討論逐字稿: Difficult is Good? 2014/10/24 discussion

Towards the end of the discussion:
How much should it matter to you what other people think?
40%
Oh, a number! That's cool!
I think it should matter to the extent that you have to take care of other people
It's like personal boundaries.
On the internet there's this concept, "My rights end where yours begin" MYEWYB for short, meaning, there's a limit at some point to what I want, when it starts intruding on what other people want.
It's really hard to find that boundary, of thinking enough about other people!
It's hard to ask this, where's your boundary? You can't just ask this.
Our culture doesn't have any way of saying it!
It's hard to ask about it!

Sometime people won't tell you, they think you should know.
Sometimes they don't even know.
Unless you push their buttons--
There's a story I read on the internet, two guys were sitting in a cafe across from a jewelry shop, and a mom wanted to pierce her daughter's ears, and the girl kept saying 'No' but the mom had it done anyways. So the girl learned that saying 'no' just results in being forced. She learned that no doesn't mean anything when you're not in power.
But we do this in small ways, too. One time we left a restaurant but the two year old with us didn't understand that the restaurant was closing and it was time to go and everyone was outside already, he was having a good time. So he refused to leave. And instead of spending the time to explain to him, I just grabbed him. When he saw everyone outside he finally understood, but still, I broke his trust, and violated his 'no'. So the problem is, when you're dealing with people who don't understand everything, who are in your care, is this kind of situation. When are you overstepping bounds or not?
So it's because parents don't trust their children, so they force them to do things?
Well, there is that, they don't trust them to know enough.
There's so many aspects to self-trust, all of the things we talked about today, they're all a part of it, it's a very complicated picture!
And your growing-up background will influence how you trust yourself.
Does Taiwanese culture have any message like of 'you're not good enough'?
Sure, yes!
Where do you suppose this message comes from?
Education, school--
Comes from history, tradition. Colonialism.
It's related to colonialism? How?
We were colonised by Japanese, they stratified people, and the KMT came doing the same thing, delegated the force to the people.

Is this a message from capitalism? How about from global culture?
Our global lack of self-esteem is actually a product of our economic system.
Or economy affects our culture affects our interpersonal relationships
So the economic mindset might be an obstacle to self-trust
Yes, when the author said, "To listen to that feeling and to trust it is a profound revolution indeed. What would the world be, if we all listened to that?" we would have a totally different economy
We wouldn't be able to advertise
You wouldn't be manipulated
That's one aspect of it!
But why should we need to manipulate others, to make the economy work
The question is backwards, it's not that we NEED to manipulate people, its' that the economy is based on manipulating others.
But if you say that the economy is a kind of, in our knowledge, that the economy is comprised of a lot of transactions, so when we say that, economy is based on manipulating others, that means that the transactions are manipulative.
You need to manipulate people to make those transactions as much as possible
And profit is the motivation to do transactions.
And you need money and profit to comfort their self-denial.
You need the money to feel better
But isn't it also a manipulation by the producers of chocolate? Because you have a hard day, so you feel bad about it, etc. So that's you , you choose to be manipulated
I don't think you choose to be…
It's information bias, we don't have enough information about how we can deal with our feelings, and we only have emotions that chocolate is good. And nowadays, we have things like yoga and bicycling.
I still choose chocolate over bicycling, even though I like biking a lot
Why?
Because it's faster
So no wonder you want to slow down
Exactly!!!

So for our final statements, let's consider this paragraph from the discussion guide:
I will leave this topic with a paradox. You don’t have to do anything—why? Not because nothing needs to be done. It is that you don’t have to do, because you will do. The unstoppable compulsion to act, in bigger and wiser ways than you knew possible, has already been set in motion. I am urging you to trust in that. You needn’t contrive to motivate yourself, guilt yourself, or goad yourself into action. Actions taken from that place will be less powerful than the ones that arise unbidden. Trust yourself that you will know what to do, and that you will know when to do it.

I like this paragraph.

