The Four Lies That Steal Your Peace of Mind

Choose balance over resolution

Photo by Robert Zunikoff on Unsplash

“I will deal with [some problem] in the future, when I know better.”

When a problem feels burdensome and complex, it’s relieving to toss it to someone else. This is never ideal, but when that person is your future self, you are inviting a subtle but low-hanging dread.

“If people question my choices, I must have done something wrong.”

Considering differences in personality structure, some of us are prone to making choices based on logical criteria (is this sensible given all the metrics at play?), while some are more influenced by emotional processes (when something just strikes us as true and we can’t get under it).

“At 30, who isn’t a melancholy anti-hero haunting French literature?”

The intuition that it was the right decision, given my temperament, interests, and the tug of momentum, ended up being more powerful.

“I should have known better, and it’s [important figure]’s fault that I didn’t.”

If we make a decision that results in pain, shifting blame can be a momentary relief. It alleviates a fear similar to the one curated by the existentialists. If we’re really condemned to be free, then at any moment we could be responsible for some future misfortune if we don’t get it together and figure out EXACTLY what we must do. The pressure is on.

“Personalities predicated on self-tyranny are doomed to fail.”

Blame shifting is born of a fundamental urge to turn against oneself. The alternative is to trust the unfolding of your life. Your inclinations are messages. If you’re suffering, take it as valuable information about how to proceed in the future. Your discomfort signals that something isn’t yet calibrated correctly. The important word here is “yet.”

“I must have [person/object/situation] to be happy.”

This might sound like an obvious one, but its manifestations can be subtle. For instance, can you tell the difference between something you want because it produces joy, and something you want because it helps you ward of fear, pain, or inadequacy?

“We systematically over-predict the degree to which good and bad experiences will affect us.”

Feel your legs touching the surface of your seat. Note the sensations associated with exhaling. Watch the itch on your forehead. Welcome your impatience.

Forget will power, resistance, mistakes, cause and effect, bandages, petrochemical fertilizers. Reprogram your subconscious mind

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store