Author Topic: Fuck Changing Yourself  (Read 7152 times)

arebelspy

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Fuck Changing Yourself
« on: October 22, 2016, 10:41:53 PM »
Fuck Changing Yourself

This article made me immediately think of several people here on the forums who constantly seem to be trying to change themselves.

Eating differently.
Exercise.
Being more productive.
Forming better habits.
Changing their relationship with money.

Sometimes you just need to say "fuck changing myself."  Not that you can't strive to improve yourself, or be a better person, but relentless focus on that can instead (besides being discouraging if you fail) just be striving towards someone else's view of who you should be.

Sometimes you need to step back, take a break, and be yourself.  Then choose who you want to be, based on your ideals and standards, not anyone else's.  Be happy with who you are, first.  You may just find that life's a bit better. :)
« Last Edit: October 22, 2016, 10:43:27 PM by arebelspy »
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Metric Mouse

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2016, 11:17:50 PM »
?

Do many people not enjoy changing themselves, and having happier experiences out of any of those avenues...and set their own change-goals from the start? The above seems to presume a lot of things—negative or sad things—about people who want to change themselves. i.e., Doing it per others, doing it with relentlessness, etc. I see a lot of people excited to do it, having fun doing it, loving the results... people who enjoy experimentation, transformation, etc. And, I see the results sticking in plenty of people, too!

Yeah, the author seems to be projecting quite a bit. And I'm not sure what her message is? "Fuck changing yourself. I was unhappy while trying to change. I wasn't happy with who I was trying to be, but then I changed, and now I'm happier."  Instead she should be saying something poetic and actionable, like Ken Bock would.

 If you've had enough of all your tryin'
 Just give up
 The state of mind you're in.

HappierAtHome

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2016, 11:37:34 PM »
Love it. I pretty much let go of my self doubt and inadequacy by deciding/realising that I was already 'good enough', and this article seems totally in line with that mentality.

Of course people can still work on themselves. But there's a HUGE difference between trying out a new habit while knowing you're already good enough, and trying to change yourself because you think you're not good enough.

arebelspy

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2016, 11:43:09 PM »


Of course people can still work on themselves. But there's a HUGE difference between trying out a new habit while knowing you're already good enough, and trying to change yourself because you think you're not good enough.

That's a good way to put it.  Much better than I was. Thank you. :)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
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EricL

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2016, 01:00:55 AM »
I think the author is spot on. You only have so much time in life to improve yourself. You can't afford  spend it on lines of effort that don't comply with who you are and what you really want.

Herbert Derp

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2016, 03:17:17 AM »
I think the disconnect here is about changing yourself to meet externally imposed criteria vs improving yourself to meet your own internal criteria. The former may be helpful in many situations (and can serve as a secondary requirement to meet some other self-imposed goal), but is bound to result in stress for the individual. Everyone needs to weigh this stress against the benefits of changing themselves and make a judgement call. The latter on the other hand really boils down to "how much do you want to improve?" Everyone needs to weigh the peace of complacency vs the hardship of ambition and make a judgement call.

In any case, I believe these judgement calls can only fall upon the individual in question; nobody else is qualified to make these decisions. However, if you are trying to change yourself to meet external criteria, I think you should take a step back and see if this change aligns with your own personal goals.

Mrs. PoP

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2016, 04:46:31 AM »
I think the disconnect here is about changing yourself to meet externally imposed criteria vs improving yourself to meet your own internal criteria. The former may be helpful in many situations (and can serve as a secondary requirement to meet some other self-imposed goal), but is bound to result in stress for the individual. Everyone needs to weigh this stress against the benefits of changing themselves and make a judgement call. The latter on the other hand really boils down to "how much do you want to improve?" Everyone needs to weigh the peace of complacency vs the hardship of ambition and make a judgement call.

In any case, I believe these judgement calls can only fall upon the individual in question; nobody else is qualified to make these decisions. However, if you are trying to change yourself to meet external criteria, I think you should take a step back and see if this change aligns with your own personal goals.

I agree that it's an important distinction between internal and external motivations for change, but that there should also be some acknowledgement that there are people out there living lives that they are not happy with or that represent others' goals and dreams for them rather than their own desires.  (I was one for about 25 years, some might say still recovering from that.)  In that regard, a change (internally motivated) to align one's life better with one's internal compass (so to speak) seems like the right kind of change to embrace. 

But you also have to be happy with yourself without seemingly arbitrary endpoints to goals.  As a wise man once said, "A gold medal is a wonderful thing. But if you're not enough without one, you'll never be enough with one."*

* for arenelspy. =)



arebelspy

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2016, 05:17:45 AM »


As a wise man once said, "A gold medal is a wonderful thing. But if you're not enough without one, you'll never be enough with one."*

It's ridiculously silly how happy this made me.

