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  • Writer's pictureYaDu

STOIC & ZEN techniques to BECOME MORE ADAPTABLE & RESILIENT Part I #adaptable #resilience #agility

Updated: 4 days ago

You get used to the current life quickly. You are attached to the current level of comfort. This attachment to the current life & lifestyle, makes you less resilient and less adaptable, both mentally & physically.

To become mentally resilient, adaptable & strong, you need to work on primarily at four levels - EMOTIONAL, MENTAL, PHYSICAL & SPIRITUAL

A. Emotional Level -

This section covers at attitude & at belief level, both are interconnected. Your beliefs play a pivotal role in shaping your personality and has an effect on your attitude.

1. Become more objective; reduce subjectivity:

The universe basically, is objective; you are subjective. You don't perceive the things as it's, you perceive the things as you are or as per your beliefs, experiences, personality, hunches, bias, prejudices & so on. You must understand that most of the world around doesn't care much about you. There are exceptions, but large population isn't bothered about what happens to you or to the world, even if they give heed, they quickly forget and move on. People have a very short memory! As people have their own hell lot of things to take care. Only thing people care about is about their needs. It can be emotional, financial so on.

There's difference between the actual event & your perceptions, judgments about the event.

As the universe is objective, there's no object good or bad here. Good or bad is all in your perceptions & intentions. These are subjective to each person; these form the subjective reality. In our daily lives, we use so many subjective terms, as though they are objective or the ultimate, like justice, bad events, so on. Justice is a vague concept, what's considered to be just to you, is not just to the others. Considering this obscurity, leaders decided to set 'the court of law' not 'the court of justice'. Law is objective, everyone needs to follow.

Subjectivity or the subjective human nature makes you more rigid, in turn affects adaptability. Being less adaptable means less resilience & agility.

2. Be mindfully detached & non-judgmental towards everything & everyone:

You can be building emotional resilience when you develop critical thinking skills and by developing objective outlook towards life.

As per The University of Louisville -

"Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action."

Again, the pre-requisite for critical thinking ability is objective outlook towards everything. This can be developed by learning to ignore unwanted irrelevant data & information. One can filter off the unwanted irrelevant data & information by being mindfully detached from them.

You need to be mindfully detached from the things that are out of control, you need focus only on what's controllable & what's relevant to you. You need to develop non - judgmental attitude and be mindfully detached from everything & everyone.

Attachments are a form of ego! The more attached you are more rigid you become! Rigidity is death! Adaptability is life!!

Charles Darwin in his theory of evolution pointed out rightly. It's the survival of the fittest. Fitness is a byproduct of adaptability & agility. It's not whatever Darwin proposed is all correct, at least, most of the things are relatable & true.

To be frank, most of your sufferings or disappointments are due to your judgements, attachments & distorted perceptions. These 3 are very well interconnected. If you fall unto one of these traps, it's most likely that you will eventually fall into other traps too or if you start with one of these, you will eventually be forced to start the other processes too.

"If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment." -MARCUS AURELIUS

The person who is more attached has more emotions, higher the emotions, lesser will be the agility & adaptability.

3. Counter Ruminocity (reactivity) by becoming immune to emotions & avoiding drama:

In Ninjutsu or any style of martial arts, you are basically taught to be detached & non-judgmental towards your emotions or the opponent's emotions. You are taught to focus, absolutely on the body cues of the opponent, which signals the next attack. You need to develop this level of focus in life!

Life will hit us at any one point of time, usually. If you aren't hit, then be prepared to get hit. This doesn't mean prepare for the hit, focus on what you can do if you get hit or have a contingency plan. Spend less time on focusing on the problem, focus more on having a plan of action, if anything happens. It's like buying an insurance plan!

If you are already hit, never be emotional or sad for too long. It's a waste of time. Whenever you have fallen to your knees, it's not situation or problems that causes max damage, but your emotion led reactions do cause the max damage.

"Ruminocity or Reactivity (emotional) is a curse to humanity!!"

