Welcome to the About Words website. Below is a brief audio introduction to this site.
Did you know that one of the most popular words on the internet is God?
A long time ago, there was a group of people who sat together in a room listening to the screams of a woman. She was feeling intense pain as the middle of her body was being stretched in ways that she had never experienced. Soon, a baby would be expelled from her body.
But the people were not really there because of the woman and her baby. They were planning a new partnership. They called it “the empire.”
They would plan to form an small army and then threaten the other people of the nearby area and demand tribute be paid to them (as in taxes, protection money, or mandatory “health insurance” premiums). One man, named Noah, said “these other people must obey us or else their disobedience could result in the immediate destruction of the entire planet!”
While some wondered if that apocalyptic claim would be questioned skeptically or even considered ridiculous by a few people, Noah assured those assembled that as long as most of the people were shocked, terrified, panicking, and confused, they would quickly accept any explanation that was repeated with enough consistency. If a few of them questioned the popular ideas, those few would be avoided by the masses or even targeted as blasphemers or as possessed by a frightening demon called “insanity.” Not everyone believed Noah’s reassurances, but a few said “I suppose that he could be right, given how naive most humans are….”
So, the people considered what was being said and on occasion a new person made another comment. Through these conversations, some clear plans formed, including for the army itself.
Of course it was dangerous for just one or two people to go around and rob other people. Eventually, someone would resist. Injuries could be sustained by the assailants. The sequence of the robberies could be delayed for one of the participants to recover from injuries.
Further, there could be complaints from victims and claims for compensation. Some victims might seek revenge or even a return of the confiscated valuables (the “tribute” payments).
So, the group realized that the way that they used language must be carefully measured and regulated. Secrecy would be very important as well.
By their superior methods of communication, they would organize a much safer and reliable way of extracting wealth from the rest of the population. They would form bands and squads and units and divisions. They would wear special costumes to intimidate their targets. They would call themselves “soldiers” and “officers” and “licensed thugs of the exclusive, holy priesthood.”
Of course, they would also make a point to confront their targets only after planning their attacks, acquiring weapons, and training. Further, when they were not out patrolling, they would retreat to a military base with tall walls and look-out towers.
As time went on, a man named Moses said “in order to preserve the interests of our elite community, we must attack all of the neighboring Midianites and totally destroy them, except for their virgin females of course, who can be useful to the advancing of our civilzation.” This marked a new extreme in the conquests of the group. Not only would they extract wealth in regular increments of time from their “supporters,” but they would also invade and conquer other groups and then take all of their livestock and other possessions, killing all of them of any age, except for the virgin women.
The group also recruited new members to be their soldiers. They executed some people and left their corpses hanging in places where many people would see the bodies. Then, they went around door to door with their well-armed troops and recruited participants, threatening to imprison and then kill anyone who lacked enthusiasm and cooperativeness for their operations. They called it a “military draft.”
As time kept on keeping on moving on and on and on, new generations of leaders and soldiers came and went. Technology changed. Civilization shifted. New colonies formed and eventually the Hebrew empire developed some totally new branches, called Christianity and Islam.
One of the leaders of a local group said “It is very important that the masses be distracted, hysterical, and confused about the simplicity of our operation. First, their lack of comprehension will promote their active participation in risky activities as well as activities that have very little benefit to them and immense benefit to us. We will call them our human resources.”
Centuries later, another leader said, “If their own ally kills 60 million of their own people, they will not notice. We will tell them that their enemy killed 6 million civilians within their own country (and why should their question whatever number we repaet to them)?”
Another asked, “we should get them to argue with each other. We should get them to have so much devotion to the propaganda slogans which we publicize to them that, whenever they finally realize that their own governing system is not currently a match for the indoctrinated ideals, they will presume that something changed recently and the current leading figureheads are to blame. Then, they will exhaust themselves in reform campaigns to replace the current system of imperialism with a less imperialistic system of imperialism. They will campaign for honesty and equality and compassion.”
