In this post you will learn:
- Why our struggles might be necessary
- What a hidden mindset is and what it can do
- How to become more effective by changing how we think about certain things
Why do we struggle?
Struggle is the way all living things become stronger, if not at the individual level, then as a species. We humans have the ability to also learn tremendously from struggle, not only from our own, but from that of others.
As the holiday season progresses, a lot of us have our minds far from struggles. That, of course, isn’t true for some of us. Struggles are ever present in some form or at some level in our lives no matter when or where. No matter who we are.
We have a tendency to avoid struggles too, after all, why experience it needlessly right? We have this tendency because there is such thing as too much struggling, and in many cases that excess can lead to injury or death.
So what makes a struggle “necessary”? When do we ever tell ourselves “I need this so I can become stronger” and willingly jump into a struggle?
Most struggles are a journey to something we desire, and it’s that destination that makes it necessary.
There are times where even if we truly want what is at the destination with all our heart, we make a conscious decision to avoid a journey altogether.
Even when we know we won’t get injured, even when we know we won’t die from it, even if we know we can become exactly who we wish to be, and even if the struggle isn’t even that much… we still avoid it.
One of the biggest reasons for this is that we have a hidden mindset about struggles.
What a hidden mindset can do
A hidden mindset is exactly what it sounds like, a mindset about something that we don’t even know we have until it is made explicit to us.
An example of a hidden mindset for some people is “I don’t have enough time in a day to do (insert something you really want to do).” These mindsets are thoughts we act on unconsciously, and they are often self-fulfilling.
Once a hidden mindset is acknowledged, however, we can see how we are acting on them, and if we do not like it, we can replace that mindset with another one.
A person with the mindset above (“I don’t have enough time for…“), is likely to act on that mindset by continuing to focus on things they do have time for and won’t fit the thing they want to do in their schedule.
So what can they do from there?
If they realize that this mindset is what is causing them to take certain actions, they can replace “I don’t have enough time for…“ with “I don’t make time for…”. How do you think that new mindset would change how they manage their time?
“I don’t make time for X? Well then I’ll make time for X!” The action they’ll likely take from there is scheduling that activity, and even removing lesser priority items from their schedule just to make time.
There is a hidden mindset among the many we have that prevents us from moving forward with a lot of the struggles in our life.
We’ll talk about some mindsets we all share that might be hindering our growth. We’ll also talk about the mindsets we can adopt to ensure we become the best version of ourselves, if not for the destinations we want to reach, then at least for those we care about.
We can all learn from the struggles of others as well, so before we get to these mindsets:
I want to know what you are struggling with. What is it you’re going for and how do you think the struggle is making you stronger?
What are things you are avoiding? What are your reason behind avoiding them?
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- So here’s the deal with notes. The blue circles are the fun/interesting ones you should read. They’re for extra info or thoughts that I didn’t want to put in the main text because either it’s just tangential thoughts on something or because I want to say something a notch too weird to just be there in the normal text.↩
- An interesting stat I came across is that research shows that only about 5% of patients who require CPR outside the hospital and 15% who require it while in the hospital end up surviving. Which means that in practice, a DNR is unlikely to change most people’s fate very much.↩
- Scientist and cryonics enthusiast Ralph Merkle discusses the range of harm a disease like Alzheimer’s can cause on a person’s cryonics outlook: “Mild dementia caused by damage to neuronal mechanisms responsible for retrieval of the memory trace that left the memory trace itself relatively undamaged could be fully reversible by application of appropriate advanced technology. Severe dementia that destroyed the memory trace itself could not be reversed by any future technology. We cannot, at the present time, distinguish reliably between these two possibilities in most cases.”↩
- The next step would be much harder—manipulation of the subatomic particles in an atom’s nucleus, like protons and neutrons. Those are much smaller—a proton’s diameter is about 1.7 femtometers across, and a femtometer is a millionth of a nanometer.↩
- Technology that could manipulate individual protons is like a way bigger giant, whose height stretches from the sun to Saturn, working with 1mm grains of sand on Earth. For that giant, the Earth would be 1/50th of a millimeter—something he’d have to use a microscope to see—and he’d have to move individual grains of sand on the Earth with fine precision. Shows you just how small a proton is.↩
- Alcor’s full statement about Storey’s claim: “Every single claim in this remarkable statement is false. As the illustration above shows, structural preservation of brain tissue in the presence of high concentrations of cryoprotectant is excellent. Furthermore, much of what is now known about Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases was learned by histochemical analysis of brains from neurological research banks that were frozen without any cryoprotectant at all. These brain banks would not exist if biomolecules could not be preserved by freezing, even hours after clinical death. It is no wonder that cryonics faces an uphill battle for scientific credibility when such grossly mistaken information is presented by respected cryobiologists on a national stage.”↩
- Like Alcor admitting on their website that “the lack of a clear outcome remains one of the biggest weaknesses in cryonics, since it encourages complacency and prevents accountability.”↩
- This quote, from Alcor’s FAQ, is the kind of thing I’m talking about: “It cannot be reliably known with present scientific knowledge how a given degree of preservation would translate to a given degree of memory retention after extensive repair, but sophisticated future recovery techniques using advanced technology might allow for memory recovery even after damage that today might make many think there was little room for hope.”↩
- This death-as-overlord analogy is loosely based on the storyline of Nick Bostrom’s awesome little story The Fable of the Dragon-Tyrant, where the role of death is played by a dragon.↩
- In my research, I came across a lot of stories that involved family conflict surrounding cryonics. Often, one member of a couple (most often the husband) planned to sign up for it, and the spouse hated the idea, sometimes feeling abandoned. Seems pretty selfish to me, but I also get why it could be hurtful if you weren’t signing up and your spouse still wanted to.Sometimes these disagreements get so nasty that the cryonicist has to grant someone outside the family with power of attorney since they don’t trust that their family members will adhere to their wishes. In the case of Kim Suozzi, she gave power of attorney to her boyfriend, because her father was adamantly against the cryonics plan.↩
- Gray squares are boring objects and when you click on a gray square, you’ll end up bored. These are for sources and citations only.↩
- BBC: Cryopreservation: ‘I Freeze People to Cheat Death”↩
- New York Times. A Dying Young Woman’s Hope in Cryonics and a Future↩
- “Frozen in Time,” Miami Herald, Sept. 17, 2002.↩