When we are teaching the intern psychologists, and they're doing the therapy, they're always asking, how to do, what to do, what to say, and what? We are always saying that, you need to trust yourself, trust the spontaneity at the moment. And in Ericsonian hypnosis, they say everyone has resources in themselves inside, and we are doing, what we are doing is to connect the resources in the clients, and the resources will do everything, including comfort themselves, solving the problem, leading the way, just plant the resources, that's all. That's not that paradoxical you know. Like the figure of Taichi, the yinyang, not dichotomous. It's a whole, not separate. And the western psychology is moving towards the east. It's the trend.
I don't think there's actually paradox, it's a product of dualistic thinking,
Body and mind
Yes, we have to have opposition
That time, there was two paradigms, body and mind is separate, or body and mind is intertwined
Sometimes your body tells your mind what to do
Your limbic system is actually a part of your brain!

I think, when you went to the stage where you don't have to do anything, don't think too much, before that stage, you need to experience something, you need to struggle with something up to your true self. It's like, only when you have some struggling experience, you will know what it is you want, what you don't want. You need to also to have a lot of information, about yourself, about your growing up background, and then you can know yourself and truly trust yourself. And the last stage, you don't need to think too much, because, it's a kind of voice or signal, like 'bing!' yeah, I know what I want. But before that you might feel confused or comfortable as to what is right for you.
I think amore important thing is that if you realise you really do the right thing once, then you will know, you can trust yourself
And you really only need to do it once
What you said is really important

I think the title, difficult is good, means something. People like to do difficult things. I think because the want to conquer something, or win something out of it
Or they want to prove something
Yeah, they want to prove they can do the difficult thing
They want to prove their value, that they can exist on this earth.
Some psychologists are discussing about existence, like this
Or they want to be better than others.
If we think we're better than others, we'll gain more focus on our selves
Yes, other people will focus on us, other people will see you as being more important
A sense of superiority.
It's some kind of lonely feeling right?
Oh, yeah
I just feel like that when I hear this description. They feel lonely, so we want to prove we exist on the earth or exist in others' world.
Our culture encourages this idea. There's other ways to solve that problem, but our culture says this

There's, I don't know if it's true or not, but there's an experiment, if a cockroach is running, if another cockroach shows up, the first one runs faster. Two cockroaches running together run faster. Competition!
I don't know if it's true
It's natural for creatures to complete?
It's evolution
The western evolution story says this, but is it true?




Starting at the beginning of the discussion:
Are things validated by being difficult, in Taiwanese culture? Is 'difficult' a virtue and 'easy' a cop-out?
If you don't have to struggle for something, is it valuable?
Before, yes
Money is the easy way to do things?
In some ways

A strict father
A rigorous drug trial
Stoic
Distant

For some things, if you don't struggle with them for awhile, it's hard to find the true solution or the background rationale. Sometimes you can learn from struggle.
I agree with this totally, and also it's only sometimes true


If you had to describe how people are in Taipei in just one word, what word would you use?
Blended
Quick
Self-centered
Busy

How about for the city you grew up in/another city you maybe lived in for a while?
Stuffy
Backwards
Close interaction
Underdeveloped

Who here has told someone they were busy when they just needed some time to themselves?
Yes 2
No, I say I need to take a rest 1
Sometimes 1

Why is busy/occupied/hard such a virtue?
Means you are successful
Or you are devoted
Or you are valuable
Or you're a key person
If you're not busy, no one needs you!
You gotta make your family proud

Self-trust
I got a feeling about this paragraph.

The key is not to solve it.

