Author Topic: Hard/easy versus easy/hard  (Read 2989 times)

Offline zackdog

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Hard/easy versus easy/hard
« on: February 09, 2011, 01:34:12 AM »
I have liked and used the principles and philosophies of this site for a long time. I am very glad to see that Todd is helping to make it more accessible and popular. One of the things that Marty Seligman found in studying happiness is that if you do something difficult 15 min. before you go to bed at night you will sleep better, and wake up in a better mood. So this is my 15 min. of trying to add a few thoughts to the discussion. Jerome Kagan at Harvard believes that we avoid jumping into what is painful yet ultimately satisfying because of an over commitment to safety. As they say in recovery Inc. jumped into the anxiety it's uncomfortable but not dangerous. We are conditioned to mistakenly believe that pain physical or psychological is dangerous and needs to be avoided. Fortunately humans have short attention spans and if you can stop focusing on what is painful for 90 seconds and you can shift your brain circuitry to something more neutral. This was written about in the book Stroke Of Insight by the woman who is a brain scientist and had a stroke. Another good book is by Robert Whitaker, An Anotomy Of an Epidemic. He makes a good case that all of the psychotropic drugs from the anti-anxiety to the antipsychotic make people feel better in the short run yet get worse in the long run. The book is heavily evidence-based. I don't necessarily believe as he does that the drugs create a chemical imbalance. Rather I believe people start to see themselves hopelessly disabled over time. I believe the same dynamic happens with too much therapy, too much religion, too much politics, and too much of anything that relieves anxiety in the short run . I believe everything comes down to two or three choices a day of easy/hard vs hand/easy.OKay running out of room.

Offline Todd Becker

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Re: Hard/easy versus easy/hard
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2011, 08:30:31 AM »
I'm with you on this, zackdog.  The longer term benefits of what you call "hard/easy" are superior to the short term fix of "easy/hard".  The most elegant explanation for this, I think, is Richard Solomon's Opponent process theory of emotion, about which I've blogged.  I think this fits well also with Kagan's theory of happiness.  Julien Smith also blogs a lot about the importance of taking risks and putting aside what you call "an over commitment to safety".  You can check out my 3-part interview/guest blog series with Julien and also see what he has written lately at inoveryourhead.  Thanks also for the other books and references you provided.

Offline Jesse

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Re: Hard/easy versus easy/hard
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2011, 04:30:22 AM »
Like one said " IF THERE IS A WILL , THERE IS A WAY " .
So if you are determinant you can achieve what you want .