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cubedemon6073
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16 Jun 2015, 3:10 pm

The thing with positivity and phrases such as this is there is some truth to it. I will buy it. I have fundamental issues with phrases, other positive affirmations and positvity such as this and my main problem is that it only tells a part of the story.

Let’s make the assumption that there are no rules of physics, no laws or social standards to follow that are never open to question or challenge. Now, let’s make the assumption that consciousness is primacy instead of existence being primacy.

Existence being primacy means that there are laws governing the universe and/or existence that is independent of one’s hopes, wishes and dreams. Consciousness being primacy means that the universe and/or existential laws depend upon what the conscious mind desires and wishes. If life is what I make it then isn’t life what others make as well? If this is logically true then what happens if I try to make life one way and the other people from various walks of life want life to be another way? How does life resolve this contradiction?

From my experience, the resolution to this contradiction is that this statement is true only to a certain extent and other people in life can and do have an effect on the outcomes of my life just like I can and do have an effect on the outcomes on other people’s lives. Even if one is not constrained by laws that exist independently of human consciousness, I’m still constrained to the laws of the majority and how they wish to make life.

To me, positivity is over-hyped and assumes one has all of this internal locus of control which is far from the truth.



RoadRatt
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16 Jun 2015, 4:40 pm

I'm not responding to your post but mainly to the idea that "Life is what YOU make it". I've never been able to believe in this phrase as there are just way too many factors in life that can change the outcome of any well laid plans for that life. A better way to put it, in my opinion, would be: "Life is what you make of it".


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heavenlyabyss
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16 Jun 2015, 5:05 pm

Actually, there is some truth to it. Affirmations can be very powerful if you want them to work and believe in them.

It's important not to become a "happy nazi" though - a person who criticizes others for not being positive. This is a negative. Of course if you want to be a "happy nazi" that's fine with me. I just don't like them very much. Is this a negative statement? No, it's just an opinion. You see it gets very confusing. A person can sometimes get down on themselves for not being positive enough. Before you know it you're mind is in an OCD loop. You see, this is not a positive thought. It's meant to be an explanation.



kraftiekortie
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16 Jun 2015, 5:49 pm

I believe in "positive" phrases more than I believe in "negative" phrases. But I don't exclusively live through them. I live through what I experience, and I learn from what I experience.

I've never read Dale Carnegie--and I probably never will. I have NO belief in so-called "self-help" books.

I believe in things being "real" rather than necessarily fully "positive," though I believe in putting a positive slant on things, while maintaining the truth of the thing.

Yes, there are things which are beyond our control. However, I do believe you can, in a positive, assertive manner, offset these "things," at least to some extent.

I'm a realist, not a rose-colored glasses man.



blauSamstag
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16 Jun 2015, 7:03 pm

Can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

Not without acquiring some good silk first, anyway.



GoonSquad
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16 Jun 2015, 7:19 pm

I think some of you guys are taking this phrase too literally...

Obviously, one does not have the power to make 'life' whatever they want. HOWEVER, each of us in in TOTAL control of how we experience life, whether we deem it to be good or bad, etc.

Quote:
“I must die. Must I then die lamenting? I must be put in chains. Must I then also lament? I must go into exile. Does any man then hinder me from going with smiles and cheerfulness and contentment?”
― Epictetus


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ASPartOfMe
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16 Jun 2015, 8:25 pm

I agree with most . We some some control but there are a lot of other factors also.

However this still was a great song.


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blauSamstag
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16 Jun 2015, 9:00 pm



Everything's ok . . .



aghogday
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16 Jun 2015, 10:04 pm

"Life is What YOU Make it'

Is it possible; yes.

Is it easy; hell no.

Been to both places;

possible is the hardest place of all;

But worth all the hard every now; as
truly it is a practice within; and not
one administered by culture or any
one else but me; but I cannot speak
for anyone
BUT
ME;
AS I'VE BEEN TO both places now;
and the me before; wouldn't know
me, if me then met me now. Change
is possible; both negative or positive.

Truly, at least for me; it mirrors the
Matrix fictional myth almost eye to eye;
but after all, the Matrix is based on all
world philosophies of what DOES WORK
IN LIFE; To be 'Neo' is always to BE FREE..:)

I am the director, producer, and actor of my
OWN DAM PLAY; most everyone else and
culture as whole will employ one to their
way if allowed. I make the rules now;
'cause i can; from emotional
regulation to sensory
integration through
exquisite focus
and greater
short term
working memory; along with
controlling brain waves sliding smoothly
to theta wave state for creativity to dancing
in the snow in my underwear; where I control
body temperature and the climate where i live
never controls me now; in either rains or snows..:)

Yes, Possible; not easy; but never the less possible and REAL
as Neo come to life for the first time ever then and Now, and Same and Sane..:)


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adifferentname
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17 Jun 2015, 1:30 am

GoonSquad wrote:
I think some of you guys are taking this phrase too literally...


