understanding it.
Nearly all of us seem to have developed an incredible aversion to the things we do not understand. And often it’s this lack of understanding that breeds something like hate.
Think about a kid saying “I hate math.”
What exactly is going on here?
Has math injured this kid in any way?
No, certainly not.
It’s a lack of understanding that makes anyone say they hate a given topic. The lack of understanding leads a person to make a value judgment about themselves, and because that judgment is a negative one, negative feelings are projected back at the subject.
This is a perfect example of the ageless trap of taking things personally.
Math has no intentions about the person who does not understand Math. It holds no grudges, just as the beer holds no grudges, intentions or ill-will towards the beer drinker.
Opinions about beer, or about math are inevitably aroused from the story we tell ourselves about who we think we are.
The past seems to tell us who we are in conclusive ways. We think we are terrible at math because of some bad grade, or the assessment of some teacher, and we hold on to those experiences as proof of who we are or are not.
But these past experiences are merely events where we failed to endure a lack of understanding to it’s end.
To endure means to stay solid and steadfast.
Many times, we are too embarrassed by our own lack of understanding to confront it effectively. We take refuge in an emotional outlet by expressing hate about the subject, instead of calmly debunking our ignorance with small, hard-won realizations that amount to an understanding of a given subject.
It’s clear that enduring our own shortcomings and working through them and past them will result in more understanding, and ultimately more compassion.
We are less likely to hate, if we understand more, and in order to understand more, we must endure the unpleasant time of actively experiencing our own ignorance.
Whenever we find ourselves saying we hate something. It is nearly always an indication of our own shortcomings.
But if we can understand something by going through the difficult process of enduring our ignorance on the subject, then we can effectively
solve our hate.