“But how we will deal with the inevitable deaths that could reduce morale and compliance to our system? I will tell you,” said the next prophet. “We will tell them that their dead sons are heroic patriots. We will have ritual parades and funerals referencing immortal souls. Plus, because of their dead son’s conformity to our imperial code of conduct, the fallen soldiers will be rewarded with eternal paradise in heaven, including the comforts of 72 of the Midianite virgins that Moses captured, as well as being re-united with their pet dog that died when they were 9 years old.”
“I admit that I like the idea,” said Saint Nicolaus, “but do you really think that humans are that naive? I know that I was never that naive myself!”
His wife, Mrs. Claus, said “you are right, dear. It probably will not work. However, let’s just try it one time and see how it goes, okay, sweetheart? Also, if you keep it up with the good behavior, I will give you a special present on Christmas morning!”
And the rest is history. I’m not just saying that to be corny, either.
The rest is actually history. History is a narrative created by the ruling class to promote certain values, interpretations, and actions among the herds of human resources.
Obviously, it should not be like that though. You should probably stop all other investments of time and devote yourself completely to saving humanity one by one from the existence of misperception.
In fear I used to condemn my foes
for being how they shouldn’t be
In shame I used to condemn my past
for being how it shouldn’t be
In fear I used to condemn the world
for being how it shouldn’t be
In shame I used to condemn all fear
while trying not to shake
For all you fake ass new age heroes
the glory is all yours
God must be jealous of your progress
and the merit you have earned
I wish I was cool
I wish I was you
I wish I was not how I was
my shame should be so much more fun
my life was ruined by my life
In hell, I must be here by mistake
In hell, I deserve so much better
In hell, life is never how it should be
In hell, the devil’s trying to blame me for my words
Yeah, blaming me for cursing this evil world
but he don’t even know me… I’m justified
I have a good excuse; I was victimized
So now I don’t have free will, only the evil do
In rage I used to complain all day
about how people shouldn’t be
For some, all they ever do is complain
and that’s how they shouldn’t be
In hell, I used to complain all day
In hell, I used to complain all day
In hell, I used to complain all day
but for all my tantrums, no one fixed a f@cking thing
What’s wrong with all these naive people
who don’t change their expectations
based on their observations
A key contrast is focusing on what one values for the future instead of just reviewing ideals about “what should have been” (and restimulating conflicted feelings). There may be a time for that, but only when it is actually helpful….
First, focus on the priorities for the future (including the immediate future). Focus also on what actually is happening and exploring what could happen and then how it would.
That establishes direction (aim). When the stated priority is “in focus” and “single-minded,” then exploration and experimentation naturally result.
If no action results, then perhaps there is some other priority active (or almost active). Also, when a particular type of action is working, then momentum naturally builds.
However, if someone simply wishes for isolation or rest as a priority, then initiative in that direction actually manifests. Except for that case, then action results which can generally be easily recognized by others. The actions may include conversations or not.
Once the focus in established and initial explorations are underway with some growing momentum, then, if relevant, that past can be useful. If commitment or focus fades briefly (after an initial surge of new momentum), then the past can be used as a resource to motivate the next actions that will produce new waves of momentum.
Even ideals about “what should have been” can be used to restimulate old repulsions. How is repulsion useful? Once a new future destination that is powerfully attractive has been identified, then repulsion from the past produces propulsion toward the new goal: a new launch. Once the exploration has momentum, then even intense repulsion (such as reminders of past frustration) will simply add motivation and energy.
Triggering the most intense repulsions may work best when momentum is actually surging… not when momentum is lagging. It is important to maintain focus, so if the past becomes a distraction from the focus and taking new actions, then attention to the past can be paused (stopped).
A clear future priority is essential to consistent innovation. The most sudden innovations often arise during relaxed exploration.
As for how big and how distant a priority to select, whatever actually works is what actually works. Action is the measure of a stated priority. If action stalls, then shift the focus, make it a bigger goal that is more attractive. Or, make it a smaller more immediate goal that produces consistent action.
In fact, when an initial goal has been targeted and achieved, that may be a good time to recultivate an old repulsion. While momentum is present but no new destination has been identified, the old repulsions can help to bring preferences and priorities in to focus.
