March 29, 2019 Mental Resilience

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If I went back two hundred years and I explained to the people back then that life has gotten so easy in our time that we literally have to pay money to go to a facility to lift heavy objects only to put them back where you got them and to run on a machine that doesn’t take you anywhere they would think that we have all gone crazy

The reason is because in the past doing hard labor was part of life

Let’s suspend disbelief for one second and imagine that reincarnation was real, then statistically there is a +90% chance that in all your past lives you were a farmer.

This is what makes people who believe reincarnation so comical is that they were

never a farmer in their past lives instead they were some knight or king/queen or general - a very prestigious historical figure, but in reality, most likely they were farmers, they never traveled more than 25 miles from where they were born in their whole life. They probably lost children due to illness or disease, they were probably illiterate, probably got up before dawn every morning and worked all day till sunset and then went to bed only to do the same thing again the next day and the day after that.

Life back then was intrinsically hard, and the ones who survived had the same genes of their ancestors but as time progressed things shifted

When in the past 90% of the population were famers now only 2% of the population are farmers

Rather than doing physically demanding work for a job we now predominately do mentally demanding work

And as a society, we quickly came to realize that because our lives have gotten so less physically demanding our health has taken a major impact

We now sit more than ever, we sit in our cars as we commute to work, we sit in front of a computer for many hours during the day and then we sit and watch Netflix or YouTube

Because of this gap we understood that in order to stay physically fit and healthy we needed to create ARTIFICIAL physical hardship. We started exercising, going to the gym, running, we sign up for exercise classes (yoga, pilates, cardio kickboxing). We go on hikes (not to tend to our flock or to savage for food) but for leisure.

And in return, our health and vitality improved, because our physiology was designed to need stress. If our muscles are not used they atrophy, we get weak, we get prone to injury and our health and overall wellness deteriorates.

To someone 200 years ago this would seem

Now what is interesting is that this change in lifestyle didn’t just impact our physical lives it also affected our mental ones as well.

And for some reason despite realizing that we require physical stresses in order to keep our bodies healthy, we somehow came to believe that by eliminating any mental hardships that somehow this will not have a strain on our mental resilience

Today we have life easier than ever

Anything we want we can pretty much have instantly. Walk into a grocery and year-round you can choose from any variety of fresh meats, fruits, grains etc. Don’t feel like cooking probably within a five-mile radius of where you are there are a whole list of options of different restaurants and food styles you could select to. Spend five minutes and instantly there will be a team of trained professionals ready to serve you.

The concept of being bored is no longer possible. We have such an abundance of entertainment that if you spent your whole life just watching Netflix or YouTube you would never even dent a fraction of one percent of the content that is continuously being produced for your personal entertainment.

While this is a HUGE blessing there is no doubt that this life of ease and abundance, if not handled correctly, will have severe consequences on our mental resilience - NO DIFFERENT THAN THE CHANGE IN PHYSICAL WORK has had



What happens to a society that has begotten soft on mental resilience?

"History is filled with the sound of silken slippers going downstairs and wooden shoes coming up." —Voltaire

This has to do with the physical demand, but what about the mental toll of living too comfortable of a life?

Cyrus didn’t want to move the capital from Pasargadae to Susa because he thought that it would make his people soft

Under Cyrus' son Cambyses II, Susa became a center of political power as one of 4 capitals of the Achaemenid Persian empire, while reducing the significance of Pasargadae as the capital of Persis. Following Cambyses' brief rule, Darius the Great began a major building program in Susa and Persepolis. During this time he describes his new capital in the DSf inscription:

"History is filled with the sound of silken slippers going downstairs and wooden shoes coming up." —Voltaire

History is filled with societies who complain more despite having more, being overtaken by societies who complain less despite having less – QuranTalk

This is counterintuitive but complaining is inversely proportional to how much we have

[14:7] Your Lord has decreed: "The more you thank Me, the more I give you." But if you turn unappreciative, then My retribution is severe.

[42:27] If GOD increased the provision for His servants, they would transgress on earth. This is why He sends it precisely measured to whomever He wills. He is fully Cognizant and Seer of His servants.

[43:33] If it were not that all the people might become one (disbelieving)

congregation, we would have granted everyone who disbelieves in the Most Gracious mansions with silver roofs, and stairs upon which they could climb.

[16:112] GOD cites the example of a community that used to be secure and prosperous, with provisions coming to it from everywhere. But then, it turned unappreciative of GOD's blessings. Consequently, GOD caused them to taste the hardships of starvation and insecurity. Such is the requital for what they did.

