The other day I had a fight with my wife. In that fight there was something said that struck a nerve. I was wrestling with some problems in the area of success, and self-acceptance. The problem is, once those doors were open, I couldn't close them, and the Darkness grew louder. Even though the fight was resolved, I wasn't able to resolve the existential crisis Within Me Oh, and I was beginning to have trouble justifying my own existence.
I recently found the answers to the demons I've been wrestling with through the recognition of a very common misconception, and the unveiling of a very complex form of thought.
The First Concept:
This first concept started by recognizing a misconception at its very premise. We're often told that if you work hard you will be successful . But that's not always true, and when that isn't true , because we believe it's so firmly and so deeply , it breaks reality. The truth is , while performance drives success, performance does not equate success. they are not equal in nature, and they are not equally quantifiable. Performance is measured by mastery and magnitude. Success is measured by recognition and reward. So while performance may determine the quality of a product in stores, it is the success of community that attributes success to those efforts.
PERFORMANCE is the driving force behind QUALITY, but SUCCESS is a result of appreciation by the COMMUNITY, not the performer. Therefore:
P (does not equal) S
I forgot to add that this formula only really applies when the metrics can't be used in a traditional sense, so for people like artists and musicians.
The Second Concept:
I've been trying to think of a simple way to word the more complex idea that has helped me dramatically in the last 12 hours, and it was explained to me through podcast. I had other working variables and I was coming close to a conclusion, but I realized that I had started with the wrong premise.
I understand that you cannot be your own Master, therefore you cannot command yourself into specific disciplines (or the outcome of those disciplines). It is better to revere yourself as a servant to a master who is greater than you. This flows well with my Christian faith, but one of the concepts that I was missing, is the moral obligation to treat yourself as if you are responsible for taking care of a patient. (Jordan Peterson)
In effect, you have a moral obligation to look after yourself (As a patient).You cannot neglect the needs or safety of your patient, and you have to have your patient's best interest in mind. You have to treat yourself as a patient. In part, you are protecting the fragility of your patient, but you also have an obligation to uphold the spark of divinity, the breath of life that God has breathed into every human, including you.
It is because you bear the image of God, that you are morally obligated to protect that spark of divinity. If you are prone to abuse yourself, as I often am, you fail at upholding this Duty, and fall into torment that I am very familiar with: torment.
So, rather than appreciating you own incremental successes (with Grace), there is a constant nagging in your head that you are not as good as you can be, and that you're not doing enough. This constant nagging will never allow you to recognize your own growth, because it will never be enough. And it will only increase the suffering and self-loathing that you already have.
But when you recognize yourself as an image Bearer, you will begin to treat yourself appropriately, as well as others in your life. Men are created in the image of God, and therefore that image is to be treated appropriately in all respects. You will not denigrate the image of God, nor will you allow it to wallow in self-pity and shame. But, you will always seek to elevate the person, even if only because that person Bears the image of God.
Anyway, those are my thoughts and these are the concepts that help me to pull out of a near-fatal descent into existential crisis. I hope this post helps others.
Podcast host for The Xero Hour Podcast | Founder of Tentmaker Music | Musician | Family Man | Christian | Conservative | Not in that order