It’s possible to have a system of government that seeks no authority over people, with no jails, fines, beatings, wars, and with voluntary taxation.The current form of government is not permanent. It’s only a reflection of mind in denial of love.
Instead of serving one another without expectation, the insanity of controlling, manipulating, competing and taking from one another has been given authority over the human psyche. In fact, the “normal” way to raise kids is punishment and reward. When kids grow up hearing things like “do as I say or else”, they learn to fit in with the current system of control, manipulation and greed.
How can you help reverse this trend? Simple! Just notice how you feel when the mind moves to make anyone wrong, to change them, fix them, manipulate them, take from them or punish them.
With your inner eye on the insane program that plays in the collective consciousness, the thoughts that are attracted to you will naturally become more loving, which will bring more peace to your personal interactions.
Such a loving presence naturally inspires the surrender of conflict in other people, and the world evolves accordingly.
Now is the time to live your vision of love, even if everything in your world seems to deny the possibility.
It is possible to have governments just like we have had before (including very loose primitive tribal hierarchies similar to what is observed in other species) and just like we have now. Technology allows for new innovations in the regulating and organizing of human resources.
Governments regulate crime and extortion and fraud. They systematically develop these patterns of interaction and then do their best to monopolize those activities and colonize new occupied territories, like the US still has bases in Germany and Japan after 70 years of peace and stability. Imperialist militaries do not plan to leave. They plan to stay. They also construct creative stories to justify their presence and publicize them to their “underwriters” (their taxpayers/ human resources).
Delusional idealism is programmed. The wealth of the wealthiest 1% in the world (those who make over $30,000 per year) is completely dependent on the cheap labor of the less privileged. If you experience any guilt in relation to such vast wealth, that is simply a reflection of cultural programming.
In certain cultures (or with some patterns of using language), there is basically a holy trinity of three roles. The key role is the savior.
What makes the savior a savior? The savior saves the victim from the villain. (Those are the three primary roles: savior, villain, and victim.)
What is the most common role for people in general to act out? Of course almost no one goes around saying that they are a villain, right?
Further, most people also know that they are not really a savior (and they are spoon-fed suggestions of exactly whom to identify as the archetypical savior, such as a historical personage or a current political candidate or “the government” in general). Who will save us from the latest crisis? If the government is the “go-to answer” for someone, then they are relating to the government as a savior (or at least as a prospective savior, like they “should” fill the role of being our savior).
Here’s some shocking news: sometimes governments do save people from specific dangers (such as a forest fire). However, no single government deserves a monopoly on being savior. By many observers, governments are “cast” in a variety of roles, yes, including the role of savior, but not just that one. For instance, one government can also be labeled as the victim of another government which is labeled the villain or enemy.
So, what happens when a “savior” does not fulfill their role (according to some critic)? Labels for the government may shift toward the label of villain. When reconsidering which role a particular government is playing, people may ask did that government “turn” on “we the victims?” DId the entire government betray us… or was it just a small group of “mega-villain” politicians, such as infiltrators that quietly invaded our savior government from some other villain government?
Notice that the same archetypes of savior, victim, and villain show up in comic books, mythology, pro wrestling, political news, and many other stories or narratives. These are very basic archetypes and any idea that these archetypes should not be widely used is actually a remarkably ignorant idea. These archetypes work. They trigger powerful emotions.
Why would someone arrogantly say that these archetypes should not be prominent? Because they are presenting themselves as “the savior of everything” and the next crisis that they will pick to show how they can rescue the world is… yes, the frequent use of three very common archetypes in language!
Of course, some people will compete over who will be the great savior of the world. They will argue over which crisis is the most pressing. Or, they will argue about which crisis is most pressing not in order to present themselves as savior, but as victim. They will also have their latest savior chosen and perhaps even displayed on their bumper stickers or t-shirts.
The most popular role for the average person is not savior and definitely not villain. So, what is left? If I definitely do not want to be villain and I would rather that someone else besides me (such as “the government”) play the role of savior, then what is left?
The most popular role for people to play is victim. However, not only do many people play victim frequently, but with great sincerity.
