How to unlock your potential (EU02)
Again like in EU01, I will talk about controversial concepts here so I'm requesting your sustained focus and time to digest the information contained in this section. Knowing the science to how we think is not enough because that does not define how to think if you are presented with a problem that you have not encountered before.
After leaving Navotac, making full use of the interweb to look for answers or directions became a rigorous daily routine. Even though I was able to connect my mind and body through exercising, meditation and studying - I'm still lost and lacks a plan on how to start again. I learned world history, philosophy, ecology, astronomy and three computer programming courses for different web technologies which did not help, I thought I could become just hack and build software outright to emerge from the downward spiral I was in. I still come back to asking where do I start?
It took me months and months of searching up until I encountered one of Dr. Jordan B. Peterson's lectures that contains this quote:
If you're harmless you're not virtuous, you're just harmless, you're like a rabbit; a rabbit isn't virtuous, it just can't do anything except get eaten! That's not virtuous. If you're a monster, and you don't act monstrously, then you're virtuous. - Jordan B. Peterson
Dr. Peterson got i from Carl Jung's analogy of emodying the shadow, which releases your potential way better than conventional learning or any motivational methods. It works like this:
- First you understand the depth of your capabilities to do great evil including the evil in other people.
- Then master the craft of controling your thoughts so you wouldn't do the worst things you are capable to do so.
This concept is the best frame in making yourself much better at almost anything that you do. I understood the role of history (especially WWI and WWII) to teach how evil can we become if we fail to conquer that part of us that screams when we suffer. Suffering creates opportunity for meaning to wrap our lives if we do choose to look at it that way. Philosphical framing makes sense as we try to make use of other areas of scientific views or disciplines just to connect a problem and develop a solution that we can actually test.
I believe the current narrative of having a university degree or learning an online course is somewhat limited if you think that those are enough. If one can manage it and connect different truths over the other - encountering all sorts of different ways of thinking allows us to become a more responsible persomn. In a way it is so exhausting but I believe the downside of not understanding how complex concepts shape our reality posts real danger.
Discovering your best self has a lot of upside in hard circumstances, as you are the only person that can help you, especially in difficult situations. Accepting your dark side and controling it through virtue is the best shot at discovering your most capable form.
NEXT TOPIC: Openness to Experience and Stoicism EU03)