:D
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
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matchewed

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2016, 07:02:06 AM »
The first step is to be happy with yourself. Once you can do that you can be happy in any situation.

choppingwood

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2016, 07:54:36 AM »
I like what she is saying.

As far the forum goes, let's remember it is attached to a blog that is all about encouraging people to transform their relationship with money. Though there is a group of forum participants that is very confident about their status as "always been frugal people," there are many people trying to improve drastically. They are also interested in trying to improve other things about their lives as well. And the people they see around them make it a competitive thing, sometimes discouraging.

Its a particularly North American obsession with getting "better" that is reinforced by media. Oprah and Martha Stewart have made fortunes out it, and there are whole TV channels trying to make us do better and be better. It reinforces a tendency to be critical of each other and ourselves. I've seen people in weight loss groups just coming to hate themselves, while actually losing the weight they want to. It comes from thinking too much about it and worrying about how you are doing compared to everyone else and from being hungry.

So if changing is a positive thing, great. But for many people it isn't. Pacing yourself helps. Doing others things helps.


DoubleDown

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2016, 08:43:40 AM »
But here's an existential question: "Who am I?"

I'm not just being trite here. I struggled with this for a brief time as an adolescent/early teen wondering what kind of person I was or would become. It occurred to me then I could be whoever I wanted, and I actually chose to start emulating traits of people I admired. I picked Magnum PI as just one, haha, but without the mustache! Anyone could cynically call that phony, just copying others, but I maintain that it's up to each of us to pick whatever things we want as the type of person we want to be. Want to be a generous person? Then give. Want to be a funny person? Tell jokes and learn comedic timing. Want to be bold? Do bold things.

Of course we'll be confined somewhat by our own inborn dispositions, but that still leaves a lot of room for defining who you are, or what me might call change/growth. I agree with the spirit of the message about being happy with who you are, but an even deeper level question (to me) is, "Who do I want to be?"

matchewed

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2016, 08:55:31 AM »
But here's an existential question: "Who am I?"

I'm not just being trite here. I struggled with this for a brief time as an adolescent/early teen wondering what kind of person I was or would become. It occurred to me then I could be whoever I wanted, and I actually chose to start emulating traits of people I admired. I picked Magnum PI as just one, haha, but without the mustache! Anyone could cynically call that phony, just copying others, but I maintain that it's up to each of us to pick whatever things we want as the type of person we want to be. Want to be a generous person? Then give. Want to be a funny person? Tell jokes and learn comedic timing. Want to be bold? Do bold things.

Of course we'll be confined somewhat by our own inborn dispositions, but that still leaves a lot of room for defining who you are, or what me might call change/growth. I agree with the spirit of the message about being happy with who you are, but an even deeper level question (to me) is, "Who do I want to be?"

Certainly I think the author touched on that. It should be more your choice than others.

arebelspy

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2016, 08:58:03 AM »
But here's an existential question: "Who am I?"

I'm not just being trite here. I struggled with this for a brief time as an adolescent/early teen wondering what kind of person I was or would become. It occurred to me then I could be whoever I wanted, and I actually chose to start emulating traits of people I admired. I picked Magnum PI as just one, haha, but without the mustache! Anyone could cynically call that phony, just copying others, but I maintain that it's up to each of us to pick whatever things we want as the type of person we want to be. Want to be a generous person? Then give. Want to be a funny person? Tell jokes and learn comedic timing. Want to be bold? Do bold things.

Of course we'll be confined somewhat by our own inborn dispositions, but that still leaves a lot of room for defining who you are, or what me might call change/growth. I agree with the spirit of the message about being happy with who you are, but an even deeper level question (to me) is, "Who do I want to be?"

That's definitely something to think about when making your choices, and deciding about changing yourself, or not.

Is who am I now, and who do I want to be?

Not who do other people think I should be.  And, like mentioned in this thread, being happy with yourself before and after any changes.  Don't make your happiness dependent on a future version of you.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
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LadyStache in Baja

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2016, 10:02:51 AM »
I like what she is saying.

Its a particularly North American obsession with getting "better" that is reinforced by media. Oprah and Martha Stewart have made fortunes out it, and there are whole TV channels trying to make us do better and be better.

Argh!  I totally agree with this!  It seems like we are bombarded from all sides with "how to be better"!  Enough!  Just this morning I was listening to a podcast and it was an off-topic one about a personal mission statement.  And it's just exhausting!  All of this obsessing over living a perfectly Conscious and curated lifestyle.  It's never enough unless you're living a life with Intention.