And that is the source of a problem that is truly tragic, at least in the theatrical sense. How do all of these people who are all struggling to avoid being cast in the roles of villain or savior interact with the other people who are “playing the victim?”
Well, obviously it is a competition, right? People compete over which crisis or victimization is the worst. They argue over which villains are the most terrifying. They argue over which saviors are the most capable. They may argue intensely over which victim is the most deserving of salvation.
They do all tend to agree that the most victimized one of all is whoever is talking. However, they all keep talking at the same time. They shout “you should not have said that to me!”
In their hysterical panic of competing for the greatest victim of all, they may end up vilifying each other. “Look, you don’t even recognize that I am the mega-victim here!?!?! By not enthusiastically validating my declaration of extreme victimhood, you are victimizing me! To add to all of the other crimes against me, which were the worst ever and far more extreme than the victimization suffered by anyone ever (such as a public ritual of human sacrifice by crucifiction), there is the added atrocity of failing to enthusiastically scream agreement that I am by far the worst victim ever.”
Some movie critics watching may ask… “does that actor really know that their performance is one of the worst victims that I have ever seen? Their tantrums yes are sincere, but it’s just not realistic. Regular people do not whine like that, do they? I mean… I certainly do not!”
So, some people compete for worst victim in human history. Others compete for best victim in a mini-series. Others compete to have their picture printed in the yearbook next to the words “most likely to be victimized in the future.”
Why all the competition? Well, playing victim obviously is a great way to test other people for their response. Will they respond defensively with “hey, look, I did not victimize you?” Will they respond with passive agression and say “I only did what I did because you were victimizing me?”
Further, there is an obvious underlying issue. People do victimize each other on occasion. At least, people take actions that are later labeled as “what should not have happened.”
If two little kids are caught “playing doctor” with too much enthusiasm and adult content, isn’t it predictable that one of them might say “you should not punish me… because I was a victim here!”
Or, if there is an actual incident of bullying, what if the one bullied does not want to admit their fear? What if they want to pretend they were not victimized?
In that case, then an old case of victimzation can get suppressed. The young victim is so terrified that they do not ask for help.
Then, in later years, they respond to a variety of interactions as if they were being victimized. Why? They are playing the victim to access those old experiences and release the old tensions. The tensions were useful to block the display (physically) of the emotions associated with being victimized.
All of these people competing for “biggest victim” have been victimized… but maybe just not lately.
How many people have ever been attacked by scurvy? Scurvy is a label for a medical condition and labels in language do not attack anyone.
But how many people have been attacked by cancer? Cancer is also a medical label for specific effects and labels for effects do not attack anyone.
How many people have been attacked by poverty? Poverty is a label for an outcome. Labels do not attack anyone.
However, people may be programmed to speak about a variety of labels as if the labels are victimizing them. People say things like “my cancer is killing me.” Whose cancer?
As for me, my scurvy and my baldness are competing for who will kill me first. The baldness has removed a bit of hair from a few spots on my head so far, which apparently is not fatal. So, the scurvy is way ahead at this point.
Keep in mind that the only reason that I experience the effect labeled baldness is that I have been attacked by the label “baldness.” I went to a hairstylist once who apparently thought she was qualified to diagnose me and she said “your head has been attacked by baldness.”
I told her “that is ridiculous. Baldness did not attack my head. My head is fine. Baldness only attacked my hair, causing my hair to go bald.”
She replied, “well you have some very bald hair missing from your head in a few spots. You should probably see a diagnostic specialist to find out which kinds of baldness has attacked, such as a receding hairline or just baldness that is a side effect of head-shaving.”
Anyway, as I was saying, she gave me a haircut so bad that I attacked it with a trimmer. But the reason that I brought this up in the first place was because when I was very young, I was severely attacked by baldness. The emotional damage was extensive. As a newborn, I had even less hair than I do now.
I need to vent now because in my youth I had so little social power that I was repeatedly victimized, deceived, betrayed, and also quite naive. Why did I have to be so naive when I was young? It’s just not fair. It’s like I was victimized by naivete.
