* Nasty managers. You go on accepting one issue here and other there and the guy will just get worse and worse.
* Collapsing countries, such as most of Latin America and Caribbean. You go on accepting some crime because "shit happens" until you are in a place where you just can't raise your kids without fear.
I used to think like that when living in South America. But when my oldest son was born I just said to myself: enough is enough, gotta get out of here; I don't want this as a future for him.
That is, if I'm "zen" when people do things they shouldn't, to me or to people I care about, then people take that as "I only kind of care". I can politely spell out that it's not OK, that it needs to stop, etc., but some people do not think you are serious unless you are in some sort of heightened emotional state.
So, because they don't see an emotional escalation, when request turn into repercussions (like quitting a job or dis-inviting a guest), then people feel blindsided because I didn't communicate well in their terms (emotionally).
I'm not sure how to resolve this phenomenon. Could I escalate externally while staying innerly peaceful? Do I spell out consequences, basically laying down ulitmatums?
But you bring up a very important matter, which seems to be more pronounced now with ubiquitous social media (more people having an outlet to act): many people seem to believe those who act "emotional" - eg. frightened, angry, happy - even if that act is a fraud. I think this is a major problem. Those acting the lie would disagree, but it can result in our resources being directed towards dead-end or harmful ways (such as efforts that benefit the deceiver most of all), especially at a time when our collective priorities matter so much.
My humble opinion would be to be true to yourself, and direct your attention and energy towards constructive actions, whenever possible.
You can leave your manager or country while laughing at the absurdity of the situation and being grateful for having had a unique experience.
I think the article is suggesting that accepting your current situation puts you in a better mindset to tackle it full-force if it's going to cause you problems down the road.
"Ok, so we're here--now what?"
A beginning hacker uses tools.
An advanced hacker improves tools.
A great hacker invents tools.
An enlightened hacker sees (and invents/improves/uses) himself as a tool.
It's the mental "gym" for living a healthy, happy life.
Toward the end of the book, Harris talks about how being zen is great, but also not terribly effective in the modern world, specifically in the modern workplace. So it's ok to be chill about some things, but there are other things you absolutely can and should get mad about. Otherwise, you're not living your life, you're just being a zombie.
I admit my exposure to Zen is as an interested outsider and dabbler/dilettante, not as a practitioner, but this seems to betray a significant, fundamental misunderstanding of Zen.
Unless we're just using "zen" as a colloquial synonym for "hella chill".
So based on your anecdotal experience you have concluded resilience cannot be learned? I find this statement ridiculous, especially considering science shows the opposite.
> The good news is that positive construal can be taught. “We can make ourselves more or less vulnerable by how we think about things,” Bonanno said. In research at Columbia, the neuroscientist Kevin Ochsner has shown that teaching people to think of stimuli in different ways—to reframe them in positive terms when the initial response is negative, or in a less emotional way when the initial response is emotionally “hot”—changes how they experience and react to the stimulus. You can train people to better regulate their emotions, and the training seems to have lasting effects.
I think the two go hand in hand. You can't practice it if you're not prepared somehow for that eventuality. Having 2 child seats stolen while living paycheck to paycheck can be pretty devastating.
That said, I wouldn't wish financial hardship on anyone.