Thursday, 21 March 2013

The antidote against the poison of discouragement. A wise man faces problems with resiliency and creativity. An active mind is always searching for better alternatives

"The economy is collapsing," is a expression of gloom that one hears frequently these days on the radio. Newspapers and TV illustrate current catastrophes with pictures of unemployed workers demonstrating in front of closed factories. No wonder that those who watch those images get the feeling that the world is coming to an end.

The antidote against the poison of discouragement

If you ask yourself what most people are going to do to help the victims, chances are that your answer will be "pretty much nothing." One could argue that the sole purpose of reporting those nightmares is to exaggerate existing problems and induce numbness in the audience. The implicit motto seems to be "watch and be paralysed."

Presenting problems as allegedly unsolvable is not an approach conductive to finding solutions. Why on earth are people devoting their precious time to watching news about dreadful events if they are not planning to contribute to a solution?

The antidote against this type of poison is simple. Cut down the hours that you spend in front of the television. Spend less time reading newspapers. Ignore depressing messages on the radio that are meant to turn misery into entertainment. Rational individuals are never satisfied with hearing about problems. An active mind looks for alternatives and practical solutions.

A wise man faces problems with resiliency and creativity

The question becomes essential when we focus on our immediate environment. A man needs resiliency and creativity to face problems that affect his family and friends. Compassion and good words rarely save the day. Acquiring the habit of looking for alternatives might do more to increase your success and happiness than receiving a substantial inheritance.

A man becomes an independent thinker when he readjusts his views in favour of a realistic perception of the world. Sooner or later, you will have to deal with a catastrophe in your life. Your ability to search relentlessly for better options will minimize your losses and lead you out of the danger zone.

Insecure men and women are paralysed by dreadful news, but rational individuals know that media reports tend to exaggerate catastrophes. Passive spectators love to point out how desperate a situation is, but self-reliant individuals know that depressing media stories tend to portray people who lack initiative to improve their own life. When scaremongers conclude that all is lost, independent thinkers are already exploring new opportunities.

Every minute devoted to contemplating disasters is wasted. If you are a victim of a major economic shift or personal tragedy, stand up, wipe the dust off your clothes, refocus your goals, and move on.

An active mind is always searching for better alternatives

Remind yourself that today's catastrophes might be regarded as minor annoyances a decade later. In the long term, your goals, actions, and persistence play the decisive role in your life. An active mind does not stand still in the dark and is always searching for better alternatives.

False convictions, in particular when a persons believes that he is not creative, can constitute a monumental barriers to independent thinking. This is the kind of myth that is meant to keep you down and destroy everything you own. This is the sort of fantasy that can make you small and reduce your ambitions to nothing at all.

  • Have you ever been fed nonsense such as that creative people are exclusively those who do artistic things, such as singing, playing guitar, drawing, or directing films?
  • Have you been sold on the mistaken idea that most jobs in industry and commerce consist of boring routines to be performed in a narrowly-described manner in order to arrive at predetermined results?
  • Have you been wrongly told that only top positions in an organization require some measure of creativity and that all other employees are not supposed to put forward new ideas?

Those statements are misrepresentations you should not believe a word of them. Whatever your station in life, you owe to yourself to see things as they really are and let go of myths about creativity. The truth is that you are an intelligent, creative human being, and that it is up to you to decide how to exercise your creativity.

You are the only one who is entitled to choose what goals to pursue

Nobody has the right to exclude any fields of human activity from creativity and innovation. You are the only one who is entitled to choose what goals you want to pursue and in which way. Your life and your personal conditions are unique. There is no one else like you in the world and there will never be.

Your perceptions and experience cannot be internalized by another human being. The combination of knowledge that exists in your mind is singular to one person. Your creativity is the factor that allows you to reshape that knowledge and produce something original.

The years of your life will end up some day, hopefully in a distant future. No man knows how much time he has, but we are all conscious of our mortality. This fact should not be interpreted negatively. On the contrary, it should become an encouragement to make the best of every hour.

Today, right now, is the best moment to discard preconceived ideas about creativity. It is the ideal time to reclaim for ourselves, in our chosen field of activity, the right to exert our mind to the utmost.

Don't waste a minute in admiration of someone else's grandiose view of his own avocation. Develop an active mind that looks for alternatives. Make your own decisions and throw away what doesn't work. Creativity can be demonstrated daily in all our actions. When we choose and when we move, we become ourselves the living proof.

For more information about rational living and personal development, I refer you to my book The 10 Principles of Rational Living


[Image by Riverbanksoutdoorstore under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under]