It sure is a good thing that now I am saved from naivete. I pay attention to my own words so now I am magically free of every possible kind of naivete. Just to be clear, if you do not agree with me on this issue with sufficent enthusiasm, I will label you as a negative person and withdraw from you as much as possible.
I mean, how could you betray me by paying more attention to how I use words than I do? It’s just not right, right?
It is notable for the focus in so many churches to skip the Book of Numbers (in which the Lord threatens plagues against the Israelites, unleashes the threatened plagues, and then withdraws them once the Israelites are compliant). To leave out the background issue of the apocalyptic threats of an apparently non-terrestial ruling entity is very notable.
The great religion of global imperialism (including the branches of Islam and Christianity) really got going with the slaughter of the Midianites by the Israelites (as documented in Numbers 31). Also, in any sect of the religion of imperialism, we notice that there are different ranks of military officer, such as the different ranks within the Levite priesthood that rules over the rest of the Hebrew tribes with coercion and terror. At various ranks of the military secret societies, different ideas are revealed.
The New Testament is for “the taxpayers / inheritors of national debts.” The Talmud is not. The Zohar is definitely not.
Of course, first-hand accounts about ET contact are “sensitive information” which we can expect to be kept highly classified through the use of violence (as in silencing by death). It is also important that the herds consider certain subjects “forbidden” or “ridiculous.” That is essential to maintaining the social order of organized inequity.
More on the slaughter of the Midianites:
Isn’t hysterical fear the only thing that would ever drive people to want to “eliminate fear from their lives?”
Fear is what keeps you in your lane while driving. Stress hormones are designed for a wonderful purpose: to suddenly shift your focus to something that is potentially a very urgent priority in that moment.
In a culture of extreme hysteria, a strange thing can happen which is that people get so ashamed about ever displaying fear that they condemn it. They may say they are condemning the “foolishness of fear itself” but they are really condemning the display of fear.
Why do they react with such aloof paranoia if someone- maybe even a dog or a child- displays caution or fear? Because they are investing a lot of energy in to repressing their own latent anxiety and if someone else displays fear around them, that can trigger a cracking open of their dam to hide fear. They may panic.
So, maybe they join a Unity Church (I did) as they isolate themselves from “negative people” who are “too afraid.” Plus, that coping mechanism can actually benefit them to get to the point of less stress and eventually calming down from the various mainstream hysterias popular in a culture (even subtle, conceptual things like “a fear of inequality” or “a fear of injustice”).
As for the statement by New Age Guru Louise Hay about relaxing, I agree that people who have been experiencing a lot of tension can benefit from things like “breathing peacefully” (in contrast to the normal breathing rate of most people which is typically TWICE as much as ideal). However, saying “I am safe and secure” does not buckle your seatbelt or lock your door.
When people’s self-interest has been effectively confounded by social conditioning, then they “have no clear direction.” In that case, fear does not help move them toward a goal because they have no beacon.
Once the target is clear (like “I want to travel to a higher elevation immediately”), then when the flood comes, fear creates action. People who do not fear tsunamis or hurricanes because they chant “I am safe and secure” are delusional. Delusional disassociation is, once again, an amazing coping mechanism that works very well in some situations, but not all.
Why will you probably refill your gas tank sometime in the future? It might be because you are afraid of running out of gas.
Has anybody told you that it’s not the time
The biggest threat to any social system may be a competing social system. They “strongly discourage” competition.
What is even the purpose of social systems? Their purpose is to persist in producing systemic inequitable redistributions of power. They serve to organize (regulate) inequality.
Perhaps the biggest threat would be calm, alert, well-organized, well-supplied people of far above average intelligence. A system thrives on compliance, loyalty, obedience, and servitude. Any threat to enthusiastic participation in the system is a threat to the system, for it is nothing but a system of human behavior.
The terrified masses act not out of careful reflection and logic, but out of emotional herding instincts. If enough organisms in their midst display signals that “everything is safe,” then members of the herd may even resist their own observation of possible threat to the safety of the herd itself or any individual. If enough organisms in their midst display signals that “there is a present threat,” then any members of the herd who have investigated the alleged threat and found it to be “less threatening than expected” may also experience first eagerness and then fear about displaying their conclusions to others.