It's enough to suck the fun out of anything.  Can't we just #netflixandchill or sit the fuck down and drink a cup of coffee without worrying about how we're spending these precious minutes of life and whether or not it's aligned with our #values?!  #beyourbestyou #createyourbestlife #killmenow

Along these lines, I stumbled across a rather magical mantra that serves me in times of overwhelm.  From a book titled "Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It" (yep, yet another self-improvement book, irony alert).  The author was in the dumps and started saying "I love myself I love myself i love myself i love myself", all day everyday, while doing everything.  Not between activities, during all activities.

So I tried it.  I'm washing dishes, trying to get lunch on the table, and the kids are all screaming bloody murder because they want it NOW, and I just say it to myself "i love myself i love myself".  It just calms all the stress in me.  I don't know how or what's happening, and it seems too corny to be true, but it works.  Like the author in the piece arebelspy posted, magic happens when you accept yourself.  And I guess me chanting "I love myself", as corny as it seems, allows me to drop the expectations that are pressuring me, giving me space to just be me, or do what needs to be done, or even do what I want to do. 

It works too when I'm lulling around procrastinating, reading one too many forum posts or netflix videos, past the point of actual enjoyment and relaxation.  If I start the mantra, i love myself i love myself i love myself, I just magically do what I really want to do.  That might be sinking into the relaxation and enjoyment of the forum, or it might be turning off the computer and cleaning the house.  Try it! 

I think what the author is getting at is this: sometimes these expectations we have on ourselves to be a better you, actually cause us to rebel against ourselves.  So just saying "I love me", it melts the resistance.  So Future-you says "Don't eat any ice-cream".  Now-you says "Fuck you, I'm gonna eat TWO ice creams".  Then you say, "That's cool, because I love me.  I love myself I love myself.  Two ice creams, no ice creams, I love myself".  Then now-you says, "  :)  yeah, I don't really want any ice cream anyway.  Love you!"

Whatever now-you decides, if its coming from a place of love rather than resistance and rebellion that's cool.  If you're gonna eat the ice cream, own it and enjoy it.

SeaEhm

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2016, 10:23:31 AM »
Dont change yourself better yourself.

lhamo

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2016, 11:16:45 AM »
This resonates for me, too.

I really resist/resent the changes that come from some kind of urge to meet external expectations.   And they never stick.  It is only the ones that come from a place of true internal motivation and are linked to things that will improve my long-term health and happiness that end up sticking. 


tyort1

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2016, 01:57:12 PM »
It's true that we live in a society that fills our heads with "shoulds" and "oughts".  It starts in grade school (or even earlier), that we have to perform well and be the best, or at least among the best, in order to get ahead.  For a lot of people, that internalizes to be "I must always optimize myself", with the underlying premise that "I am not enough".  I know I used to think that way.  Still do, but I'm working on improving that  ;)

Cassie

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2016, 03:20:00 PM »
That is one of the advantages of growing older is that you accept yourself for who you are. At 62 you don't need to impress anyone, etc. 2 years ago I lost 40lbs but that was for my health and no other reason.  I feel much better of course and it is nice to look better but I did it for myself.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2016, 05:16:31 PM »
I think the disconnect here is about changing yourself to meet externally imposed criteria vs improving yourself to meet your own internal criteria. The former may be helpful in many situations (and can serve as a secondary requirement to meet some other self-imposed goal), but is bound to result in stress for the individual. Everyone needs to weigh this stress against the benefits of changing themselves and make a judgement call. The latter on the other hand really boils down to "how much do you want to improve?" Everyone needs to weigh the peace of complacency vs the hardship of ambition and make a judgement call.

In any case, I believe these judgement calls can only fall upon the individual in question; nobody else is qualified to make these decisions. However, if you are trying to change yourself to meet external criteria, I think you should take a step back and see if this change aligns with your own personal goals.

I think people, like the author, who don't intuitively grasp that only they can make themselves happy are going to be set up for stress no matter if they change or not.  If she had framed her theory to off-load expectations, it would be more actionable. To say that she 'stopped trying to change' because change is, well, hard and stuff and it made her stressed, isn't nearly as effective of a way to reduce the stress she wasn't able to cope with.

arebelspy

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2016, 06:09:56 PM »
If she had framed her theory to off-load expectations, it would be more actionable.

I see "stop trying to change" as more immediately actionable than "off-load expectations" (I'm not even 100% sure I know what that means, but have gathered from the context of your post).

Long term, yes, changing your standards to be your own, instead of other peoples', and trying to improve yourself is the better strategy.  But for immediately actionable, for someone who is unhappy?  Stopping trying to change for a bit seems like a good first towards self-healing step to me.

