THE LIMITATIONS OF HUMAN BEINGS
AND HOW TO MANAGE AROUND THEM FOR A GREAT LIFE
Basically, except for only a very few humans, we all have the same great basic abilities (to learn anything and thus to create alot!) but we all have the same limitations that come along as part of the overall package.
We each have a mechanical system that evolved over time to be incredibly magnificent but which hasn't evolved to the perfection of "doing it all" - though some people think it "should be".
It is a system that has successfully evolved to meet the survival needs of the caveman, but which is not equipped to handle the current realities automatically.
Consequently, since that ability does not come with the basic package, we need to learn how to manage around the limitations and how to use them - and to accept them, rather than having "unrealistic expectations" (which is one of the key unhappiness gap creators).
To get the full use of our mechanical abilities, we MUST (i.e. it is required) learn how to trick, reward, care for and nurture, fully utilize, etc., our available systems.
Most people stop far short of that, as if the only important education was formal schooling. And, of course, by not fully knowing how things work, they suffer the consequences of "violating gravity" so to speak. When we violate the physical laws, we suffer. We must understand and know that both the brain and the body are mechanical systems (not magic systems) and are, accordingly, subject to physical laws. We must honor those "laws" (actually "realities") and work within them if we are to get the most out of life.
And, of course, in order to work with those laws, we must 1) learn the laws and 2) learn how the systems themselves work so that we can 3) apply the laws. If we fail to learn them, then we keep on making the same mistakes and incur the same unnecessary consequences (suffering and unsolved problems).
WE PERPETUATE INCORRECT, UNWORKABLE BELIEFS
If we continue to perpetuate false beliefs, of our own making and of our culture's, we will fail to succeed in life.
Some of the myths lie around believing such things as
We "fall in love". (Not actually true! But we "make it up" to believe it.)
"I know in my gut." (A metaphor, largely untrue.)
"I 'sense' it...(therefore it must be)" (Said of the unseeable!)
"I remember it accurately." (We fail to realize memories are not recallable 'pictures' but are constructed by the brain each time they are "re-called".)
"I must be worthy."
Etc. and etc. and etc. (Dealt with in the Beliefs section, with many listed specifically in the subpages.)
A culture adopts such beliefs, which become "morals" or "rules", as
"We must be politically correct...and not offend anyone." (And not confront the
truth sufficiently to really get at the problem to solve it.)
"We must measure up to..."
"We are victims...of 'those people', of 'the system', of inequities..." (Instead of
assuming responsibility to correct what is going on and/or to solve the problem.)
The relevance of this section to the subject of this piece is that we must learn how the mechanics of the brain will automatically perpetuate these beliefs, until we do an effective strategy to change them, plus it will give us "suffering" to get us in-line - unless we do something about it. And to do something about it, again, we must first learn how things work, learn how to work the systems, and then implement what works.
THE PHYSICAL SYSTEM
We perpetuate myths like "I am too be admired if I am so strong that I can get by with 5 hours of sleep", which is virtually never correct in that there is virtually always significant functional impairment when we sleep less than 7-8 hours.
"The body can adjust for junk food, big sugar doses, excess weight, and alcohol, and get by without much physical movement."
It will malfunction.
It must be kept in homeostasis through effective means, rather than through our desperate attempts to "calm down", "handle anxiety", etc., with ineffective strategies that may work for a brief moment, but will actually harm us, short term, intermediate term, and long term - at a great, great cost of happiness and effectiveness in life. Yet, most people do not understand the whole reality of the homeostasis requirement and how huge it is in our lives!!!
You've got to learn the physical systems first, and realize that they form the basis for our emotional system.
THE EMOTIONAL SYSTEM
Most people attribute some mystery or magic or little gremlins to the emotions. Most people think the emotions have "power over us", rather than realizing that the emotions are strictly mechanical and totally subject to the physical laws and principles. Emotions are strictly "chemical storms" (as Tony Robbins calls them). They are, in fact, only chemicals emitted from a mechanical system designed for survival. And they are caused, either consciously or subconsciously, by thoughts (data, interpretation, meanings, pictures). They are not magic, but they do cause us to go into motion (e-motion causes motion) because we want to get rid of the discomfort and/or seek something that is literally better for survival. (Read The Story Of Our Happy And Our Unhappy Chemicals - A Tale Of Mechanisms For Survival.) A major problem is that we "make up things" in our minds and deem them necessary for survival, and then create them as a threat, when there is no actual way that they will harm us (and/or harm us to the degree that we think they will). We create little "chemical storms" over something that is not really a threat or is "small stuff" - yet we often react hugely, as if it were survival-determining, which creates unuseful and massive suffering for ourselves.
Yet we don't spend the time learning how this physically works and/or the time correcting our thinking that is causing us so much suffering and creating so many problems.
We can learn to manage this so well that we have few, if any, problems left over, that we have virtually no stress all day, and we are happy and not suffering at all.
Instead, we stop short of learning and implementing what is necessary, so that we get to repeatedly suffer from repeats of the same "problems" or emotional glitches. Somehow, we seem to think that we don't need to put out all the effort to "complete" the process in order to solve all of this and to make our systems work (= to create the greatest happiness).