What if the big threat that those in the herd are experiencing is “the possible perception of any non-conformity on the part of me as an individual?” What if that is why they are so resistant to (or even disturbed by) any unfamiliar information from anything but the perceived authority of the herd (the spokesperson)?
“Why are the herds so herdlike? Why are they so emotional? Why are they so social? Why are emotions so social? …Since herds are notably unintelligent, and intelligence is good, then herds are bad, right? Since herds are bad, then obviously our group is not a herd, right?!?!”
Herds formed because herding together can produce advantages. Herds are not always good or always bad, but are always herds.
The reality is that herding is cyclic. It alternates between times of concentrating and deconcentrating. Herds centralize and decentralize. Herds condense and dissolve.
New herds are always forming. Some grow. Some shrink.
Some herds value intelligence in general (at least for a while). Some herds violently discourage displays of intelligence (such as logic or leaps of innovation that are “too big” relative to a familiar paradigm). Of course, highly intelligent herd members may notice that displaying their intelligence may or may not be favorable.
In the case of the massive modern herds called “nations,” they form, shrink, grow, and even merge. Many “independent” political units unified in Europe a few decades back in to The European Union. Shortly before that, a massive political unit known as “the Soviet Union” dissolved.
Within massive herds, there are a variety of groupings and sub-groupings. There are privileged classes, like independent contractors licensed by a government (MDs, plumbers, etc) or even specially-protected groups (like oath-sworn law enforcement officials). There are ambassadors and convicts. There are targets for rewards and for punishment.
There may be propaganda about herds in general as well as about particular herds. There may be propaganda about intelligence and other traits identified socially as “good” or “bad,” such as certain emotions demonized as “negative.”
Herds of humans are distinct from each other through many contrasts. One type of contrast is a particular herd’s habits in the use of language (their communication rituals). What do people in a particular group call themselves? What do they say about their group and other groups? What do they say about sub-groups within their groups?
“That other sub-group is the problem with our herd,” says one sub-group in one herd. A contrasting comment is “No, that other group way over there is where we should focus instead… because they are a serious threat to the future of our own collective group. We need to unify to respond to their threat!”
Some may even say, “my perception is that this herd is not offering me what I value most. Maybe a new pattern of relating (and communicating) would work better for me.”
Let’s focus on managing time well. In other words, we can focus on patterns of action and the different results produced by different actions.
Of course, there are others things that we could do with our time besides focus on how to manage time well. Maybe right this moment you are late for something urgent or having a life or death health crisis or an economic emergency like your kitchen is just starting to catch on fire. But I will assume that none of those things are taking priority over reading this… or else you would not be reading this right now.
Next, before we get in the details of to managing time, we might pause a moment just to relax. Many times, people operate with so much habitual stress that if they simply slow down for a few minutes, they may notice their body relaxing. They say things like “wow, I did not even know that my shoulders were tense.”
A similar thing can happen if people get a massage. They may say “wow, I did not even know that I was so tender right there.”
Why the sudden increase of awareness? Because their was so little focus on the real condition of their body.
Imagine someone who is watching a scary movie. Would it be predictable that at some point they would hold their breath? The music starts to signal “something bad is about to happen,” and then it does!
If you watched the audience in a movie theatre during an action movie, you could see the expressions on their face change. You could see men squirming in their seats when some image on the screen shows another man getting kicking in a particular place.
Or in a movie that is a romantic comedy, you could hear it when suddenly a bunch of people in the audience do something very loud with their breathing called “laugh.” At other times, you might see drops of water dripping down their face (whether from crying or sweating).
So people may invest a fair amount of time in to triggering certain emotions, like by their choices of books or music or other entertainment (even sporting events). Maybe someone who is holding chronic physical tension relating to fear values the effect of watching a horror movie. They feel the vitality of adrenalin or maybe they value repeatedly getting a safe exposure to fear that allows them to gradually relax old chronic tensions.