Though I may be misinterpreting you, like I said, I'm just trying to understand from context.  :)
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Metric Mouse

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #20 on: October 23, 2016, 06:20:41 PM »
That is one of the advantages of growing older is that you accept yourself for who you are. At 62 any ageyou don't need to impress anyone, etc.

Fixed that for you! There is no minimum age needed to not give fucks about what other people think!

The Happy Philosopher

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #21 on: October 23, 2016, 06:52:07 PM »
I like it. Only after acceptance are you free to change. Very Buddhist.

Russ

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #22 on: October 24, 2016, 08:07:43 AM »
Quote
We all love you more when you are naked.
Truer words were never spoken

fidgiegirl

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #23 on: October 24, 2016, 11:33:21 AM »
I like what she is saying.

Its a particularly North American obsession with getting "better" that is reinforced by media. Oprah and Martha Stewart have made fortunes out it, and there are whole TV channels trying to make us do better and be better.

Argh!  I totally agree with this!  It seems like we are bombarded from all sides with "how to be better"!  Enough!  Just this morning I was listening to a podcast and it was an off-topic one about a personal mission statement.  And it's just exhausting!  All of this obsessing over living a perfectly Conscious and curated lifestyle.  It's never enough unless you're living a life with Intention.

It's enough to suck the fun out of anything.  Can't we just #netflixandchill or sit the fuck down and drink a cup of coffee without worrying about how we're spending these precious minutes of life and whether or not it's aligned with our #values?!  #beyourbestyou #createyourbestlife #killmenow

Along these lines, I stumbled across a rather magical mantra that serves me in times of overwhelm.  From a book titled "Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It" (yep, yet another self-improvement book, irony alert).  The author was in the dumps and started saying "I love myself I love myself i love myself i love myself", all day everyday, while doing everything.  Not between activities, during all activities.

So I tried it.  I'm washing dishes, trying to get lunch on the table, and the kids are all screaming bloody murder because they want it NOW, and I just say it to myself "i love myself i love myself".  It just calms all the stress in me.  I don't know how or what's happening, and it seems too corny to be true, but it works.  Like the author in the piece arebelspy posted, magic happens when you accept yourself.  And I guess me chanting "I love myself", as corny as it seems, allows me to drop the expectations that are pressuring me, giving me space to just be me, or do what needs to be done, or even do what I want to do. 

It works too when I'm lulling around procrastinating, reading one too many forum posts or netflix videos, past the point of actual enjoyment and relaxation.  If I start the mantra, i love myself i love myself i love myself, I just magically do what I really want to do.  That might be sinking into the relaxation and enjoyment of the forum, or it might be turning off the computer and cleaning the house.  Try it! 

I think what the author is getting at is this: sometimes these expectations we have on ourselves to be a better you, actually cause us to rebel against ourselves.  So just saying "I love me", it melts the resistance.  So Future-you says "Don't eat any ice-cream".  Now-you says "Fuck you, I'm gonna eat TWO ice creams".  Then you say, "That's cool, because I love me.  I love myself I love myself.  Two ice creams, no ice creams, I love myself".  Then now-you says, "  :)  yeah, I don't really want any ice cream anyway.  Love you!"

Whatever now-you decides, if its coming from a place of love rather than resistance and rebellion that's cool.  If you're gonna eat the ice cream, own it and enjoy it.

I WILL try this!  Thanks!

scantee

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #24 on: October 24, 2016, 11:33:50 AM »
I'm pretty skeptical of our culture's obsession with constant improvement. At what point do we get to sit back and enjoy the fruits of all of this improvement? Because it certainly seems like there is an opprobrium for saying, "I'm good, I've done all my improvements, just gonna chill for awhile." That kind of stasis is not okay: you must constantly be training for your next marathon, eyeing another promotion, planning your move to a bigger house, trekking up the mountains in Peru lest you seen as complacent or (even worse?) content and accepting for life as it is.

I suspect all of this focus on improvement is a way of putting off dealing with life's more troubling and existential worries about our worthiness as human beings. If we focus on accomplishing just one more thing (and then one more after that, and another after that), we construct a system by which accomplishments serve as a straightforward metric by which we can demonstrate our worthiness to others instead of having to grapple with our internal fears around failure and rejection. I can see the appeal of this, but the problem is that it just never ends, because no amount of external accomplishment is a satisfying substitute for an internal sense of worth.

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #25 on: October 24, 2016, 12:12:23 PM »
Ha! Yes. Numb by Linkin Park is my anthem on this topic.

