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Why You Should Be Critical, Not Likable

Why You Should Be Critical, Not Likable

Every individual has three bodies.

First is the physical body, second is the mental body and third is the causal body. The physical body is just a structure of flesh and bones and not an accurate representation of the individual. If someone is beautiful and attractive, we think that this is a good person. It is our individual imagination which derives a conclusion based on an observation, which may or may not be entirely true. Individual imagination is again very subjective and hence, the physical body is not an accurate representation of an individual.

The mental body is actually who you are. It is who you imagine yourself to be. The mental body is your personality to yourself and it is this mental body which propels your action, behavior and thoughts. It is the mental body which defines what is right, what is wrong, what makes one happy, what makes one sad.

The causal body is how others see you. Your causal body is different for different individuals since it is up to the onlooker and his imagination to perceive you as someone.

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When you shouldn’t worry about “Being Likable”

When we say You, we actually refer to the amalgamation of three bodies into one.

  • Physical body – how nature sees you.
  • Mental body – how you see yourself
  • Causal body – how others see you.

Human hunger and behavior is mostly a function of the mental and causal bodies. You imagine yourself to be someone but the world sees you as a different personality. Let’s take an example.

John runs a grocery store and is very fond of poetry and fiction. In his free time, he composes poems and actively participates with the literary community. John sees himself as a poet who runs a grocery store to make a living. However, his readers see him as a grocery store owner who writes poems for an avocation.

This is the mother of all behavioral conflicts that arise in our day to day lives. The difference between the mental and causal bodies of an individual.

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When someone cracks a joke at John – “The grocery store guy writes good poems”, John feels dis-empowered. John perceives himself as a poet but the world has a different perception about John.

John cannot go and change the world’s perception about him in one day. It shall take some time and it is possible that the perception may never change. What will be the outcome if John constantly worries about “Being Likable”?

John will suffer from a personality conflict. John is “Likable” as a grocery store guy and not as a poet. The causal body of John is that of a grocery store owner. This is how John is perceived in this world. This is John’s visible reality. If John wants to be “Likable”, he will have to behave the way the world sees him. He will have to open the grocery store in time, serve his customers with a smiling face and get everything sorted.

This behavior will not satiate John’s ambition. John’s mental body is that of a poet and in order to feel empowered and find meaning in life, he must act according to his mental body. He must devote more time in becoming a good poet, read books and improve his writing skills.

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John’s ambitions cannot afford to settle with “Likable John”. John’s ambitions demand him to be “Critical” and stay focused on his vision of becoming a poet.

If you are chasing a goal, you can’t afford to “Be Likable”

Nobody wants to be with you. Everybody wants to be with the person they perceive you to be.

You are “Likable” to your boss, so long you obey his commands and act exactly the way he wants you to act. You are “Likable” to your spouse, so long you stay loyal. You are “Likable” to your neighbors, so long you don’t cause nuisance. You are “Likable” to your relatives and friends, so long you give them your attention.

Everybody wants you to be exactly how they want you to be. The moment there is some aberration in your behavior, this “Likability” will disappear.

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The moment you start working on your own idea or company, your boss will see you as a threat to the organization. It doesn’t matter how loyally you have served the organization for years, the perception will change and the years of hard work you have put to become the “Likable guy” will evaporate.

The moment your partner gets a new job and falls for an attractive colleague, your “Likability” ceases to exist. This is just a difference of perception of the onlooker and there is nothing you can do about it.

So we see, there is always a condition attached with “Likability”.

If you are chasing a difficult goal, you cannot afford to become “Likable”. This is because you are a different person to each onlooker and it is impossible to gratify each onlooker’s expectations. Your pursuit of a goal will cause disruption and it is critical to be “Critical” in your pursuit and not “Likable”.

This doesn’t translate to one should be rude and smug about his endeavors. Just be who you are and pay attention to your mental body. In time, you will attract people and personalities in your life who will like you for who you are and not how “Likable” you are to them.

Featured photo credit: A young woman is sitting on a bench at sunset on an autumn day in the city via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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