Originally Posted by inverse Paranoid
What's more empowering? Being able to control your environment, or being able to control how you interact with it?
By holding a mindset that stresses you out whenever your environment is cluttered, or the people around you are ornery, aren't you then giving your power away to your environment?
What exactly are the best parameters for personal growth? Is it existing in an environment where you can control everything? Or learning to leverage the variables you have unconditional control over by exposing yourself to uncontrollable environments? Would you grow more from spending the rest of your life on the Holodeck—where EVERYTHING is under your control? Or by vagabonding and going wherever the wind blows you?
Just as no one can make you feel inferior without your consent, nothing can stress you out without you focusing on it in a way that creates resistance. If you can make peace with any environment, you can find peace in any environment. If you can make peace with any person (no matter their attitude), then you are free to focus on any aspect of any person in your environment and create interactions accordingly, because you're making what resonates with you most the topic of discussion, not what annoys you most.
Growth is everywhere. The better you can get at controlling your focus, the more freedom you'll have from the need to control your environment. You'll be able to enjoy yourself in the finest of restaurants seated next to the most conscious of people, and in the dingiest of prisons seated next to the most bitter of prisoners. Because the Oneness within us all means that the good within everything we love exists in every particle of the world around us. And it is there for us the conscious to find it, embrace it, and reap its benefits.
I agree. Regardless of variables such as my environment and the actions of other people, my growth depends upon what I
decide to focus upon.
However, I have found that where I am now, my skills at self improvement are about on par with my swimming skills. I have never been a strong swimmer - 50 meters freestyle still leaves me wrecked. Similarly are my current circumstances - I have identified that they do not fit in with the person I wish to be - and I struggle with resistance in the forms of frustration and anger.
So while I could definitely find contentment and probably even happiness by making peace with my current circumstances and accepting them unconditionally, I believe that endeavoring to do so right away would be like attempting to swim 500 meters non stop under my current level of fitness. I know that it's not impossible, but it's not something that I will achieve immediately.
I like Steve's approach because it is an easy place for a guy like me to start. Changing my surroundings and meeting new people will help me to improve my outlook and slowly help me gain the power to identify what's holding me back - finding the sources of stubborn resistance within myself that need to be faced - and how I can eventually overcome them.
Also, as a guy in my mid 20s, there are many things that I wish to experience and quite a few goals that I wish to achieve. Going wherever the wind blows me just seems a little too airy fairy from my present perspective. If I tried to let go completely, my ego would fight me, hard.
Nonetheless, if this is something that you desire for yourself and have already achieved, then I am happy for you. Maybe someday I will surrender too, but just not today or tomorrow.
If you think you’re strong enough to be immune to the effects of your environment, then let’s put you in prison for a year and see how well you thrive there.
Been there, done that. It was a prison by the name of discount retail penitentiary. The strangled customers and dismembered supervisors of my daydreams can attest to how well I thrived during my twelve month sentence.