Quote
I've become so numb, I can't feel you there
Become so tired, so much more aware
By becoming this all I want to do
Is be more like me and be less like you

I don't know exactly who I am because I'm still finding pieces of me that I didn't know were missing, but I know who I am not - anyone else! I try new things because I don't know if they might be one of those missing pieces. I don't wear masks to fit in where I don't fit. I do try to be a better ME, but I don't let other people tell me who that is.

tyort1

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #26 on: October 24, 2016, 12:44:43 PM »
Argh!  I totally agree with this!  It seems like we are bombarded from all sides with "how to be better"!  Enough!  Just this morning I was listening to a podcast and it was an off-topic one about a personal mission statement.  And it's just exhausting!  All of this obsessing over living a perfectly Conscious and curated lifestyle.  It's never enough unless you're living a life with Intention.

It's enough to suck the fun out of anything.  Can't we just #netflixandchill or sit the fuck down and drink a cup of coffee without worrying about how we're spending these precious minutes of life and whether or not it's aligned with our #values?!  #beyourbestyou #createyourbestlife #killmenow

You can only enjoy the coffee if it's fair trade and the beans were delivered in reusable burlap bags on an electric delivery vehicle.  Actually it would be better if you just grew the beans yourself, in your back yard.  Or on the roof if you live in a building.  Otherwise you are a bad person.

fidgiegirl

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #27 on: October 24, 2016, 04:55:10 PM »
Argh!  I totally agree with this!  It seems like we are bombarded from all sides with "how to be better"!  Enough!  Just this morning I was listening to a podcast and it was an off-topic one about a personal mission statement.  And it's just exhausting!  All of this obsessing over living a perfectly Conscious and curated lifestyle.  It's never enough unless you're living a life with Intention.

It's enough to suck the fun out of anything.  Can't we just #netflixandchill or sit the fuck down and drink a cup of coffee without worrying about how we're spending these precious minutes of life and whether or not it's aligned with our #values?!  #beyourbestyou #createyourbestlife #killmenow

You can only enjoy the coffee if it's fair trade and the beans were delivered in reusable burlap bags on an electric delivery vehicle.  Actually it would be better if you just grew the beans yourself, in your back yard.  Or on the roof if you live in a building.  Otherwise you are a bad person.

I didn't write that.  I think your quoting got messed up.

arebelspy

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #28 on: October 24, 2016, 05:59:18 PM »
I'm pretty skeptical of our culture's obsession with constant improvement. At what point do we get to sit back and enjoy the fruits of all of this improvement? Because it certainly seems like there is an opprobrium for saying, "I'm good, I've done all my improvements, just gonna chill for awhile." That kind of stasis is not okay: you must constantly be training for your next marathon, eyeing another promotion, planning your move to a bigger house, trekking up the mountains in Peru lest you seen as complacent or (even worse?) content and accepting for life as it is.

I suspect all of this focus on improvement is a way of putting off dealing with life's more troubling and existential worries about our worthiness as human beings. If we focus on accomplishing just one more thing (and then one more after that, and another after that), we construct a system by which accomplishments serve as a straightforward metric by which we can demonstrate our worthiness to others instead of having to grapple with our internal fears around failure and rejection. I can see the appeal of this, but the problem is that it just never ends, because no amount of external accomplishment is a satisfying substitute for an internal sense of worth.

Wow.  Well said.  I had to read this out loud to my wife, and we discussed it. 

I'm very much at that point right now in your first paragraph--content with my progress, and relaxing for a bit.

It's a great place to be.  :)
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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #29 on: October 24, 2016, 06:36:32 PM »
I'm pretty skeptical of our culture's obsession with constant improvement. At what point do we get to sit back and enjoy the fruits of all of this improvement? Because it certainly seems like there is an opprobrium for saying, "I'm good, I've done all my improvements, just gonna chill for awhile." That kind of stasis is not okay: you must constantly be training for your next marathon, eyeing another promotion, planning your move to a bigger house, trekking up the mountains in Peru lest you seen as complacent or (even worse?) content and accepting for life as it is.

I suspect all of this focus on improvement is a way of putting off dealing with life's more troubling and existential worries about our worthiness as human beings. If we focus on accomplishing just one more thing (and then one more after that, and another after that), we construct a system by which accomplishments serve as a straightforward metric by which we can demonstrate our worthiness to others instead of having to grapple with our internal fears around failure and rejection. I can see the appeal of this, but the problem is that it just never ends, because no amount of external accomplishment is a satisfying substitute for an internal sense of worth.

Wow.  Well said.  I had to read this out loud to my wife, and we discussed it. 

I'm very much at that point right now in your first paragraph--content with my progress, and relaxing for a bit.

It's a great place to be.  :)

There is a line between keeping up with the Joneses and constant optimization because it is rewarding. If you do it to post in on facebook, then yeah I'm 100% behind the sentiment: "Fuck Changing Yourself". Personal optimization is worthwhile because it makes life interesting and is an natural outgrowth of a value system that incorporates curiosity both about oneself and the world. The obvious caveat is that not everyone will share the same objectives, values, and metrics of improvement. This, of course, circles back to not doing it as a way to keep up with the Joneses.