Mo Money Mo Problems - Puff Daddy aka P.Diddy


Today despite having so much, society seems to have ever so much more to complain about


Complaining is tempting because it feels good, but like many other things that are enjoyable—such as smoking or eating a whole chocolate cake for breakfast— complaining isn’t good for you.

Research shows that most people complain once a minute during a typical conversation.

Neurons that fire together wire together

Reinforce find things to complain about. Make more connections and focus on more on what is wrong.

While it’s not an exaggeration to say that complaining leads to brain damage, it doesn’t stop there.

When you complain, your body releases the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol shifts you into fight-or-flight mode, directing oxygen, blood, and energy away from everything but the systems that are essential to immediate survival. One effect of cortisol, for example, is to raise your blood pressure and blood sugar so that you’ll be prepared to either escape or defend yourself. All the extra cortisol released by frequent complaining impairs your immune system and makes you more susceptible to high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. It even makes the brain more vulnerable to strokes.

Complaining is contagious - it affects the people around us

• me complaining about kids when she was first born - wife saying why are you ruining this for me. Like someone you go out to eat with and only points out the bad things or similar to a movie

What we complain about is proportionate to our expectations Happiness = Expectations - Reality

When our expectations that everything has to work out our way on our terms by our expectations then we are setting our selves up for disappointment

My threshold for boredom -
My threshold for being offended

People who think that they are being persecuted and marginalized when they have so much more freedom and opportunity than any other generation in history

Do bad things and atrocities occur - sure but these are not the norm

We have a limited amount of time in our day and what we choose to focus on will affect not just our mood but our overall destiny, because what we do every day eventually effects our actions in our life.

Good thoughts, good actions, good deeds Bad thoughts, bad actions, bad deeds

Chip on their shoulder

[63:4] When you see them, you may be impressed by their looks. And when they speak, you may listen to their eloquence. They are like standing logs. They think that every call is intended against them. These are the real enemies; beware of them. GOD condemns them; they have deviated.

Limited capacity throughout our day what we want to focus on = can choose to focus on the good or the bad

Focus on the good or the bad? Can fix as many wrongs, but not dwell only on the bad and neglect the good

Like the famous Harvard experiment with the passing of the basketball and that 50% of the people missed the moon walking gorilla

The reality is that life is getting exponentially better in every respect in aggregate but our threshold of expectations is growing at a faster clip

Think of the idea of travel....
In the past travel was not a leisure activity - it was hardship, painful and typically and absolutely not done for leisure
People who used to travel by boat across the Atlantic
Or people who used to travel across a continent by wagon

They were risking their lives, they would be gone sometimes for years at at time away from their families

Now a person is stuck behind a light or the person infront of them cuts them off or their GPS isn’t working and they go nuts

If you make more than $33k/ year you are in the top 1% of the world If you adjust for cost of living globally let’s say it is $60k

Invisibilia Podcast - The Fifth Vital Sign - Pain

Girls who pain receptors would make anything touching their bodies feel excruciatingly painful

Like being in a silent room and then the sound of one's heart sounds like a cacophony



Embrace the pain - Increase our thresholds

With pain there is gain

[94:5] With pain there is gain.
[94:6] Indeed, with pain there is gain.



Walking vs. driving

Cold showers

Achievement without struggle is rarely satisfying - lifting light weights

Iran - daily blackouts for hours at a time


people prefer to shock themselves rather than be in a quite room by themselves for 15 minutes

Reduce stimulation - Boredom

Creating artificial scenarios to mentally challenge one self (seems crazy) why would anyone do that? Just like ti would be crazy for the person 200 years ago for us to go to the gym

Do something hard

"We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard," - JFK

Get too soft and your body recalibrated to the new threshold of pain

Marriage is on a decline = tinder, bumble app

Can’t matin a relationship

Someone who is unappreciative - does not acknowledge the benefits of things does not see the value in things

A cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing

[3:140] If you suffer hardship, the enemy also suffers the same hardship. We alternate the days of victory and defeat among the people. GOD thus distinguishes the true believers, and blesses some of you with martyrdom. GOD dislikes injustice. [3:141] GOD thus toughens those who believe and humiliates the disbelievers.

“Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult life” Bruce Lee - Zig Zigler not sure

Radio Lab - Bliss - Aleksander Gamme

Antartica 3 month hike on skies to the south pole and back by himself Every 200km he would burry something in the snow
Day 86
Walking 10 hours a day lost 55 lbs

Last cache
Double pack of cheese doodles Chocolate bar