General Discussion

This page is for general discussion in relation to the SMRT course. Please feel free to post your comments below.

4 replies on “General Discussion”

I have a question for that I ran into while tallying passions throughout the day for week 1.

As per the instructions, I keep a tally (for my two big ones; anxiety and anger) and then ask myself “what’s under my control in this situation?”

My answers naturally usually fall to something that’s mostly under my control, but not completely. For instance, if I’m worried about completing everything on my to-do list for the day, may answer is usually “I can focus on the work right now and get as much done as possible.” This is almost, but not completely under my control, since my focus can and indeed does often wander or get interrupted externally.

My question is: should I be satisfied with these “almost under my control” answers, or instead train myself to answer in the form of something that is definitely under my complete control, e.g. “I can think “X”” that can be done in an instant and are directly under my will.

The former types of thoughts seems a little more useful, although it occasionally does get frustrated because it’s not directly under my control (but almost!), whereas the latter class seems more “Stoic” but does not always generate useful action steps.

Any thoughts?

Hello CmplxAdSys – My perspective on your question is that you should focus on things completely under your control. The trichotomy of control (things not, partially, or completely under one’s control) is really a dichotomy of control, when you consider that those things partially under one’s control can be separated into the the other two categories. So in the example of your to-do list (and I suffer the same dilemma of not accomplishing everything on mine, so I can relate to your question!), if it is getting to be late in the day and there are to-do list items left un-done, the important question is “what can you do?”, and focus on that. Longer term, a better approach may be to separate to-do lists into sections like “must do”, and “would be nice”, and resolve to do all the “must do” items, fate permitting.

CmplxAdSys I don’t know if you are still there. We have so many different streams of communication, here, it is a bit difficult to get around to each other. And I have just now located this query of yours after more than 10 days (my fault, of course).

Hopefully, you have come to terms with this problem to some initial degree so that it hasn’t held you back. I don’t mean to denigrate your situation at all, but it is a simple one. You just keep moving forward. I know it may not seem that simple to you at first, but it really is that straightforward. These are not complicated issues. They will work themselves out over time. Nothing comes together quickly, especially when dealing with matters of anger and anxiety. I am still dealing with anger issues after more than sixty years (don’t be discouraged; I started late after many years of stubborn refusal and that hindered my progress; the earlier you get going, the easier the going gets…and it’s all downhill once you begin the work, trust me). Anxiety disappears in exactly the opposite way a snowball builds, but you have to push it up a hill (and I know that sounds contradictory, but I’m talking about anxiety, not anger). It takes work. But every time you make an effort that effort counts, both towards the anger and the anxiety. Nothing you do eliminates that effort. There are no setbacks in your work towards your goal. There is no such thing as two steps forward and one step back. So whatever you do and whatever effort you make, today, tomorrow, whenever you can, it is toward your benefit. Just don’t worry about it and don’t worry while doing it. That’s just a waste of your energy. Just do it (I didn’t make that up). And let the work happen. If it seems to be satisfactory, then it is satisfactory. If it doesn’t fit perfectly into some formula, Stoic or otherwise, today or some other day, maybe tomorrow it will. Maybe it never will. Is fitting into the formula important or is satisfying your need for improvement important? If the two match then fate will be on your side.

Remembering not things, but our judgments

Pro: more likely to be able to engage constructively in situations requiring action
Con: possibility of disengaging to avoid upset

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