THE TWO BIGGEST PAYOFFS IN LIFE
FIRST: HIGHEST BENEFIT TO COST
First, in managing life, we look for what has the biggest payoff, just as we would do in any management situation. Then we look to see the cost of the benefit, to make sure that it has a high benefit to cost ratio, where it gives us the biggest bang for our time and effort.
Yes, there are a lot of things we could do to improve our lives, but I would say that one of the biggest things is removing the key barriers, so that we are not limping along carrying a load of burdens, slogging through the mud versus being free to run effortlessly.
THE BIG TWO
The two biggest, and this should be no surprise
1. The energy and time we wastefully use up on self criticism and avoiding criticism and its cousins derived from the same flawed viewpoints/beliefs. The impact is “feeling bad” plus lots of stress. (Not good!) (Intro to the necessary understanding: There Is No Fault 2. Worry about what one could lose and concern about what is missing from life. This is similar to the Buddhist view of what creates suffering, which is the wish for more and the agony of not having it – when ironically we don’t really need more to be happy! I’ll name the viewpoint “what is missing from what is needed to be ok” or just the “what is missing” lens. The impact is "feeling bad" plus lots of stress. (Also, not good! ) (Intro: How Much Is Enough? and The Effects Of Expectations In Life And In Relationships.) These both are "not good" but I would purport that they are also not to be tolerated in our lives, period. They must be eliminated to the degree that it is doable - my goal of "sufficient" is 80% or more being eliminated - leaving life remarkably lighter and immeasurably better. We will no longer be at the mercy of "faux fears" and false threats as we will eliminate 99% of them, leaving only the legitimate ones (which pass quickly without long term effects. (Intro: Threats And "Fear" - Differentiating As To What Is A Real Threat.)
WHAT IS THE MAGNITUDE OF THE EFFECT ON YOUR LIFE?
The "quality of life" is the sum total of the "positive" minus the "negative", which leaves us with a "net" number of positives. If we decrease the negatives a little and increase the positives a little, the "net" can actually change quite a bit. For instance look at the examples in this chart, then read how to interpret the chart:
Life Before Life After
Positive units of satisfaction 100 100 164
Negative units of "discomfort" 80 16 16
Net units of satisfaction 20 84 148
Percent greater +320% +640%
In the chart, by focusing on what is realistically eliminatable, the net score for "positives" in life increases by 320%. If we insert positives in the place where the negatives were our score jumps another 320% from where we started before. Not bad! A life that is more than 7 times as good!
Explanation of each scenario:
A reasonable approximation of people's daily lives might look something like the "life before" column, where one is getting something like 100 positive units but then ends up subtracting 80 negative units, leaving one with a "net" satisfaction score of 20 units.
In "Life After", in Alternative I, we just assume the negative units are reduced 80% (our initial goal on this site), so we subtract only 16 negative units and we end up netting 84 units, which are 320% more than the 20 units we had before!
In Alternative II, I assume the time freed up from the waste caused by the negative units could be used to get more positive units, so the time I used up in dealing with 64 units of dissatisfaction that I removed is now converted to time spent getting 64 more units of satisfaction - and the net is that I am 640% more happy, net net net net!!
Our initial goal is to achieve Alternative II, but right now we are aiming to get to alternative I - notice also that there will be, even if you don't learn more, more positive units, naturally, without effort, just because you've freed up the space and time to use it in better ways - AND because your "positive psychological energy" will be higher, so you'll naturally feel more like being in action and you'll use that for more gains!
Ultimately, we would intend to Live The 80/20 Life (link goes to sister site, so hit back button to return here), where we will use the time freed up to produce alot more satisfaction units per amount of time, so that we can up with a life "net" of more than 10 times as great as we have now.
THE NET IMPACT
The net effect on people is huge, but people fail to see that and even when they do their effort soon drifts away into nothingness - and they get back on the path of the gradually boiling frog, eventually realizing that their butt is boiled to "living" death!
The effect of eliminating 80+% of criticism and its cousins plus eliminating the fears/stress about "what is missing" will produce an effect that impacts 90% of your life.
Think about it.
Where do things go wrong for you and what makes you unhappy? Isn't about 90% of it in these two areas?
(And changing these two key things will also dramatically affect how you are in relationships, where most of the problems are caused by these two negative strategies.)
AND WHAT WE'LL USE TO GAIN MORE RESULTS
So, the objective of this site is to keep you on the path, though of course it is all up to you. We'll primarily use two key methods to do that:
1. We'll use the concept of how willpower is a depletable resource. Consequently, on the downside, you'll naturally experience "human nature" where you will be literally unable to follow through effectively on a number of things in life. It is vital that you accept this effect of the "mechanism", rather than criticizing yourself for being a wuss or having a character flaw. AND we will also lay out how to increase the willpower reserve (and how to deplete it less), without having to rise to being a giant of strength, with you still being human but alot more effective in life. 2. We'll use the methodology behind our naturally evolved "habit" machinery, but using it more effectively AND more easily, to produce results with relative ease and grace. This is a huge, huge part of unhappiness and how we run our lives - and the paradigm (viewpoint, belief, "mental construct") it is based on is totally false but believed and used by most of the population!
We criticize ourselves and others and use the strategies of blame, fault, anger, and punishing ourselves and others in order to "motivate" ourselves to be "good" and to do the right things. Though it may work at times, notice that the results overall are negative and that they create high dysfunctionality, stress, and feeling bad!
We have to "grok" (understand deeply) that those strategies are erroneous and harmful and that they don't really work - and, as in all cases of our brain "programs", we have to replace those strategies with new strategies that work that are based on something true and solid.
The basic core viewpoint to be believed and adopted is as follows, but it may take a fair amount of learning to convince you that it is absolutely true (that it is an "equivalency" , where it is composed of things that are mathematically and absolutely equal and true)"
Everybody does the best they can at the time given their present level of awareness/knowledge. They can do no better. (Duh!) Therefore, the problem does not lie within the person, but in the lack of knowledge. The cure then is to acquire the "deep" knowledge, so that one will "know better" - and thus be able to do better. (We have a free e-book on this, copied from a real book that is quite substantial and very effective. See Barksdale Materials, Building Self Esteem [actually more about "straight thinking"]. I recommend you study and look at this until you really understand it, as it is a vital precept!)
THE FAULTY "ENOUGH", "WHAT'S MISSING", AND "LOSS" PARADIGM
If we live in fear of the "gap" between what we expect or 'must have' and what we have, we will be guaranteed to not be very happy. We will be in the Unhappiness Gap. If we see the mountain of 'what is already given to us' plus what we accumulate and can't lose plus what we accumulate with some 'lessened gains' at times, then we will have a sound basis for security and appreciation of life. Read "What I Have, For Sure, Versus Losses". And, correspondingly, if we determine what is truly enough and know that we will be above that basic "enough", we will be secure and happy. If we set a vaguely defined and unlimited or unachievable "enough", then we will be guaranteed to be wary, concerned, and unhappy, with only occasional "spurts" of happiness. Answer the question How Much Is Enough? and note how I figured How Much Is Enough For Me?