If it were not for articles similar to this one – Should you go with your head or your heart? – we would surely be buying many magazines just to look at the pictures. They not only mean well, but if one can follow the advice, given what we know from everyday experience the advice might pay off.
If life is just a series of decisions, then making smart ones is paramount, especially now. But unless you’re in bankruptcy law, box-wine production, or the sadly recession-proof business of cold storage, chances are you’ve also met the workplace demon: brute, base fear. Fear has a way of leading to dubious decisions, sloppy mistakes, and serious brain fog when it comes to figuring out a master plan for your career and all the major things it’s connected with, from finances to relationships. (“Love and work,” Freud said, “are the cornerstones of our humanness.”)
Trouble is, fear—the ancient, amygdala-driven response to threat—is literally paralyzing.
Given this set of not unfamiliar circumstances, with the writer throwing in some studies on human physiology to back up what her premise, we’re caught in a conundrum. Stressed out, our prefrontal cortex consumed with dealing with fear, anxiety etc – stop. Start thinking your way through to not being the one laid off or that misses the promotion or a better opportunity. Then, consult with your work peers about new ideas. Show that you’re open and can cultivate an atmosphere of brainstorming and flexibility. Only once those fears set in, its a little difficult to see outside of ourselves. Having a plan or developing a plan might keep that fear from becoming all consuming. This might be where the athletic shoe philosophy sets in. Don’t think too hard about what needs to be done, just do it. That shoe company tag line is not original. It comes from some a kind of psychological therapy called Morita Therapy. The idea is not to stop thinking, but to not let negative thoughts stop you from doing what needs to be done. Acknowledge that things look bleak or maybe simply less great then you’re used to. Feel whatever, but still create the design that needs to be done, make the sale that needs to be made or write the program that needs to be written. Action takes precedence over not felling like doing it. In terms of the physical world if a tree fell across the path you usually take on your walk, you wouldn’t stop and wait for someone to move the tree. You would walk over or around it to finish your walk. Morita is tough love for the self. It puts a big emphasis on accomplishing even small daily goals – shower, breakfast, work, leisure activity first – staying in the moment instead of living in expectations or trying too hard to have immediate solutions for events outside our control. From what I’ve read through a westernized version of Morita created by David Reynolds its not unusual for people new to this type of approach to think of it is harsh and be resistant. (Western existential philosophers beat both Morita and Reynolds to the concept that actions precede essence) In western physiological therapy there is a lot of emphasis put on understanding or figuring out problems first. Which brings up the caveats. Some people are going to have deeply complex or organic problems that requires professional help. A magazine article or blog is not an appropriate substitute for them. One last snip from M’s Kamps,
Be Kind to Your Mind—Unwind
Stepping away from a thorny problem, or slightly shifting your perspective on it, is often all it takes for solutions to mental logjams to spring to mind.
Bill Maher can be a disappointment sometimes, Is Bill Maher really that ignorant?
“I would never get the flu on an airplane.” (To which an exasperated Bob Costas retorts brilliantly, “Oh, come on, Superman!” I think that’ll be my retort to Maher whenever I hear his germ theory denialism rants.)
“The model you have is wrong. You’re thinking that the problem is the mosquitos, not the swamp. If there’s no swamp, the mosquitos can’t take root.” (I’ve written about Maher’s denialism of the germ theory of disease before.) – ( emphasis mine)
I wonder if Maher isn’t just being provocative for the shock value the blogger, who is a scientist, seems to think Bill is sincere. To me its like having a friend that is generally rational, but thinks aliens have visited the earth and experimented on a cow or good old boy on occasion. I just don’t bring up the subject. Though its a little difficult not to talk about the next wave of flu virus or pretend I do not have a cold.
Robert Koch was the first scientist to devise a series of proofs used to verify the germ theory of disease. Koch’s Postulates were published in 1890, and derived from his work demonstrating that anthrax was caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. These postulates are still used today to help determine if a newly discovered disease is caused by a microorganism.
Koch also won the Nobel prize in 1905.