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #30 on: October 24, 2016, 07:01:47 PM »
Here's what it means to me:

Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.

-Guillaume Apollinaire

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #31 on: October 24, 2016, 09:59:25 PM »
Argh!  I totally agree with this!  It seems like we are bombarded from all sides with "how to be better"!  Enough!  Just this morning I was listening to a podcast and it was an off-topic one about a personal mission statement.  And it's just exhausting!  All of this obsessing over living a perfectly Conscious and curated lifestyle.  It's never enough unless you're living a life with Intention.

It's enough to suck the fun out of anything.  Can't we just #netflixandchill or sit the fuck down and drink a cup of coffee without worrying about how we're spending these precious minutes of life and whether or not it's aligned with our #values?!  #beyourbestyou #createyourbestlife #killmenow

You can only enjoy the coffee if it's fair trade and the beans were delivered in reusable burlap bags on an electric delivery vehicle.  Actually it would be better if you just grew the beans yourself, in your back yard.  Or on the roof if you live in a building.  Otherwise you are a bad person.

I didn't write that.  I think your quoting got messed up.

Sorry!  I guess that's what I get for trying to be snarky and funny.  Although it's more at my own expense than others', cause I really do drink fair trade coffee :/
« Last Edit: October 24, 2016, 10:01:44 PM by tyort1 »

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #32 on: October 24, 2016, 11:02:53 PM »
I change myself whenever I stop smelling good.
Are you telling me I could have been NAKED all this time and not even worried with the changing part?
Damn. No wonder Russ jumped in on THIS action.

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #33 on: October 25, 2016, 10:27:13 AM »
This is one of my favorite Alan Watts talks, and is relevant to the discussion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4jBd4fArfQ

He proposes that it is impossible to better yourself because you are the one deciding what is better. If you really knew what better is then you would already be it. He argues that it is impossible to improve when you are the one doing the improving and deciding if it is an improvement. Instead he says all you can do is observe yourself and your reactions, watch what happens. As you start to just watch your reactions and behavior your own nature will take care of itself.

What do you do when you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is nothing you can do to be better? Well it's quite a relief isn't it?

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #34 on: October 25, 2016, 10:45:11 AM »
There is a culture of happiness in the US right now that is quite damaging IMO. Social media definitely has exacerbated this with platitudes, quotes, mantras, etc. At the same time "bad" emotions and experiences are demonized. Feelings of anger, anxiety, and depression are seen as bad and something that needs to be stomped out. That is true happiness according to my social media feed, never feel the bad emotions. What people don't really understand is that happiness is pain and pain is happiness. No matter what you think will make you happy pain will come with it. So you will be happy when you get that corner office and make 100k? Are you willing to deal with the pain that goes with it? The 60-hr work weeks, stress, no seeing your kids grow up, and possible early death.  Similarly will you be happy when you reach FIRE and the pain that goes with it? The possible boredom, feelings of emptiness, not having a purpose.

Everything that we think will make us happy goes with some pain or problems. Some problems are better problems than others. You cannot escape it. Which problems do you want?

Instead of asking yourself "will this make me happy?" it might be more useful to ask yourself "am I willing to deal with the pain that will come with this?"

In the end we grow from pain, it is a necessary part of the journey. I can think of a quote from the princess bride, "Life is pain, anyone telling you different is selling you something."

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #35 on: October 25, 2016, 10:52:33 AM »
Disagree.  Life is not pain.  Nor is it orgasmic joy.  Mostly it's coasting along and an emotionally neutral level and varying up or down from that based on external and internal factors.  At least that's my experience.

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #36 on: October 25, 2016, 10:57:45 AM »
Predominately all sufferings in modern western societies happen between your ears.

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #37 on: October 25, 2016, 10:59:10 AM »
Disagree.  Life is not pain.  Nor is it orgasmic joy.  Mostly it's coasting along and an emotionally neutral level and varying up or down from that based on external and internal factors.  At least that's my experience.
That's the basis for the hedonic adaptation theory. You can however increase your baseline with continued efforts.

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #38 on: October 25, 2016, 11:23:47 AM »
Disagree.  Life is not pain.  Nor is it orgasmic joy.  Mostly it's coasting along and an emotionally neutral level and varying up or down from that based on external and internal factors.  At least that's my experience.



I did not say that life is pain, that was a quote from movie that I found funny. It is true in the sense that if someone is selling you quick fixes to improve yourself or find happiness they are selling you something.

I was trying to point out that happiness and pain go together, they are not mutually exclusive.
Do you disagree that pain is necessary for happiness? How would you know what happiness is without pain and suffering?