THE EMOTIONAL SYSTEM AND THE PHYSICAL FACTORS
Your reactiveness and self regulation capability are all affected by how you take care of your physical system.
Low sleep causes low repair and lack of emotional consolidation so that you can easily be 60+% more reactive and out of control. (The physical effect it can actually be physically identified by an MRI, where with full sleep it shows a much greater connection between the "brake" (the cortex) and the amygdala (the reactive center).
Poor diet, insufficient movement, etc., all affect your emotional well-being and capability. But few people really understand the magnitude of the effect and that they MUST honor this. (See The Care Of Your Frontal Lobes.) Constant upsets trigger and wire hypersensitivity so the the amygdala and its buddies constantly send out chemicals to handle all the potential threats, bathing our bodies in cortisol, shutting off our repair systems, lowering digestion, etc. and etc. Our bodies deteriorate - and then this exacerbates the ability to self regulate, which in turn causes our body to be erratic in its functionality so that our emotions go further out of whack - and it all reinforces it in a continuing escalation spiral!
SO, WHAT'S MISSING FROM ALL OF THIS?
For almost all of us human beings, we have the basic equipment necessary to acquire the knowledge to manage our systems. We are able to learn.
So, what's missing is the learning. And also we are missing a crucial forebearer of learning, which is learning how to learn effectively and efficiently - this slows us down in our knowledge and wisdom gains such that we miss out on alot of what we could have learned and benefitted from. Learning how to learn is a "master key" to having an effective life - and you're not likely to learn enough unless you learn how to learn it quickily and effectively!
If our systems are not set up to handle all of our present realities, then we must fill the gap ourselves - and not stop short.
And this requires alot of time and effort to do, but it is essential, for without it we leave a gap in our functionality - and we suffer the consequences!
The learning must be completed (not left unfinished!) - and as a super priority!
Or you'll be stuck in a fantasyland of wishful thinking - believing somehow that it'll all work out or "life will teach what I need" (bullbleep!). Or we'll be in denial or oblivion, living a life similar to that of the gradually boiling frog.
ONE OF THE GREATEST MISCONCEPTIONS
People believe that if they can't do something well or underperform compared to others that this means they are flawed. And then they spend time and energy in emotional turmoil about it.
But the simple reality is that the human being is not flawed and that it is solely a lack of how-to knowledge ("insufficient knowing") that is causing the lack of sufficient performance. (Duh!) Or another way of putting it is "if we make mistakes, it simply means we do not yet know enough to perform without making mistakes". (Duh!) So, a mistake is simply a reflection of not knowing. The problem lies not with the person but with the lack of knowledge. (Read, know and understand No Fault, No Blame.) So, when people appear only to be "talking positive" and say 'a mistake is simply an opportunity,' they are actually talking realistically. A mistake, if we pay attention, is simply an indication of not knowing, which in turn just means we need to close the gap of not knowing, which simply means we need to learn - and thus, we do, actually, in fact, have "an opportunity to learn."
And if something is important enough, we need to prioritize it, to engage in that learning soon and well! (Not later!!!)
THE POINT OF ALL OF THESE WORDS, ABOVE
1. We are fully equipped to be able to handle life well and to be fully, unconditionally happy.
2. We MUST spend alot of time learning how things work and how to work them.
3. The learning is necessarily done on purpose, in an effective, systematic way.
4. And it must be complete enough to close the learning gap sufficiently to not incur the problem again and/or to attain the desired result.
Therefore, if you truly want to have a happy life, you will only get there by spending alot of time upfront and as quickly as possible to adequately learn life!!!!!!!
Perhaps, then, the bottomline of this piece is that you MUST set aside the time and give it the highest priority. Learning enough to fully close the gap is the solution to having a happy life. Without it, you'll not be as happy as you can realistically be in this life!
This is all part of utilizing the greatest effectiveness principle The 80/20 Rule, where you first do what has the greatest effect, and then the next greatest, and so on down the line, effectively improving your life at least by 400% - and becoming so effective that you produce vastly more value in life for yourself AND for others - and doing it with greater ease (through creating the automaticity of habits created on purpose and being clear of problems). Indeed, you will find that the best way to live is to Live The 80/20 Life.
At this point, I would recommend that you accept the idea that you'll have to do alot of reading to be educated enough. Accordingly, you would go back through the article reading all or most of the links - as if you were reading a book!
Stephen Covey, in his classic, best selling of all time, book The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People discusses the concept of balancing the time you consume doing "production" ("P") versus spending your time to develop your "production capability" ("PC"). Those who are always busy and/or have many unsolved problems are simply those who have not spent enough time developing their PC. Developing one's PC so greatly expands one's ability to get results that the time taken away from P is more than worth it - and if actually frees up more than enough time to replace the time taken away from P!!!!
The alternative in life is not to learn enough, not to develop your capabilities, and to end up simply "P"ing your life away (to use a crude analogy, but one that is very, very true).