Well duh?

Quote:
Obviously, one does not have the power to make 'life' whatever they want. HOWEVER, each of us in in TOTAL control of how we experience life, whether we deem it to be good or bad, etc.


I disagree with this entirely, except in a case where one chooses a happy delusion over a sad reality - and I'm not certain anyone can choose delusion.

We are products of an environment over which we have limited control. Our perceptions, our desires, our fears are shaped by our experiences and by the lessons taught by those we put our trust in, and those who we do not.

A blind or deaf person has an immediate and obvious lack of total control of how they experience life. Likewise, someone with a neurological disorder cannot claim total mastery over their experiences. These are obvious examples, so lets take things further.

How many people choose to fall in love? Love is, by nature, a loss of control over how one experiences life, best exemplified by the irrational belief that the object of our desires is impossibly perfect. And should that love bear fruit, how many parents view their child as merely average, let alone substandard? Do parents choose to be wilfully ignorant of the failings of their children, or is belief that your offspring is the very best baby in the whole wide world a preconditioned one?

Humans are flawed, and it's only by acknowledging your almost complete lack of control over life and reality that you can come to terms with this fact.



cubedemon6073
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17 Jun 2015, 8:15 am

adifferentname wrote:
GoonSquad wrote:
I think some of you guys are taking this phrase too literally...


Well duh?

Quote:
Obviously, one does not have the power to make 'life' whatever they want. HOWEVER, each of us in in TOTAL control of how we experience life, whether we deem it to be good or bad, etc.


I disagree with this entirely, except in a case where one chooses a happy delusion over a sad reality - and I'm not certain anyone can choose delusion.

We are products of an environment over which we have limited control. Our perceptions, our desires, our fears are shaped by our experiences and by the lessons taught by those we put our trust in, and those who we do not.

A blind or deaf person has an immediate and obvious lack of total control of how they experience life. Likewise, someone with a neurological disorder cannot claim total mastery over their experiences. These are obvious examples, so lets take things further.

How many people choose to fall in love? Love is, by nature, a loss of control over how one experiences life, best exemplified by the irrational belief that the object of our desires is impossibly perfect. And should that love bear fruit, how many parents view their child as merely average, let alone substandard? Do parents choose to be wilfully ignorant of the failings of their children, or is belief that your offspring is the very best baby in the whole wide world a preconditioned one?

Humans are flawed, and it's only by acknowledging your almost complete lack of control over life and reality that you can come to terms with this fact.


I agree with you and disagree with Goonsquad as well. There are people with disorders like depression, bipolar, schizophrenia. If these people could control how we experience life then why would they need expensive medication and treatment to do so.

You quoted Epictetus

Quote:
“I must die. Must I then die lamenting? I must be put in chains. Must I then also lament? I must go into exile. Does any man then hinder me from going with smiles and cheerfulness and contentment?”
― Epictetus


Thing is maybe he was able to not lament but some are not able to refrain from it due to possibly a dysfunction of the mind. If people really can choose to control how they experience life then why is it considered true that "Attitude is Contagious?" If this was rational and true then no matter how negative of an attitude I project, others would be able to control how they experience my negativity, one can be able to be as negative as one can be in the work setting and one can still expect to keep his job. One can still expect to keep and make friends as well. Others should be able to control how they perceive aspies. If people really did this and could do as you suggest then wouldn't we aspies be perceived better?

This is why even though there is some amount of truth to positivity, positivity and these phrases lead to a Reductio ad absurdum. If we as humans can truthfully control how we experience life then by logic how is "Attitude Contagious?" If one is true then something has to be false or we would have absurdities in this system of postivity..



GoonSquad
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17 Jun 2015, 8:41 am

adifferentname wrote:
Quote:
Obviously, one does not have the power to make 'life' whatever they want. HOWEVER, each of us in in TOTAL control of how we experience life, whether we deem it to be good or bad, etc.


I disagree with this entirely, except in a case where one chooses a happy delusion over a sad reality - and I'm not certain anyone can choose delusion.

...

How many people choose to fall in love? Love is, by nature, a loss of control over how one experiences life, best exemplified by the irrational belief that the object of our desires is impossibly perfect. And should that love bear fruit, how many parents view their child as merely average, let alone substandard? Do parents choose to be wilfully ignorant of the failings of their children, or is belief that your offspring is the very best baby in the whole wide world a preconditioned one?


Well, I think you've missed the point of my post entirely.

Let's consider the underlined question... It IS NOT a matter of being blind to the flaws of your offspring, bt rather a question of HOW YOU REACT to those flaws: Which is the wiser course--to reject your child because of it's flaws and curse fate for giving you such a child or to accept your child for what it is and make peace with the fact that YOU FAILED to produce a superior offspring?

That's your choice. One path is likely to bear misery, the other tranquility.

One choice MAKES a sad life, the other a happier one.