When you hear words like self-denial, willpower, discipline, and self-sacrifice, what do you feel?
Ughhhhh.
"I'm not into it"
Neither am I
Actually, that's my father's generation
That was the social value at that time.
He enjoyed it
Ya! I think so
He gets a reward from it
I'm thinking, you're not into these things? Willpower, discipline, and self-sacrifice, there's nothing valuable here?
It depends on to what degree, but I feel the degree is strong with all these words. Even discipline
I think discipline has certain value, other wise we cannot do things.
I think in this context, it's representing the extreme
Discipline is very important, but sometimes you just want to a little bit do something everyone expects you to do but you don't want to do that.
I was not expecting you to say that!
Like you have to do everything well, on time, on schedule, don't tell lies, or wake up early, but sometimes you just want to...
Sleep in!
Or do something crazy! Sometimes.
But I really want to be a person with strong will power.
Will power is being able to do something when you're motivated, and discipline is doing something whether you're motivated or not, out of principle.
Discipline seems to be about what others want you to be, not what you want to be. Unless the rule is something you set for yourself.
Self-discipline
But most of the time, it's others put it on you, and I don't want to do what others wan.
So that's the difference. Self-discipline might be good, but discipline, I'm not so into it. Discipline is more extreme for me.

What is self-trust?
Trusting your heart
Feeling that you'll make the right choices for yourself
Trusting other people is trusting that they'll do the right thing by you
It's emphasizing that the self is the organ of perception
Does that mean 'follow your heart'?
It's follow your desire? Or your will? Or is that different
It's the whole,
Because follow your desire sometimes means…
It's like, follow your heart and bring your brain. Especially in romance
It's like, if you want chocolate, but you let your brain tell you when it's enough
It's a struggle!!

Grease


Are these things (self-denial, willpower, discipline, and self-sacrifice) obstacles to trusting the self?
Self-denial is an obstacle
Is saying you can't have chocolate is self-denial or discipline
Discipline?
How do you know the difference
No, it's self-denial
In this situation? Why?
Wait, let's define self-denial
To deny your self, have negative feeling about yourself
Then, no it's not. Unless she said something like, I'm not a good person, so I shouldn't have it
Ok, so it's the attitude in which she approached it.
At first I thought she's denying the feeling, but that's not true
How about we said that self-trust is following your, it's trusting yourself to make the right choice, so when you want to do the right choice, maybe you need to have discipline.
No.
No?
Well, you might, to some extent.
Or should I say self-control?
I understand discipline and self-control to be the same thing. I don't know if they are though
Discipline might have more things to do with social rules and laws, and self-control might come more from within.
Well, we teach kids this, it might come from within, or it might come from an external source
So you need discipline not to eat chocolate

What did it mean in your family to 'be good'? How do you conceive of being good now that you're an adult?
Being good is not causing inconvenience.
I think we always have judgement about ourselves, you're good or bad. But I don't like this, if you're not good, you're bad. But when we look at so-called bad people, are they really that bad? There's a space for discussion. And good people, sometimes do bad things.
It's true, its much more complicated than we let it be

Censure means 'severe disapproval'. Do you often severely disapprove of your own behaviour or thoughts? Do you often experience the censure of others? What is most commonly censured?
There's some relationship to self-denial.
So this is totally a social good for Catholics. You go to confession and say, "father, I have sinned", and you tell them all the bad things you did. Holy cow, this is related to guilt!!
Some people think the bad situation is caused by themselves, not others. And they feel guilty
Attribution bias
And opposite, some people never feel they're the ones causing the trouble
I know some people like that!
It's nothing to do with be--
自我感覺良好
Complacency
Catholics is a guilt-based culture, and Jewish is, I also feel Taiwan is too?
Yes! In my old company, I would complain about my old boss to my parents, and they would say it's because I did bad things, it's all my fault!
That's what my clients say to me! So she never says things to her mom.
Do you often experience the censure of others? What is most commonly censured?
For instance in Taipei, inconvenience is censured all the time.
Will you have this feeling?
No, because I'm disciplined
What's the relationship?
I'm always asking myself to not cause others inconvenience.
But what if others inconvenience you?
I'm thinking about being censured?
I hate when cars cut pedestrians off.

Do you get told not to worry about what others think?
Yes 2
No 3
A lot? 2
My father told me not to worry about what others think, and also told me not to offend anyone. It's a paradox!



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