They also get an excuse to have a certain experience. Maybe they even avoid the distress of facing certain other emotional states that are just bubbling below the surface. Maybe they cope by retreating in to a “fantasy world” of very interesting baseball statistics or golf scores.
So one possible issue relating to time management is the issue of habits of avoidance. For someone to actually explore time management, that may require actually identifying their patterns of how they use time. If avoidance of a particular emotion or subject is a primary habit (coping mechanism) that someone has developed, then someone very motivated to improve their time management (and their results) would be interested in that subject.
Others may say “I can’t read something longer than a paragraph without losing interest,” but then go read an article for 10 minutes. Is it possible that certain subjects are too frightening for some people to read about? Is it possible that they prefer a live interaction… maybe even with several people present to enhance the sense of personal security?
To manage time well, it could be useful to recognize the things that are most stressful for us and either stop doing them or do them much better (perhaps bringing in the assistance of people who are willing and able to help). The experience of frustration is generally a sign that one’s immediate ability to focus on a situation and quickly produce a solution is not sufficient.
There may be a general lack of ability, but have you ever noticed that sometimes when you set aside a particular task and then relax a bit, if you come back to the same task later, you may be able to quickly complete it. You notice things that you did not notice before.
Why is that? Because you are better able to focus. You may be less distracted. You may be less exhausted (mentally, physically, etc…). “Suddenly,” your ability to complete the task is sufficient.
What happened? It’s not that your general ability dramatically improved an hour later. It’s that after an hour of doing something else (or nothing at all), you were better able to use your abilities.
So, sometimes a key factor in time management is planning breaks. Sometimes people also benefit from taking routine measurements (hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, etc). These measurements inform their planning.
This presentation is laying a foundation for common issues that influence people’s focus and performance. One issue is being distracted by other people- even just thoughts about other people. Let’s briefly consider that “being distracted by thoughts about other people” could actually be a useful thing that we might want to invest some concentrated time in to doing intentionally.
What bothers you most about other people? The reason that this question can be so interesting is that what bothers you about other people in general may be very revealing about you.
I’ll take the issue of someone who has a lack of confidence but a fear of social consequences about that being discovered. Note that just having a lack of confidence is not issue by itself. Someone without confidence simply asks for help. They display their lack of confidence. They request help. It’s very simple.
However, what about someone who takes time to criticize other people’s lack of confidence (to complain)? Do you ever complain that other people complain the wrong amount (perhaps “too much” for your preference)?
Someone with shame about their lack of confidence may seek out reasons to complain. They may seek out reasons to condemn others in a condescending way.
Because they lack competence and do not want anyone to notice that, they point to other people’s lack of competence. Further,
because they lack confidence and do not want anyone to notice that, they point to other people’s lack of confidence.
“That guy is so cocky!”
“That lady is so selfish!”
“They seem to think that they are so smart because they have a degree and a license, but I bet they do not even know a single cure for the thing that they keep calling incurable!”
It is one thing to notice other people’s pattern of behavior and how they speak. It is a distinct thing to present contempt and disrespect.
Yes, there are thousands of specialists whose training is only as good as what was offered in some educational program. We could criticize people for only knowing what was taught in a certain program, but what is the point?
As a coping mechanism, we may complain to create repulsion. We may want to test how others respond to a display of repulsion. We may want to test someone else’s confidence.
For instance, if I am going to hire a health specialist, I may want to know if they are confident in their competence. I may ask them where they trained. I may ask them what they think of some research from 100 years ago or 50 years ago.
I’m not condemning them. I’m not threatening to report them for incompetence. I am just testing how much confidence to put in them.
However, if they did perceive me as a threat, that would be notable. They might say: “I don’t need to answer your questions because I am an expert.” That is even an understandable comment.
But what if I respond: “how many people have you personally cured of the thing that you insist is incurable?” What if I ask: “how much time have you personally invested in reviewing the original studies of authors who claim to have a success rate that is far above average? How committed are you to promoting the health of people like me? Are you open to competing in a free market with other providers or do you lobby for subsidies and protections for members of your professional club?”