Quote:
Humans are flawed, and it's only by acknowledging your almost complete lack of control over life and reality that you can come to terms with this fact.


Yes, this is exactly correct, but it doesn't preclude happiness or at least peace at every instance.

Another couple of quotes from Epictetus:
Quote:
"Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.”

“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power or our will. ”


The key to happiness is to understand what is truly good, truly bad, and what is indifferent.

The Stoic masters such as Epictetus tell us that what is actually good and desirable is that which promotes virtue (that which promotes justice, temperance, courage, and freedom). The truly bad promotes the opposite, and everything else is indifferent--some indifferents are preferred (good health, wealth, etc.) and some indifferents are not (sickness, poverty, etc.).

Here's the secret--we can pretty much totally control those things which make us virtuous. We can choose to always be just, always act in moderation, always show courage in the face of adversity, and when we do this, we'll be mostly free from suffering.

However, when we value and pursue those things which are not virtuous, we're likely to invite suffering. Likewise, when we place too much value on indifferents such as wealth, good health, flawless children, or a happy love life--things largely beyond our control--we're also likely to invite a lot of NEEDLESS suffering because these things are not within our control and won't go our way much of the time. Therefore, it is irrational to put so much value on such things.

So, in the end it's really about what we value and how we react to the world--that IS how we make life what it is.

I understand that this isn't appealing to a lot of people because it REQUIRES a fundamental shift in values for many, especially the young, who are conditioned to think that wealth, popularity, etc. are essential ingredients for happiness.

They aren't. The sooner you realize this, the better off you'll be.

And by the way, this philosophy is also the basis of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and it's helped thousands of people cope with life and MAKE IT a much happier experience.

Your mileage may vary.


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GoonSquad
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17 Jun 2015, 8:51 am

cubedemon6073 wrote:

I agree with you and disagree with Goonsquad as well. There are people with disorders like depression, bipolar, schizophrenia. If these people could control how we experience life then why would they need expensive medication and treatment to do so.

You quoted Epictetus

Quote:
“I must die. Must I then die lamenting? I must be put in chains. Must I then also lament? I must go into exile. Does any man then hinder me from going with smiles and cheerfulness and contentment?”
― Epictetus


Thing is maybe he was able to not lament but some are not able to refrain from it due to possibly a dysfunction of the mind. If people really can choose to control how they experience life then why is it considered true that "Attitude is Contagious?" If this was rational and true then no matter how negative of an attitude I project, others would be able to control how they experience my negativity, one can be able to be as negative as one can be in the work setting and one can still expect to keep his job. One can still expect to keep and make friends as well. Others should be able to control how they perceive aspies. If people really did this and could do as you suggest then wouldn't we aspies be perceived better?

This is why even though there is some amount of truth to positivity, positivity and these phrases lead to a Reductio ad absurdum. If we as humans can truthfully control how we experience life then by logic how is "Attitude Contagious?" If one is true then something has to be false or we would have absurdities in this system of postivity..


Here's my answer and you probably won't find it very satisfying. What you are describing, mostly, is the behavior of a human animal. What I am describing is the behavior of a rational, disciplined, human being.

Changing your mindset/attitude takes mindfulness and hard work, but it does work. It's not only the basis of classical Stoic philosophy, but (as I posted above) it is also the basis of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and it does actually help a lot of people with serious mental illness.

http://philosophy-of-cbt.com/


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17 Jun 2015, 8:54 am

I remember being stuck in a wheelchair at a rehab facility. I had the most positive attitude of any patient there.
One of the OTs worked really hard and got me really nice composite wheelchair--instead of those clunky metal ones like everyone else--so I could zoom around the hallways every day as part of my exercise program. And, I got not one, but two PTs to help me out every day--I mastered everything they knew, so they got to try out new things on me. These days, I look totally normal to NTs--they don't realize what I've been through unless I tell them.

Oh yeah, I could have been on disability--one of those slam dunk cases--but I chose not to.



GoonSquad
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17 Jun 2015, 9:10 am

BTDT wrote:
I remember being stuck in a wheelchair at a rehab facility. I had the most positive attitude of any patient there.
One of the OTs worked really hard and got me really nice composite wheelchair--instead of those clunky metal ones like everyone else--so I could zoom around the hallways every day as part of my exercise program. And, I got not one, but two PTs to help me out every day--I mastered everything they knew, so they got to try out new things on me. These days, I look totally normal to NTs--they don't realize what I've been through unless I tell them.

Oh yeah, I could have been on disability--one of those slam dunk cases--but I chose not to.


Interesting. I had a similar experience when my legs stopped working.

Even today, when I go see my doctor, he's blown away by my "positive attitude."

Last time I saw him I asked him if he thought my legs might work better if I became bitter and miserable... and I could see the light bulb finally go off in his head.

We spent the rest of the visit talking about bike/trike riding and the best places to have a beer on the local trail system.


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