This Wednesday Wisdom post courtesy of my favourite rapper J Cole, is so important at this moment of time in which we are obsessed with carefully crafting our image through filters, and scrupulously crafted descriptions. This is a major reason why I decided to quit social media (there will be a future post upcoming about this very soon). I remember one of my most inspiring professors at Boston University, Jim Collins, jovially mentioned during one of his Controls and Systems lectures that everyone is depressed now because everyone seems so happy and living the 'perfect' life on social media.
This couldn't be further from the truth. We are a society that is obsessed with 'positivity', 'feeling good' and 'being comfortable.' There is nothing wrong with any of these things until we develop the perverse need to always feel positive, good or be comfortable. It is no surprise that rates of depression and anxiety are sky rocketing. Further, it is no surprise that modalities (ex. Wim Hoff Method) that push us out of our comfort zone are being accepted with such open arms.
Without the struggle, the taste of victory is shallow. This is one of the reasons why as a society we love sports and competition. It reconnects us with that primal struggle in which we have to put everything on the line, and risk failure and defeat. Victory is sweet, because we had competition that pushed us to our limits and forces us to be the best that we can be.
So if you are currently struggling with something in your life right now, and the weather feels like a torrential downpour that is okay. We all have periods like that no matter what social media (a small collection of private companies) is trying to convince you too keep you scrolling and lining their pockets through ad revenue (ex. Instagram makes Facebook ~ 1 million per day in revenue). They are both micro and macro cycles and seasons to all aspects of your life as I discussed in one of my Medical School Vlog Videos.
Do NOT get me wrong, this does not mean fatally accepting that you are feeling a bit low and it will always be like this. That is believing the story you have constructed about your state, instead of what you are feeling right now at this moment! If you can not embrace and fully accept what you are feeling, it will come back even stronger, or you will tend to fall down a negative spiral. Trust me, I tell you this from personal experience.
I used to be obsessed with 'feeling good and positive' all the time because it is what I 'should be like'. However, it is impossible to do so, unless you are some saint, and if so you would probably go crazy. Instead, it is important to allow your emotions to be, flow and change as they always will do. Whatever emotion you are dealing with now will pass. However, it is all about action, and embracing the emotion simultaneously.
For example, while preparing for my year 2 OSCE exam there would be moments I would feel overwhelmed. Before, I would have tried to hype myself up with self-talk and attempt to repress my self-doubts. That was a recipe for disaster as they would only come back up with a vengeance. Instead, what I did is do my best to openly accept my self-doubts and realize it is completely normal to feel self-doubt. If Kobe Bryant or Lebron James can have self doubt about their performances, I am allowed to have self doubt about my performances on an exam. But I would also change my environment (Watch my interview with Holli-Ann Passmore to Learn How Nature Makes you Happy) and go out in nature and focus on my breathing. Life is all about polarities, if you try to have one without the other nothing good will come of it. Embrace the duality of life.
-Despite what social media will tell you, we all have periods of intense highs AND lows.
-Life is all about duality. We can not have good without the bad.
- Embrace the 'negative' emotions but do not wallow in them and take constructive action to deal with them to best support your health and well-being.
If you can’t sustain it, it’s not worth it.
I am a medical student who is obsessed with the Be Activated Muscle Activation Technique, mastering movement and understanding what makes humans thrive.