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Self Improvement

72 SAVED IDEAS

The mentor's role in humanity

A mentor is a wise older person every hero regularly sees in good stories, such as Gandalf from the Lord of the Rings, Yoda from Star Trek, or Alfred from Batman.

The mentor represents a bond between parent and child, teacher and student, god and man. The mentor is there to help the hero to face the unknown future and to accept adventure.

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Self Improvement

In most hero's stories, the hero is busy in an everyday world when they get called to an adventure. Initially, they will be reluctant, either not feeling equipped for the task or too comfortable with life as it is.

The mentor will hand the hero supplies, knowledge, and the confidence required to face the adventure. When the story seems to direct to a dead-end, mentors are the ones who provide aid, advice, or magical equipment. Mentors show that we often learn life's lessons from someone else.

The Pleasure Of Doomscrolling

Humans are fascinated by bad news. The appeal of ‘wrong’ is a striking psychological phenomenon that baffles many researchers.

Just like we cannot look away from a car accident happening in front of our eyes, doomscrolling or endlessly scrolling through news feeds and social media content can feel soothing.

Doomscrolling is a modern equivalent of the late-night 11 o’clock news that many families watched before going to sleep.

People find a topic and then get sucked in a vortex of information, provided by never-ending news cycles. We are biologically driven towards attending to our worried mind and searching for answers about the things we are afraid of.

  • People want to take a constant dose of the emotion they are feeling (anger, despair, anxiety) as a way to program their coping mechanism, as being in a high-alert position is useful in times of danger.
  • Others are drawn towards the negativity, as they endlessly browse through the comment section where verbal brawls are common.
  • Due to heightened emotions, people scroll way past their need for valuable information, getting inside a negative spiral of stories and images that stimulate and expand on their mental state.

A survey conducted in Germany revealed that media exposure frequency, duration and diversity showed a sharp spike during a global crisis and that led to increased depression symptoms and anxiety.

Phone usage (beyond the normal 1 to 2 hours a day) has already been linked to anxiety, depression and a sedentary lifestyle which then leads to various diseases.

.. or GAD is when all the news and information make a bed inside your head and make it like a huge twitter feed of worries. Symptoms include muscle tensions, fatigue and depression. Doom Scrollers have similar, undiagnosed effects.

When we doom scroll, we are in a way practising for having GAD, just like running everyday changes our muscles, doomscrolling everyday changes our brain and psychology.

Doom scrolling is similar to gambling behaviour, as we scroll to find anything uplifting too, hooked on the expectation of seeing something good.

Just like a gambler keeps pulling the lever of a slot machine, we keep thumbing upwards to scroll through the newsfeeds.

Possible ways to stop or minimize doom scrolling can be:

  1. Keep a track of how much time you spend on social media doing nothing, identifying the negative frequency.
  2. Set a timer or use the inbuilt apps to close the doomscrolling feeds.
  3. Establish a time to put your phone away at the end of the day, or to turn it off whenever possible.
  4. Support others to move away from their phones, and go see the real world.
Bad News On Top

Negativity Bias, a trait long recognized by psychologists, states that we are more attentive to negative experiences, stories and emotions. This quality is a kind of survival mechanism that has now evolved into our taste in current events.

Bad news has an attention-grabbing quality that makes most news outlets focus on disasters, crimes and other negative stories while leaving aside the feelgood stuff that often feels irrelevant to the viewer or reader.

An extensive study covering 17 countries revealed that people show stronger emotional reactions to bad news.

The allure of negative stories is so strong that people actively search for them online, something not seen with good news.

Self-Help Books: The Ridiculed Genre

The literary world is filled with self-help books written by people from all walks of life, promising greatness, success, riches and manifestation to people who have happily lapped them up.

The repetitive and patronising words in the books are ridiculed by the cultural elite, who think that one can navigate life with ease using intuition and original intellect.

Philosophers in the west wrote self-help books almost 2000 years ago, whereas in the eastern world, The Bhagavad Gita and the Four Noble Truths Of Buddhism are essentially self-help for having a better, more fulfilling life, and are not simply old religious texts as many assume.

The redeeming truth is that the world has always required guidance to become something other than a clerk, a doctor or an accountant.

Any person has a potential beyond just being raised by a family, getting educated, finding a job, getting married and then retiring (though all of that needs guidance too), and self-help books elevate our understanding in many aspects.

The human body and mind has limitless potential, and most of it is untapped in a majority of people.

The naysayers who ridicule self-help books are viewing a human life as a static pond. A person is a river which has the potential to go and merge with the ocean. The self-help books, then become a guiding path for a person to go beyond their prescribed limits and blossom into what nature truly intended them to be.

Always In A Hurry
  • We all want a bigger slice of life, not relishing what we are doing, but in a hurry to jump to the next thing.
  • Completing a task isn’t filled with contentment, but with a rush to grab something else or switch to a different task.
  • Even the book we read or the food we eat is in a hurry, as there is a craving to try the next thing.
  • When we travel, there is always an ‘itch’ inside us to check out all the cafe’s, beaches or museums, as we cannot sit still in one place.

In the urge to eat a bigger portion of life’s cake, we believe we shouldn’t waste our time and grab it while we can, unable to relax or relish life in a calm manner.

It is almost as if there is an invisible race going on, and we need to compete with others by posting pictures on Instagram at the earliest.

Our mind is full of kind of greed to consume life to the maximum. This is not your garden variety ‘i want more money’ greed, but a force inside us to live life to the fullest.

  • This greed makes us abandon our peace of mind, our moments of real appreciation, as we rush to the next ‘high’.
  • An added disadvantage of this kind of behaviour is that one is not able to understand the true worth of what we have.

Indulging in the greediness of life’s pleasures will create the wanting of more and more, making us lose the moments that are really important or appreciable.

One has to let go of those urges to rush which cling you to more of them. Let go of the tendencies of greed in your mind and feel the worth of what you have and counter those thoughts with the virtue of generosity.

This is not the 'giving stuff to others' kind of generosity, but the generosity of turning yourself from the influence to the self-centred view.

Give your attention to those who actually need your time, pay attention to yourselves in what you are doing and experience. Be generous to your actions with your dedication and self-realization.

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