Right action, right conduct
Why is always our first reaction to something we don’t like a negative one? Why can’t we simply go right away in the “find another solution” mode? Why are we trying so hard to avoid what we perceive as pain (and are so bad at estimating what is really painful and what the actual level of pain is)? Most times, it’s not painful, not even discomforting. And, if it is painful, we grossly overestimate the level of pain.
I actually think we became more sensitive than our cavemen ancestors. We lost resilience and decreased our tolerance to pain. The world sells us onto pain-free, effort-free life. In reality, life itself it’s not easy. It’s not supposed to be easy. Not even people who have more money than they can spend in multiple lifetimes don’t have easy lives.
Each time I get this first instinctive reaction of retreating, I remember a great quote from the psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s incredible book, Man’s Search for Meaning (a required reading for everyone):
“We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life – daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in the right action and in the right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.”
Next time you are confronted with a challenge, don’t retreat in a corner. Face it straight on and ask yourself “What is the right action and the right conduct for this situation?”. You will be surprise to see how easily solutions come flooding in.