"Testing a first class of intelligence is the ability to simultaneously hold two opposing ideas in mind and still be able to function." ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald
Have you ever been inspired by an excerpt or an article you are reading on a self-improvement website like the Little Buddha?
I mean so inspired that immediately and wholeheartedly began to apply the advice – no questions.
Not only that, but with your inspiration, you started to brag about your new wisdom to all your friends.
I just could not keep quiet about this new piece of wisdom!
If a friend was going through a dissolution, now you know what to say.
If a friend complained about an annoying person, again, you knew now what to say.
The piece of wisdom looked perfect not only for every situation, but also for everyone!
Well, at least you thought this was true.
So you applied the tips for a few weeks and everything was nice in the world. That is, of course, until it was not.
With the passing of time, you began to have this terrible feeling that something was disappointed.
In fact, a small, terrifying thought began to cross your mind – that the node you felt in your gut was due to the advice he had followed wholeheartedly.
"But it can not be," you said to yourself.
Continue the advice for your beloved life. I mean, it was part of your identity!
And after all, you've already embraced the advice to all your friends.
Then he reminded you of another tip that spoke about discipline.
Oh, that was it.
You felt a little sense of hope that it was just you and not the advice that was wrong.
Phew. You just have to be more disciplined, that's exactly what it was.
So you ignored the feeling that something was missing for a little longer.
Until one day, you met another inspired article about the Little Buddha – one that looked like the advice you had so great a lawyer.
"How can this happen;" you asked.
Before you knew it, you knew something it had to change.
But you could not throw out that advice you had mad for the last few months.
But then it hit you like a Bruce Lee kick in the face.
Eventually you started to realize that perhaps the only advice was not the cure – all for the eternal fulfillment feeling you were hoping for.
What did you do then?
Conflict of advice that makes you ignore one or the other
I was once inspired by a social counsel that not only inspired me but also worked!
The tips talked to learn to become really interested in all types of people, because absolutely everyone has something interesting to share.
I talked with so many people and I learned a lot of things!
At the same time, I was inspired by another advice I got from the improv community. The tips talked about a philosophy called "Yes and …" which basically talks forever to keep an open mind and to start each proposal by agreement – so "yes and …"
These tips worked together nicely. I started to see everyone as someone who deserves to learn.
Life became more beautiful when I did not feel easily annoyed at all, and instead saw everyone as someone who could help me on this journey called life.
The tips seemed to be the best thing ever! At that time, I boasted everyone for my new philosophy. I felt happy and did not think I would stop exercising my new wisdom.
Everything was good and beautiful.
This is until it was not.
At this point in my life, I spent a lot of socialization time, which was great at first. However, after a few months I realized that I had not done anything worthwhile to be proud of my career goals. That's when I started to feel that something was open.
Now to add to this, around this time I found an inspired article to evaluate my time and its power to say no.Super inspires and made a complete logic. What did I do then?
After some reflection, I decided to cut off completely the other seemingly contradictory advice that they no longer serve me.
I started to be so prolific. The tips worked. Again, I was in cloud nine.
"Only advice to me!" I thought.
I even remember the hatred that I had spent so much time after the other advice. At that time, I stayed in a hostel and remember that I will secretly judge people who have spent a lot of socialization as I have become accustomed to. I would say stupid things to myself like, "These people are not so moving, how can they always drink?"
I was very pleased with my new ability to say no and to remain prolific. Everything was good again.
Until then, you guessed it … it was not.
Youthful wisdom, mixed with the fact that I had slowly begun to care less about people, made a beautiful recipe to become antisocial. Not only that, but it justified my anti-social behavior with "I just rate my time".
Then he hit me: Yes, I was more prolific, but I felt disconnected. I was dissatisfied. Before I feel connected but not productive. I was growing up and unhappy.
Now I realize, at least for me, that there is not only one good tip in itself.
I had taken the social advice to the edges and then I did the seemingly conflicting productivity tips at another end.
Both of them were fascinated by me in the short term, but not in the long run.
Now I realize that both pieces of the counteracting advice are real and good, just not always.
Treating tips that work in beautiful harmony
I came to know that the evaluation of my time was good. However, giving others my time is invaluable.
To learn to say yes and to be open to everything is good. However, learning to say no is invaluable.
The great pride in myself is fine, but the extraordinary humility is very satisfying.
Learning that I am important and having to learn to put myself first was nice but I learn that others are important and that it is nice to put others first sometimes is also very rewarding.
Ironically, I think the only advice is that there is no single better advice.
Embracing each other's unique experiences
Just because after a tip does not work for me anymore, it does not mean that the advice was wrong or unrealistic.
That's what I've allowed myself to believe.
One had to be right and the other had to be wrong.
Now I see it happening quite often and especially when I think about my life:
Someone follows a tip like "follow your heart" until they realize that after their heart has repeatedly got them into trouble. Then they start to hurt this advice to friends and promote decisions based solely on logic. The thing is, we need to know when to follow your heart and when it's just dumb.
But it is still good advice. it just depends on where you live in and the experiences that lead you in the moment.
Imagine a man who is known for boring people with endless slums meets an article about the importance of being able to lead a debate. This advice is neither good nor bad, but in the context, perhaps not the best advice that this particular person should listen to.
Make mistakes and let others do the same
I have realized that life is never black and white.
There is no one size advice for everyone.
And that, in my opinion, makes life beautiful, because it encourages us to leave the crisis.
In fact, I would argue that what makes life beautiful is the lack of right and wrong. The courage to explore what you think will make you happy, even if others will judge you, is beautiful. You, even if you judge ourselves!
I am sure that in two years I will have to learn to adapt again as I continue to grow up. Maybe I'll look back at this article and I do not agree with some of my points.
It does not mean that none of my points are less true or more correct.
The belief that rarely there is exact right or wrong also helped to better understand others. In any given situation, one's idea may be my idea of wrong and vice versa – as it should, because we all have different values and aspirations.
Looking back, it bothers me how I will spend so much time judging others. I will go as long as I admit that many things I judge were in fact things that I subconsciously envy.
Today I have many features that my five-year-old newer version will be judging. In fact, some of these traits are now my favorite things for myself.
So here's a fun game to play with yourself:
The next time you feel the tendency to say something is right or wrong, bite your tongue for a few seconds.
I literally mean to bite your tongue.
Is there even a 1% probability that your judgment of what is right or wrong is only subjective?