How *not* to solve problems in your life

  1. Notice a pattern in your life. Something you don’t like the process / result of.
  2. Spend days (sometimes months, and why not years) defining the problem, thinking about the problem, talking about the problem. Find a crying shoulder and stay as warm and comfortable as possible.
  3. Do nothing.

Bonus points if the crying shoulder belongs to someone who doesn’t have this problem or is comfortable with you having it. Extra bonus if they want to take that problem away from you so it doesn’t harm you – and they want to solve it for you. Especially if the problem is something that is core and important to who you are.

Repeat indefinitely. Or, at least, until you lose yourself. I guarantee, it takes years to refine the best way to do it – so do take your time, invest in losing yourself. You get bonus points if you team up with another person who is good at the thing you constantly fail at (especially if it’s a core human skill), and a big award if you are good at something else the other person is constantly failing at – so you can offer the same ‘quid pro quo’ deal.

I’ve been investing a lot of energy living like this – for the last few years. Finding the warmest, coziest ways to ‘do nothing’, with incredible results. I have successfully stopped trusting myself not only for this one big thing, but also in lots of other areas in my life where I once felt confident. I have stopped exploring and experimenting. Why bother? It’s much more comfortable to do the same things, over and over, and when you find the slightest hint of a problem (or even just a thing that’s ‘new’ or ‘unknown’), to just crawl back to the crying shoulder, get back to this warm and comfortable feeling, and do nothing. It’s an instant gratification cycle – you do nothing, and you feel warm and cozy, reassured you’ll always have this. Especially if you’re the warm and cozy shoulder for that very same person.

You’ll live a life that’s (mostly) free of problems, uncomfortable situations and new things. You’ll go the same paths every day. You’ll have the same rituals, listen to the same music, hang out with the same people (or if you have a computer, not need to hang out with anyone at all). You’ll go to the same shops, wear the same clothes, do the same things over and over, and, of course, always get the same results. Your life will be more predictable than (hmmm, what in nature is predictable? nothing really)… ok, much more predictable than anything you ever knew, and the slightest change will make you feel like the world is coming to an end.

Go on and create this for yourself. You have the recipe now, and my 100 % guarantee that it works.

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4 thoughts on “How *not* to solve problems in your life

  1. It is a funny sort of thing that people seek comfort but need stressors in order to facilitate change. The way that exercise requires pushing past the first anaerobic period and into the aerobic in order to actually rally stored energy. What’s tricky is finding the right stressor in the right quantity, too much and you break. Too little and you don’t grow.

    Love this post. We all kind of need to be reminded that comfort should be a rest stop not a place we set up residence at.

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    • Thank you so much for this! A very good reminder of the importance of ‘stressors’. Also, love the ‘anaerobic’ and ‘aerobic’ metaphors.

      comfort should be a rest stop not a place we set up residence at

      If I can reformulate your sentence, Too much comfort and you don’t grow. Too little and you break.

      It’s interesting, how the mind works. Once you let your intuition / heart / gut feeling free from the prison of your thoughts and what society has taught you to believe, you get a very clear vision of what you’re doing wrong and what you need to do. That is, if you are able to shut the mind off for a while. It’s constantly trying to keep you from changing, because change means stress.

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      • I wouldn’t glorify heart / gut feelings. There are some feelings that show you the way and other feelings that paralyze you (disguised as thoughts). Fear of failure is not a thought and sinking in comfort is not a thought, although they can generate thousands of thoughts.

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