Quotes from “Self-Knowledge” by Mark Manson

We don’t always control what happens to us. But we always control a) how we interpret what happens to us, and b) how we respond to what happens to us. Therefore, whether we consciously recognize it or not, we are always responsible for our experiences.
A lot of times our problems are not actually problems, but rather symptoms of unhelpful beliefs.
don’t care how many positive thoughts you conjure, what kind of therapies you do, or what kind of New Agey spiritual crap you come up with – negative thoughts and emotions are natural processes of the human brain.
You can’t get away from them. None of us can.
What you CAN do is accept them. Defuse from them. And then act despite them.
Whether we like it or not, we are always taking an active role in what is occurring with ourselves. We are always interpreting the meaning of every moment and every occurrence. We are always creating values about ourselves and others. And we are always choosing our actions based on those values. Always. Whether we realize it or not, we are already choosing our actions. We are already responsible for our negative experiences. We just aren’t always conscious of it.
We don’t always control what happens to us. But we always control a) how we interpret what happens to us, and b) how we respond to what happens to us. Therefore, whether we consciously recognize it or not, we are always responsible for our experiences.
It’s completely counterintuitive – the idea that being responsible for all of the horrible misfortunes that befall us could somehow liberate us from them – but it’s true.
There is a realization from which all potential personal growth emerges. This is the realization that you are responsible for everything you do in your life, no matter the external circumstances.
The next time you feel stupid or insecure, ask yourself if that’s a useful belief to have.
The next time you feel incompetent or like you’re incapable of accomplishing something, ask yourself if that’s a useful belief to have.
The next time you feel unattractive and undesirable, or that a situation is impossible, ask yourself if that’s a useful belief to have.
Because it doesn’t matter what’s true or what’s not. The truth is up for endless debate in most circumstances. So why not debate on the side that helps you?
A lot of times our problems are not actually problems, but rather symptoms of unhelpful beliefs.
It doesn’t matter whether a belief is true or not; what matters is whether it’s helpful.
I’ve run into similar debilitating biases in men when it comes to race, height, money and even their personalities. In all cases, they sabotage themselves with their poor beliefs.
I’ve sat and had engaging, interesting two-hour conversations with men who honestly told me that people didn’t like them because they couldn’t engage them in conversations well enough.
How you perceive the above story, or any other story for that matter, depends on the beliefs you choose to accept.
Kind of like the glass half full, glass half empty thing.
Anyone who’s spent enough time on the internet knows that just about anything can be debated.
Language is very powerful. Notice when you disidentify from these emotions and thoughts in this way it 1) implies that they’re temporary states, and not permanent conditions and 2) forces you to take responsibility for them . They’re nobody’s fault, they just are.
These days I’m often able to sit down and write 5,000 words or more in a single day. I still feel the same anxiety. I still hear the same thoughts (“I need to eat first,” “I should take a nap,” “I’m not in a writing mood right now.”)
But now instead of identifying with these thoughts, I acknowledge them:
“I feel nervousness about writing today.”
“I have the thought that I need to eat first.”
“I have the thought that I need to take a nap first.”
And that’s actually where most of our suffering comes from – not from the negative emotions themselves, but from the fact that we’re helpless from getting sucked into the negative emotions.
A lot of times our problems are not actually problems, but rather symptoms of unhelpful beliefs.
Whether we like it or not, we are always taking an active role in what is occurring with ourselves. We are always interpreting the meaning of every moment and every occurrence. We are always creating values about ourselves and others. And we are always choosing our actions based on those values. Always. Whether we realize it or not, we are already choosing our actions. We are already responsible for our negative experiences. We just aren’t always conscious of it.
We don’t always control what happens to us. But we always control a) how we interpret what happens to us, and b) how we respond to what happens to us.
Values must be cultivated, consciously tried and tested and steeled by experience. Values are worthless if they don’t contain some sort of real-world manifestation, some tangible benefit in the form of positive experience.
Yes, these experiences still hurt like a motherfucker. But negative experiences are part of life . The question is not whether or not we have them but what we do with them.
Responsibility allows us to leverage our pain for empowerment, to transmute our suffering into strength, our loss into opportunity.
It’s that simple choice to take responsibility for ourselves and our own values that allows us to feel in control of everything that happens to us. It allows us to transform our negative experiences into empowering experiences. It’s completely counterintuitive – the idea that being responsible for all of the horrible misfortunes that befall us could somehow liberate us from them – but it’s true. Our responsibility for ourselves unleashes a deeper fulfillment by allowing us to construe whatever we confront into a value that fulfills our needs
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