There are a few ways that someone could respond to such questions. They could erupt in to terror and then spew rage in an attempt to flee from the distress. They could call the security team to strap down the person complaining and proceed with the operation anyway. Or, they could respectfully respond.
I know that when I mentioned to someone repeatedly that there were excellent success rates for certain medical conditions, their response was “yes, but some people are not open to that.” That is a reasonable response.
What I did not think at the time was “how much do you care about their results? If you are even taking the time to notify me of their new diagnosis, why? Are you gloating in their confusion and distress? Are you rigidly clinging to your own pattern of rejecting excellence for familiar frustrations?”
Maybe some people are investing in producing frustration. Maybe that is an emotion that they have so deeply repressed that they value exposures to frustration which might finally spark learning. Maybe they are desperately committed to their own frustration so that they can mature in a particular way.
Frustration is NOT a signal for lack of ability. Someone who just lacks ability simply recognizes that within a few attempts and does not keep trying what is obviously not working.
The repeated use of a method that is not working could be considered self-sabotage. It could be considered a “cry for help.”
“I got so frustrated that I just finally wanted to tell someone.” Finally? Why finally? Why not tell someone much sooner (as in report the intent to produce a result and lack of confidence in being able to produce it)? Why all of the drama of “being sincere?”
Imagine that at some time in someone’s life, they were told “oh come on you were not even really trying! Just keep working on it and you will get it eventually.” How could that effect them? What patterns of behavior would we expect in regard to asking for help?
What if someone was publicly ridiculed for being unable to complete a task? What if the old pattern of humiliation is built in to their body as a chronic physical tension, but then another layer of tension has been added to hide the humiliation?
“No, I don’t care about ____. Sure, I used to care, but then I was publicly ridiculed for caring, so now I would not admit that I cared even if I did. I mean… not that I do of course, but… anyway… whatever… it doesn’t matter.”
We could call that cynicism. We could call that “a broken spirit.” By the way, the phrase “broken spirit” is related to schizophrenia: broken inspiration, broken respiration, broken breathing.
Are most people holding their breath all of the time? Do they only breath from the chest because their lower rib cage is in a state of chronic tension like someone who is currently watching a horror movie? Do they relate to their life like a nightmare? Do they frequently make extreme interpretations about how they are always a victim?
Maybe someone is being victimized today. But many people were victims in the past and yet still live from that “narrative.” Why? Is that another persona that they can display socially to attract a certain kind of response from others?
“You should focus on someone else who deserves your help more. You should focus on someone else who is more open and more responsive.”
Maybe they are “really” saying that they do not perceive sufficient competence (ability) or commitment (willingness) in another person. That is also reasonable. Maybe they are testing.
Maybe they are displaying that old habitual coping mechanism of helpless victim.
“I am just too helpless. I am possessed by a demon who only uses cynical patterns of language. Plus, I have not done anything to deserve your help, so I feel guilty which I would rather avoid because guilt implies that in the future I could choose better than I did in the past which sounds a lot like learning and I learned once to never ever learn anything ever. Also, I did something bad once and so I deserve to punish myself so that other people will know that I am tamed and not a threat to them that they might want to punish.”
Acting in ways that would avoid expected punishments is reasonable. However, updated expectations about punishments is also reasonable.
To earn social rewards, learning may be involved. Risk may be involved (the possibility of disappointment, failure, rejection, etc…). Asking for help may even be involved, and it is common knowledge among all cocky, arrogant people who pretend to have a lot more confidence than they actually have… that it can be humiliating to ask for help.
Or, one can attempt to explore the experience of humiliation by targeting it and locking on to it as a destination. One can create the experience of helplessness, isolation, frustration, or anything else that one puts a lot of time and energy in to producing.
Now, as for a conversation about time management, that implies a certain amount of self-respect and respect for whoever else is in the conversation. Someone could even come right out and say this: “Maybe it’s not a good use of your time for you to talk to me about time management right now.”
Why are you interested in improving how you manage your time? What results are so attractive to you that you would value exploring time management? What results are so repulsive to you that you would value exploring time management?