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Choose your maxim. Thursday July 14, 2016

"In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can." I read that quote on Moodscope. But then came to mind a different maxim "Don't try to put a square peg into a round hole". Often to know how to proceed amidst the confusion we might go with the wrong maxim. It is a great thing to have self-belief, but sometimes it can turn to self-delusion. A delusion that might lead you to thinking a square peg can go into a round hole.

I say this, because of Frau Should. She comes to me, with exclamations such as "You should be able to teach at secondary school, other people do" "You should be feeling calm", "You should have worked harder and been a scientist", "You should have found the right partner", you should "x, y and z etc." She never runs out of shoulds.

Having said that, I believe that "In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can." But I also believe, that in order to succeed then we should first "know ourselves". Some of Frau Should's better advice. And I think, Socrates had something to say about the subject also.

I know then, that: secondary school teaching goes against my sensitive grain; I have tendency towards anxiety; I did not work harder, nor at the time did I have the competitive edge to be a scientist; I, like many people, have been disappointed in love and relationships; and sometimes a, b and c apply rather than x, y and z.

So, there is clarity, but often it is only to be found at the end of confusion. Like a baby trying to find the round hole for the round peg for the first time. Their innate curiosity is all they need. No intellectualising about belief, a lot of error, but also a great satisfaction in discovering the peg rule. And, though they don't know it, they have applied one of life's first maxims "don't try to put a square peg into a round hole"

H
A Moodscope member

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.


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Comments

Lucas Thu, Jul 14th 2016 @ 2:02pm

I think this is a great post. So often we are presented with words of advicenor wisdom, to guide us or present a solution to our problems, often it seems like "if we just remember this simple thing, we will stop causing ourselves any suffering." That ignores the fact that things are often much more complicated than that, and of course that depression, bipolar, anxiety, and so forth are also biological in nature and have components that we do not cause, but try to mitigate.

You point out, in a clear and fairly concise way, that there are often two ways of things. We don't have to subscribe to one way of thinking, seeing two maxims as mutually exclusive. Flexible and adaptive thinking is healthy, after all.

Dolphin Thu, Jul 14th 2016 @ 2:19pm

You are so right and I love the label of Frau Should. It's been so difficult for me to work out when I should heed the Frau ie not to reject it all out of hand. Though maybe you need to do that first so you can find your own view. An ongoing battle. Getting myself to do exercise is one of the less psychological harmful directives of the Frau, but when do you allow yourself to stay under the duvet?!

Lucas, I agree with your point too.
xx

The Gardener Thu, Jul 14th 2016 @ 5:20pm

Someone ought to have smothered Frau Should at birth- the woman's a menace (why assume female? nagging? minatory?) A good one I noticed in a Dorothy Sayers book - Lord Peter says to Harriet Vane when a case was puzzling, was 'tidy as you go'. I use it loosely, to avoid things 'getting on top of me' only too easy, Mr G won't leave me alone for 10 minutes, and keeping concentration is very difficult - a pile up of even little things becomes a mountain to climb. Adversely, if the bedroom is not done because market day is gloriously busy I have managed to stop berating myself.

Huw Thu, Jul 14th 2016 @ 6:42pm

Thanks for your comments. A good point about Biology, sometimes the mood proceeds the thought, reverse CBT. I thought it should be Frau, at the risk of a German/ female stereotype, to give a little colour and character to side of me. You can choose a different persona. It's personal. But yes, my idea was to point to flexible and adaptive thinking.

Thanks all for your comments, I wish you all well.

Huw

The Gardener Thu, Jul 14th 2016 @ 6:55pm

Surprised not more posts. My maxim has gone off at half-cock - started at left-hand corner of large kitchen - bottle in way, finished it off, phoned and mailed people, ate, lucky to get to sink by bedtime. Not sure of the Socrates allusion - 'The unexamined life is not worth living' Hm. 'How many things I can do without'. This is a goody - reading Bill Bryson going round England 20 years after his first book - feeling thankful that he no longer needs any of the wares put before him (Socrates was looking at a multitude of things exposed for sale). 400 BC, did they have silly ornaments with 'a gift from Corinth' on them? Sorry, my mind is wild as my kitchen management tonight. People ought to be banned from putting out blogs which send one into the realms of fantasy.

Nicola Thu, Jul 14th 2016 @ 9:34pm

Lovely blog, thank you. I can see Frau Should only too clearly! :-)

Rebecca Thu, Jul 14th 2016 @ 9:47pm

Think the reason there aren't more comments is because I only got the email in the afternoon. Also the blog didn't show up on moodscope till late on in the day. Don't know if this happened to everyone but maybe people thought there was no blog today? Good blog Huw.

Eva Thu, Jul 14th 2016 @ 10:53pm

Hi H, thanks for your blog, I agree it'll probably get more traffic tomorrow, I also didn't see the email till the afternoon.

I worked through 'should' with CBT so try not to get bogged down. I had learned pretty much to ignore them and prioritise the things I wanted to do. But it doesn't always work, last year there were a lot of responsibilities regarding my dad's death and there were lots of shoulds I couldn't walk away from, those and other pressures plus some health issues have resulted in my current fatigue.

I think getting to know yourself is so valuable and key to your boundaries, my thing currently is getting to know the new exhausted me and working out the new boundaries having sussed that the old ones won't do any more as they allow me to do too much which I can't cope with currently.

Some great points to think about, now I need to remember to implement them! thanks so much.

Eva Thu, Jul 14th 2016 @ 10:53pm

Hi H, thanks for your blog, I agree it'll probably get more traffic tomorrow, I also didn't see the email till the afternoon.

I worked through 'should' with CBT so try not to get bogged down. I had learned pretty much to ignore them and prioritise the things I wanted to do. But it doesn't always work, last year there were a lot of responsibilities regarding my dad's death and there were lots of shoulds I couldn't walk away from, those and other pressures plus some health issues have resulted in my current fatigue.

I think getting to know yourself is so valuable and key to your boundaries, my thing currently is getting to know the new exhausted me and working out the new boundaries having sussed that the old ones won't do any more as they allow me to do too much which I can't cope with currently.

Some great points to think about, now I need to remember to implement them! thanks so much.

Leah Thu, Jul 14th 2016 @ 11:37pm

H, thanks heaps for a very interesting and thoughtful blog.
It is giving me a lot to think about. Is such a pity that more people didn't get to read the blog because of coming out so late. thanks again I look forward to reading more of your blogs

Leah Thu, Jul 14th 2016 @ 11:40pm

I have to smile at myself because when I first read frau should I thought oh no there's another famous person I don't know about!!!

the room above the garage Thu, Jul 14th 2016 @ 11:56pm

Hello H, like this a lot! And babies teach us such a lot...I'm comfortable learning from them :-) Thank you, love ratg X.

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