The more emotional you are, there are more chances of you getting manipulated by the people. Samurais are taught to become anti-emotional, anti-drama & anti-romantic, for this people. Some people may argue this doesn't make you feel alive, this is not living so on. One should understand that the universe is objective, and it doesn't care about your emotions or feelings. It's operating in its own way. Despite getting trained to be anti-emotional, anti-romantic and anti-drama, young trainees, find it difficult to adapt.

The root of ruminocity is emotion! Humans are emotional because of subjectivity & ego!

For warriors, becoming anti emotional is a necessity, why? Imagine, you are about to start a duel, suddenly you are afraid of the foe, or you start to feel love about your wife or daughter. The foe will finish you within seconds. Emotions make you lost, while focusing or waging a battle!

How can you become anti-emotional?

Note that Zen philosophy doesn't advocate emotional repression but emotional regulation. There's difference between the two! Repression affects mental health, if not in some way emotions find an outlet, sometimes in hostile circumstances, which may cause huge damages to you & the relationship. Emotional regulation is about regulating the emotions in any hostile situations, reducing their intensity & letting them out in favorable, less hostile situations. Note that anti-emotional or calmness is nothing but the product of objective outlook towards everything.

Life is not just about experiences or experiencing emotions; it is about finding the purpose, living for the purpose & achieving the purpose without fail.

It's attachment or ego creates the drive for emotions to get something or experience something. I never ever had understood why Buddhism doesn't advocate arts, music or anything creative. A Buddhist monk isn't allowed to enjoy these stuffs for this reason - he gets attached to the music or art, in turn fuel desires, desires frustrations!

Become immune to certain emotions, if you can't be anti-emotional. Let's be very frank! Becoming anti-emotional is advisable for samurai monks. It's not for everyone! They achieve it by continued practice of meditation, which essentially comprises the principles of mindful detachment & non-judgementalism, which isn't an easy discipline to master. It requires decades of continued practice; results are astounding. After becoming a master, all you experience is spiritual bliss! You will not experience any worldly emotions. That's how you become anti-emotional.

However, emotional immunity to certain negative emotions is possible for all. This enforces resilience. How can you become immune to certain negative emotions? This is explained in the next paragraph.

B. Mental Level:

1. Become a badass!!

You can better regulate the emotions when you have experienced all sorts of emotions. You need to take a note on what are the emotions that push your buttons. Condition yourself in such a way that these emotions won't bother you anymore.

Never let the same snake or emotion to bite or cause problems to you! Learn the lessons! This indeed is self-improvement.

Emotional immunity enforced by life.

Sometimes life breaks your heart for so many times, you bleed emotionally, you experience immense pain, get traumatized, suffer & bleed. At this point, you realize all these hardships or sufferings are due to your emotional reactions. Then you become more non-judgmental towards everything, understand that events are just events, there's nothing bad or good about them. This is how life can make you emotionally immune! Not everyone can or should undergo such hardships, most surrender themselves to suicide. But once you survive, you become invincible! You become a badass! You completely become fearless! You are not afraid of anything! You get the confidence that you can survive even in the most hostile environments.

It's for this reason, in samurai trainings or Navy SEALS or Naga Sadhus are made to undergo the most brutal trainings in the world. Instructors use all the means to break your spirit! Right from making you to stay in bone chilling cold, starvation, humiliation, harsh punishments, sleep deprivation, intense physical & mental activities, you are made to experience them all. Still if you thrive, you will be selected as a SEAL or your become a samurai or a Naga Sadhu.

People have an unhealthy perspective towards pain, hardships & trauma. This is out of self-pity, which is due to ego. One should remember, the growth happens in the most hostile, uncomfortable, harsh conditions. The more you experience pain, the stronger you become.

The wound is the place where the light enters you. - Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi

In the upcoming part, we'll be learning about 'breaking fears' & other techniques to enhance mental resilience, adaptability & agility, also about how to be resilient & adaptable spiritually as well as physically.

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Thank you so much for reading!


On behalf of Get Inspired Spiritually.

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