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #39 on: October 25, 2016, 11:29:59 AM »
Disagree.  Life is not pain.  Nor is it orgasmic joy.  Mostly it's coasting along and an emotionally neutral level and varying up or down from that based on external and internal factors.  At least that's my experience.
That's the basis for the hedonic adaptation theory. You can however increase your baseline with continued efforts.

I guess I disagree with the idea of increasing the baseline via continued effort. 

To be more precise, I would say that my baseline is actually not completely neutral, but slightly tilted toward happiness, which moderates up or down based on recent specifics (ie, goes down when stressed out at work, goes up when playing with my daughter, etc...)

And I'm OK with that.  I'm fine with being stressed out when that's an appropriate response.  What I try hard to do is not let the negative stuff spill over or dominate things, which it seems to want to do :)  On the other hand, I'm OK with the fact that I don't feel ALL the time how I feel when making fun dance videos elaborately choreographed with my daughter. 

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #40 on: October 27, 2016, 08:44:54 PM »
That is one of the advantages of growing older is that you accept yourself for who you are. At 62 any ageyou don't need to impress anyone, etc.

Fixed that for you! There is no minimum age needed to not give fucks about what other people think!
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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #41 on: October 27, 2016, 09:29:16 PM »
I'm pretty skeptical of our culture's obsession with constant improvement. At what point do we get to sit back and enjoy the fruits of all of this improvement? Because it certainly seems like there is an opprobrium for saying, "I'm good, I've done all my improvements, just gonna chill for awhile." That kind of stasis is not okay: you must constantly be training for your next marathon, eyeing another promotion, planning your move to a bigger house, trekking up the mountains in Peru lest you seen as complacent or (even worse?) content and accepting for life as it is.

I suspect all of this focus on improvement is a way of putting off dealing with life's more troubling and existential worries about our worthiness as human beings. If we focus on accomplishing just one more thing (and then one more after that, and another after that), we construct a system by which accomplishments serve as a straightforward metric by which we can demonstrate our worthiness to others instead of having to grapple with our internal fears around failure and rejection. I can see the appeal of this, but the problem is that it just never ends, because no amount of external accomplishment is a satisfying substitute for an internal sense of worth.

I agree 100% with this. Focusing on self-improvement and growth can crowd out just being and experiencing.

What's interesting to me is that I read the "fuck changing yourself" article through a completely different lens, because I am someone who has developed a system of "life hacks" that work for me. The author is tired of being told to be someone they aren't. Well, I don't believe that we can think of ourselves as entirely dependent from our environments or the context in which we find ourselves. To me, this is whether you think of what you do as fixed elements of who you are.

To be more concrete, I became a person who eats more vegetables by:
- not buying as many foods that I would rather eat when I'm hungry than vegetables
- keep vegetables visible in my home/refrigerator
- focusing on buying vegetables that don't require preparations I can't quickly handle (labor, other ingredients nec, etc.).

This past week, I've been housesitting/petsitting for a close friend who has a jam packed fridge and kitchen, which has forced me out of the top two items on that list. There are many things I'm welcome to eat while I stay there that I prefer to vegetables. The vegetables I did buy got "lost" in the crowded shuffle of all the food my friend stores. So I've eaten far fewer vegetables, what I've bought hasn't been used and now threatens to go bad creating more food waste in 1-2 weeks than I have in nearly 3 months or more (no, I didn't buy a lot. I've just gotten really good at eliminating food waste).

I am the exact same person, and my feelings about vegetables have not changed. I just cultivate a different environment in my kitchen/food storage that aims to steer me toward automatic choices that are pro-vegetable, because I know that the context influences my behavior in predictable ways. I don't have a fuck you anger or emotional response, since my identity is not linked to being a vegetable eater or not.

I'm using one example. This is something that many of us on the FIRE or frugal path have accepted about dealing with money and financial behaviors - figuring out what is behavior and something you do that could be automated to get past the cultural and environmental cues that steer you toward other choices.

The fuck changing yourself response is someone who is being tired of being told they SHOULD eat more vegetables and become a vegetable-lover and that they would be BETTER if they were more vegetable eating. It's the exact same mindset of being told that you SHOULD contribute to your 401K or save for retirement and rejecting it as though being a spendy person is something inherent to who you are. I just don't see the world that way, and it feels like everyone would be better off if they didn't view change your behavior and change who you are as being the same thing.



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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #42 on: October 27, 2016, 11:32:19 PM »
That is one of the advantages of growing older is that you accept yourself for who you are. At 62 any ageyou don't need to impress anyone, etc.

Fixed that for you! There is no minimum age needed to not give fucks about what other people think!
Metric Mouse, I <3 you!

