“Face the demands of life voluntarily. Respond to a challenge instead of bracing for catastrophe.”
A big problem that a lot of people have is they become so anxious and worried about future events that they don’t actually end up doing anything about it because their fear holds them down. Their fight or flight response works, but it tenses up. Many people don’t understand that it’s not just fight or flight, there’s also freeze. Fight/flight/freeze. Those who end up worried about their future aren’t fighting or flying — they’re freezing up and letting things take them by the horns. They’re committing emotional suicide by leaving themselves out in the cold dark abyss of an empty mind.
Fortunately for us, it’s possible to make ourselves not freeze if we can simply become aware of when it is that we freeze. This is a humbling experience, and it’s one that you’ll need to do on your own. Others can’t do it for you, they can only support the actions you take to move towards success. And you can’t do it if you aren’t honest and accepting with yourself, because your ego will stop any progress from happening.
Reflecting on stressful situations and becoming aware of our reactions benefits ourselves from all angles. It allows us to realize what it is we need to change, which honestly is usually the only thing stopping people from changing themselves.
Peterson’s quote revolves around the idea that life is going to throw things at you no matter what. It’s going to break you down and beat you until you’re barely breathing. Then — and only then — will you have the opportunity to prove that you’re strong mentally. If this hasn’t happened to you yet, then it’s time to start preparing for it. Push yourself mentally often. Discipline your emotions and make yourself level up into something stronger, and smarter, and healthier, and better.
It’s important to prepare for challenges, but not catastrophe. A good way of thinking about the difference is as follows: preparing for challenges is getting a really nice weapon, while preparing for catastrophes is getting a really nice shield. The difference between the two is that one is far more aggressive. In our day to day life, aggression doesn’t equate to violence because there’s no need for it. However, there’s still a need for aggression in some parts of our lives. Perhaps we have a workout we need to crush or a book we need to read. Maybe we have something to finish at work, or maybe we really do need to be aggressive in terms of violence. It applies to many different aspects of life and if used correctly can benefit us hugely.
Take life by the horns before it does the same to you.
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