Tag Archives: stories

The Agony of Defeat

Don’t Fight The Caveman

When I was a kid there was a TV show called, “Wide World of Sports.”

One of the taglines was that it showed the “thrill of victory” and the “agony of defeat.”

When they showed the “agony of defeat” part, they showed some guy coming down a ski jump ramp and crashing horribly just as he got to the take off point.

Sports have been around for a long, long time.

All cultures from all times have some kind of sports in their ancient history.

Some suspect that as humans slowly made the transition from hunter-gatherers to farmers, they still had that “competitive spirit.”

To be sure, on the battlefield or on the playing field, winning is awesome, and losing sucks.

But that’s where it ends.

Or, rather, that’s where it SHOULD end.

The trouble with our instincts, especially the ones for competition, is we can really just “shut them off.”

This is easy to understand with something like hunger.

Feeling hungry sucks. Eating feels good. It’s VERY DIFFICULT to simply “not eat” when you’re hungry AND there’s plenty of food around.

This is kind of how it feels when you get into an argument over something really tiny, but you simply CAN NOT just let it go.

You HAVE to win at all costs.

That’s that ancient instinct rearing it’s ugly head.

We’ve got a lot of them.

We tend to follow authority figures, even when they’re clearly idiots.

We tend to follow the crowd, even when they’re running right off a cliff.

We tend to eat WAY more calories than we need, even though we keep buying bigger pants.

Caveman 1, Human 0 !

Of course, if you try and “battle” your instincts with sheer willpower, you’ll lose most of the time.

This is precisely why diets fail. You’re trying to battle your ancient drive to eat, which resides in your VERY POWERFUL reptilian cortex, with your conscious mind.

However, instead of CONTROLLING your instincts, consider learning to manage them.

Like not going shopping when you’re hungry.

Or being able to step back and see the “big picture” when you find yourself in a heated argument over which culture invented the bacon cheeseburger.

One thing that can help is having a CLEAR set of goals.

This makes it easy to step back and see if what you’re doing is to satisfy your inner caveman, or your rational human.

Rational humans choose and pursue goals, while cavemen and cavewomen follow their instincts.

There are a lot of ways to overcome those instincts.

Daily journaling can help.

Meditation can help.

Doing visualizations can help.

These can also help:

Mind Persuasion Ebooks

Crush Your Inner Demons

Crush Your Demons

What is it about some movies that make you want to watch them over and over, yet other movies you only want to see once?

I’ve seen plenty of movies, and I’ve enjoyed plenty of movies.

But some movies, even though I’d rate them pretty high, I already know I don’t want to see them again.

But other movies, I enjoy watching them every couple years or so.

Same with books. There’s a few books I’ve read several times.

What’s the difference?

For me, at least, some stories are heavy on dramatic suspense. The story and characters draw you in, and you want to see what’s going to happen.

But once you know what’s going to happen, the enjoyment wears off on subsequent viewings.

Other movies don’t have that effect. Even though you KNOW what’s going to happen, you enjoy it anyway.

I think part of it has to do with the old Greek theory of “Catharsis.”

Meaning you get emotionally involved in the character, and vicariously solve your OWN emotions as the hero solves his or her problems.

Action packed movies don’t tend to have that.

But stories with strong character arcs do.

Because all us humans are continuously on our own character arc, we tend to “resonate” with those stories more.

We love to see the hero overcome their own inner demons, because as we watch them, we do so ourselves, if only a little bit.

This was the genius behind Milton Erickson.

He told stories, rather than simply talking about people about their problems.

He would match a story PERFECTLY with the person he was talking to.

And by following along, they would overcome their own problems.

That’s one way.

Which is great if you have access to a world famous hypnotist who solves people’s problems in one or two sessions.

But there is another way.

And that is to create your OWN hero’s journey in your mind.

Rehearse and practice mentally, overcoming those demons, and getting the prize.

Most people don’t like doing this.

They’d rather self-medicate themselves with hours and hours of brainless TV.

Not that there’s not good stuff on TV.

But when you make and watch YOUR OWN mental moves, they are necessarily going to be a PERFECT match to help you conquer your inner demons.

And believe me, we ALL have inner demons.

The whole character arc of life is to conquer inner AND outer demons. The more successful you get, the bigger the demons get.

You will NEVER face a demon you cannot destroy.

But you HAVE to face it.

With practice, it’s easy.

Mental exercise. Focus on what you want. Train your mind to expect to get it.

That way, you can more easily focus on what’s on the OTHER SIDE of that imaginary demon, that the demon itself.

Get Started:

Subliminal Programming