Oh stop! You'll make me blush.

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #43 on: October 29, 2016, 12:22:13 PM »
I meant to respond to this when ARS posted it on my journal, but Chicago & the aftermath swirled things around and i got behind.

I read the article like "You don't have to keep doing what other people think you should be doing just because other people tell you you should."

Which is something I totally agree with and has taken me a long time to realize and come to grips with.

Because pretty much everyone in my life is like, "You would be so awesome IF YOU WOULD JUST..."

...lose some weight
...not wear the things you wear
...do something about your eyebrows
...wear something different
...put on some makeup
...cut your hair
...get a Master's degree
...not talk so much
...not say the things you do
...not be so emotional
...not act like a child
...not be so embarrassing

...essentially, if i could just be someone else altogether, that would be great for the other people in my life. So...fuck that. Because I am me, not some perfect Barbie doll with perfect diplomas and perfect behavior. And I don't want to be because that would be so STRESSFUL and so boring. So yes, fuck that.

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #44 on: October 29, 2016, 04:19:36 PM »
I suspect all of this focus on improvement is a way of putting off dealing with life's more troubling and existential worries about our worthiness as human beings. If we focus on accomplishing just one more thing (and then one more after that, and another after that), we construct a system by which accomplishments serve as a straightforward metric by which we can demonstrate our worthiness to others instead of having to grapple with our internal fears around failure and rejection. I can see the appeal of this, but the problem is that it just never ends, because no amount of external accomplishment is a satisfying substitute for an internal sense of worth.
Couldn't have said it better myself.  I feel like most people fear being alone in their own heads; so by constant inputting (TV, social media, etc) or tasking (improving, micro managing, etc) they are able to avoid this.  After all scary shit happens there! 

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #45 on: October 29, 2016, 09:22:20 PM »
I watch people with their latest fad exercise programs, and I have to admit, I think, God, I am such a slacker.  But I don't really like exercise programs. I like hiking and biking and surfing.  What I really need to do is more of those.

In other words, I need to be more of myself.  Like, I'm not an extrovert, so I shouldn't try to be one.  I'm not a salesperson, so I shouldn't try to be one. But, I can be a little more outgoing.  And I can work on being more effective at being persuasive.

For me, a lot of being a better me involves being nicer to people, more thoughtful toward others, putting others first.  So fuck changing myself.  But fuck yes to making others' days, jobs, lives better.

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #46 on: October 31, 2016, 11:18:02 AM »
Couldn't have said it better myself.  I feel like most people fear being alone in their own heads; so by constant inputting (TV, social media, etc) or tasking (improving, micro managing, etc) they are able to avoid this.  After all scary shit happens there!

For me that is why meditation is helpful. It allows us to just sit still, do nothing, and watch.

"A person who thinks all the time has nothing to think about except thoughts. So he loses touch with reality, and lives in a world of illusion."

People are scared to be alone with themselves and their thoughts:
http://www.iflscience.com/brain/people-would-rather-experience-electric-shock-be-alone-their-thoughts/

In any case the majority of your thoughts are not even your own, so they should not be trusted anyway.


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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #47 on: November 10, 2016, 06:51:06 AM »
I think part of the pressure to change stems from other people's insecurities too.  There is this one lady at work who is about my age (early 40s) and feels free to give me unsolicited advice about various things, such as my walking to work (she disapproves that I do that) and not liking how I wear my hair (she thinks it looks too "childish.")  We are not friends, merely coworkers and acquaintances.  Interestingly, she is not my superior--and in fact, although I'm not her superior either, I objectively outrank her at work.  So when I think about why this person feels the need to volunteer her input regarding my lifestyle choices, I have to think it is due to her own insecurities.  It happens that I prefer to live my own life over living hers, and I therefore have felt perfectly free to not take any of her suggestions.  I suppose it doesn't help her cause that she's overweight (no doubt from never walking anywhere), and that I don't like HER hair either (though I'm not so impolite as to tell her so since she's never asked for my opinion any more than I've asked for hers).  Heh.

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #48 on: November 18, 2016, 03:46:57 PM »
I suppose it doesn't help her cause that she's overweight (no doubt from never walking anywhere), and that I don't like HER hair either (though I'm not so impolite as to tell her so since she's never asked for my opinion any more than I've asked for hers).  Heh.

So thinking this is OK, and telling your internet buddies this is OK, as long as you don't say it to her? I am missing something.

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Re: Fuck Changing Yourself
« Reply #49 on: November 18, 2016, 04:03:11 PM »
LB: I think your co-worker is very rude. Unsolicited advice is never helpful.  Great that you are walking to work. WE spend at least an hour every day walking to stay healthy.