4 options that influence men success level and happiness
I start to learn rather early in life (circa 11 years old) about the 4 options that men can take when face with the gap between their existing condition and capability and the desires and dreams they have.
1. Action: with Action, men seize the initiative to look at what they already have (capability and situation), mix these ingredients to the fullest (as to whatever goal they don’t know because they’re basically winging it to the max, being naïf silly and brave at the same time), keep pushing forward despite repeated resistance and shit from other men, holding on to their dream and faith when all the things they do (inevitably) looked like total sham, find themselves in very ‘lucky’ situations, mix the new ingredients that this lucky situations brought forward to propel him selves even nearer their dream, start to look back and learn to be grateful, and then understand on their own about the 4 options.
An example of this is a boy who sees that the only way can go to a school he so much desires is through a scholarship; believe that very good English is one the key thing he need to get a scholarship; think that he is highly disadvantage when it comes to learning English (his parent could not afford an English lesson beyond what his school provided); take it to himself to learn English; faithfully following Sesame Street to enrich his vocabulary, start reading with children comic books because that’s all he can read with the English he has, took the best out of the school lessons on grammar provided, and advancing to books with more text; As he develop his skill, his confidence grew, his attempt to devour more difficult material (e.g. newspapers), found that he can’t read a thing, scamper back to the basics and the things he can do and challenge himself bit by bit, repeat the steps for 14 years (with reading, writing, listening, speaking) until his English reach a point where it is somewhat equal to his childhood friends who went to college in the United States; He then look back at this entire gig and think “If I can fly it with this English thing, I can fly it with anything else”.
Out of action, comes confidence
2. Anger: with Anger, men look at the gap between his condition and capability with his dream and desires; focuses on the limitations (rather than the potential) that his condition and capability brings; see that (justifiably so) that many of the condition and capability he has is somewhat given by external parties (God, parents); shift the burden of responsibility for the limitation to these external parties; feels disappointment toward, doubt the motives of, mount resentment to, and develop anger to these external parties; find that anger allows them 3 consolation, consolation from the burden of action, consolation from the burden of responsibility, and the consolation of blaming others for what they have (which is kinda like sucking a coddle); and ain’t it sweet to be unburdened from action and responsibility, so they dwell even more in Anger. They also find that the best thing about anger is people usually left them alone when they’re angry, other people learn to don’t bother rectifying this faulted mindset, so that allows people that take Anger even more time to dwell in Anger;
Anger is not always expressed in screaming, kicking, and throwing; Hate, sabotage, grumble, cynicism, arrogance, variations of these to themselves or others are also expression of anger.
3. Self pity. Self pity is also about (silently) blaming external parties, but the difference is, rather than focusing on the external parties (like Anger), Self Pity focuses on the self, it lens is heavy on the self.
At times Self Pity is fueled by the misguided notion that if self pity’ers dwell in self pity, then other people will have pity and helped those who take self pity. This is misguided due to several factors: a. most people don’t give a fuck about others (I’ve been so lucky to have 4 people who I am indebted for life, that’s about 1 person for every 7 years of going around life and meeting people); b. most who would care and would try to help those who pity themselves usually can’t do much; and c. those who would care and can really do something would equate self pitying people to the plague.
Like Anger, Self Pity allows consolations. But unlike Anger, Self Pity’s focus on the Self make it more damaging than the self. By definition, you cannot be Confident when you are self pitying yourself, Self Pity is the negative of self confidence. Where Anger might yield arrogance, self pity yields nothing about the self.
4. Cowardice: Cowardice is so sweet, so easy, so effortless in the truest sense of the word, that we have philosophers in different ages advocating Cowardice.
Cowardice peers at the gap between capability and situation with dreams and desires and concludes (triumphantly, as if it found a secret that less enlightened mind would not understood) that the gap can be elegantly nullified by removing dreams and desires.
When you have nothing to dream and desire, there is no gap. No want of gain, no pain.
Then who am I to label Cowardice as Cowardice? Because Cowardice denies the human nature. Like a hard boiled communist that believe in equality of life quality for everyone, Cowards approach to life looks very neat but need constant fooling of the self to work.
Unlike Anger and Self Pity, which strikes as easily in any heart living in any country, one’s propensity to fell to Cowardice seem to be in direct proportion to the GDP of the country or region where he live. Again, the poor people seem screwed.
There’s both a independent and network effect here. The independent factor is, when one are born and raise in an area with lower GDP, more of the tools to allow vertical social mobility simply doesn’t exist, it’s not that one is in Anger or Self Pity, it’s just that the tools don’t exist. So they are left with less variety and potency of tools to change their lives. This requires more effort. The less leverage you have, the more effort you need to chip in. At times, the required effort appear to be so huge, people decide to say “fuck it, I have enough with this dreams and desires thing”. The network effect happens when one is born and raise in an area with such limitations, so many people around him is facing the same lack of leverage, so many people say “fuck it” with life, that Cowardice becomes a norm.
Escaping this circle requires a meta that only education (formally or informally) or sheer insight can bring. (note to, some, readers: a meta is x about x, metadata is data about data; in my writing above, meta is about the minds ability to think about what it is thinking; for a fish living in water to understand that it is living in water and the consequence of living in water, that’s a meta)
Although GDP can becomes men’s excuse to not recognize Cowardice as Cowardice, men see and label cowardice in it’s more…vulgar form; Since ancient time, men can label men running from battle as cowards, men running from their duties responsibility , cowards. So the concept of Cowardice is not foreign to men, it’s just that it requires a bit more effort to look at the more subtle form of Cowardice that oneself engage in.
What to do about Cowardice? First is to embrace dreams and desires; second is to accept that with it comes risk of pain, rejection, and failure; third is to take Action; fourth is to be Brave and stick dreams and desires.
Men don’t exclusively take either one of the 4 options, but they respond to life by employing a mix of these 4 options. Some people take Anger, Cowardice, Self Pity 90% of the time, while using Action 10% of the time. Others take Action 50% of the time while limiting Self Pity to 5%.
How men mix the 4 options, will influence their success level and happiness. I’ve employed mostly Action and Anger, at times dwell in Self Pity, and actively fight off Cowardice.
If you are reading this, then I think it’s safe to assume that you are those that have taken more of Action in life. Be Brave, take more Action, throw away even more Anger, Cowardice, and Self Pity.