Friday, March 15, 2013



Perhaps this is another one of those hang-overs from our prehistoric days when we had to keep going and endure or risk being eaten by the lurking saber-toothed tigers?

It is believed that this type of perseverance had a necessary role in preservation of the human species.

Like many of our early behaviors, understanding its role in today’s world is challenging.

An opportunity to experiment with some fun ideas...


Do any of these fit for you?

·         It’s embarrassing to say “I can’t”…

·        I used to be able to do it…

·        I don’t want them to think I’m a wimp

·        I don’t want to feel like a wimp

·        Everyone else is doing it

·        Just this one time…

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1 comment:

  1. This is an interesting realm of thought with lots of nuance.

    Nietzsche wrote, "That which does not kill me makes me stronger." While most people pass this around as a truism -- and I admit that I have not read the original text, so I'm wary of misunderstanding all of the context for his statement -- I always thought this sentiment was a little off. After all, aren't many people permanently debilitated by injuries? If you are paralyzed in an injury, are you truly stronger? I acknowledge that there are many good arguments for spiritual strength, but even so, I'm certain that many people with permanent injuries feel spiritually weaker.

    On the other hand, I know from personal experience that failure is often the product of fear, and fear is roughly equivalent to an aversion to pain, discomfort, hard work, etc. For example, I often find it difficult to do cardiovascular exercise because it's hard both in general and for me specifically as someone who suffers from asthma. However, at times in my life when I've pushed through the discomfort/pain of the initial sessions, I earn an overall improvement in my sense of well-being from my improved fitness. For another less physical example, I often have similar difficulty when entering big social situations like parties. I get very nervous and afraid. Once again, though, when I push through this fear, I'm usually rewarded with an enjoyable time, new friends, etc.

    So, I think it's a hard subject to boil down to a single aphorism. I disagree with Nietzsche; I think there are many things that won't kill you, but will certainly leave you weaker for the remainder of your life. Perhaps they kill a part of you. However, it's simultaneously true that nothing of value has ever been accomplished by giving in to inertia and entropy. All work involves a fight against the second law of thermodynamics. Perhaps what's needed is a finely tuned sense of exactly when "effort" becomes "pain," and an ability to stay in the "effort" zone for as long as possible without crossing the line.