Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

> Really? Everything that happens to you? What if you were mugged?

You take ownership of how you respond to every situation. Things happen to you beyond your control, but you can be in control of how you handle and internalize it if you practice.

Not being able to control your feelings is false for the most part.

Giving up the sense of control over self and one's circumstances is well known to have depressive and demotivational psychological side-effects. Recognize that some things are outside your control, but something in every situation is under your control: your own mind. If you're interested in more, read up on Stoicism.




But your own mind is not completely within your own control, I would argue.


Maybe. But in all cases, it can be very very hard to control indeed. Which does not mean you should not try, because it will help you if you do. And the original point is that if you fail at it, better take it in stride than feel extremely bad about it, since it will make things worse.


The more you think like that, the less control you have.


Control might be an illusion - we are getting into the realms of philosophy here, but some argue there is no such thing as free will.


If control were an illusion, then my desire to raise my arm would not result in me raising my arm. The fact is, desires, wishes and so on, have direct causal influence on actual physiological and psychological states.

Free Will doesn't really enter into this, so we don't have to enter that rabbit hole.


Your action might feel self willed but may in fact follow inevitably from all prior events. Individual agency could just be a creation of the mind. Personally I try not to dwell on these thoughts, but the philosophical discussions around free will cannot be dismissed simply with a wave of the hand, as you seem to be doing.


Whether outcomes and desires follow from prior events isn't relevant. The fact is that outcomes follow from my desire that it be so, regardless of the source of that desire. So if you can muster the desire, there are good causal reasons to believe you can achieve that desire.

The true nature of free will and its connection to determinism simply isn't relevant to whether desires are causally connected to outcomes, and so whether this belief is well founded.

Edit: the only way out of this is to be a fatalist, whereby outcomes will always happen no matter how hard you struggle against them, that they are independent of our desires. Few people subscribe to such a view though, and if you happen to, then I can only say I'm sorry.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: