Arguing with Reality
Yesterday we looked at heroic stamina: Instead of giving in, we get more committed.
We embody heroic presence: We show up with intensity.
We practice the heroic mantra: Obstacles make me stronger.
We ask the heroic question: What’s the best possible response right now?
And… Sometimes we don’t.
Sometimes we don’t do any of that. We fall short.
Now what? Do we beat ourselves up? Is something wrong with us?
Instead, we choose to practice self-compassion. We intentionally move away from shame.
Brian suggests we keep three things in mind when we fail to show up as our best selves:
1: Realize failure is common to all humanity. We will all fall short of our ideals. Its part of what it means to be human.
2: Practice kindness. Treat ourselves the way we would treat a beloved child.
3: Mindfulness. Notice when we are not being compassionate with ourselves. Insert ourselves into the space between stimulus and response. Choose self-compassion.
Then, Brian tells us it is time to take the hero pill.
Step one: Realize that suffering = pain x resistance.
Which means when we resist, when we insist this shouldn’t be happening, we multiply our suffering.
Byron Katie tells us: “When I argue with reality, I lose—but only 100 percent of the time.”
Instead, what if we were to practice what the Stoic philosophers call the art of acquiesce? Instead of resisting, we accept what is.
As optimizers, we embrace the constraints of reality. We internalize Reinhold Niebuhr’s serenity prayer – which also serves as our heroic prayer:
“God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.”
Remembering each moment is an opportunity to make a new choice. To close the gap between how we are showing up and the best version of ourselves.
Reflection: Is my self-like talk mostly positive or negative?
Action: Intentionally practice self-compassion today.