IFG UPDATE: March 31

Let’s consider how we make meaning out of the situations and people we encounter day-to-day, the resulting narratives that we tell ourselves, how they change over time, and the impact those stories have on our lived experiences.

As always, please feel free to get in touch with us if there’s anything we can help with.

– Genesis & Chris
ifg@tufts-skidmore.es
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P.S. It’s not too late to join the 21-Day No-Complaint Experiment! Pick up a wristband in Monte Esquinza and track the number of consecutive days you’re able to spend practicing anti-complaining.

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The Narrative Fallacy

No question, the use of story is a persuasive tactic. But why? Because they please and pleasure the senses. When stories are applied to self-perception, they are called delusions.

I don’t think the idea is to strip the meaning and specialness out of life. There is still very much a purpose and uniqueness in us. That is innate. But humbleness, clarity, and restraint – those are learned and practiced forms of excellence. They are the extension of honesty. This doesn’t mean you’re unappreciative or pessimistic. Or good food turns to ash in your mouth. That you have to hate the things you want to like. It doesn’t change so much how you live life, as much as it does how you talk about it.

Still, that is not easy either. We are wired to think a certain way – linearly, towards purpose, in terms of justification. Ambivalence, in the jungle, was death. The mind strives for congruency and lashes out violently when there isn’t any. It’s also why people wake up one day and have no idea how the world works anymore. That’s why people say things like ‘Do you have any idea who I am?’ with a straight face.

AND

The memories we rehearse are the ones we live with

…And so the story becomes our memory, the story gets rehearsed ever more, and the story becomes the thing we tell ourselves the next time we need to make a choice.

If your story isn’t helping you, work to rehearse a new story instead.

Because it’s our narrative that determines who we will become.


Consider

塞翁失马

A farmer had only one horse. One day, his horse ran away.

His neighbors said, “I’m so sorry. This is such bad news. You must be so upset.”

The man just said, “We’ll see.”

A few days later, his horse came back with twenty wild horses following. The man and his son corralled all 21 horses.

His neighbors said, “Congratulations! This is such good news. You must be so happy!”

The man just said, “We’ll see.”

One of the wild horses kicked the man’s only son, breaking both his legs.

His neighbors said, “I’m so sorry. This is such bad news. You must be so upset.”

The man just said, “We’ll see.”

The country went to war, and every able-bodied young man was drafted to fight. The war was terrible and killed every young man, but the farmer’s son was spared, since his broken legs prevented him from being drafted.

His neighbors said, “Congratulations! This is such good news. You must be so happy!”

The man just said, “We’ll see.””


Practice

How to Be Mindful With Facebook

Take a moment before you log on to your phone or computer.

Evaluate your intentions.

Before posting anything on social media, ask yourself three questions:

Is it true?

Is it kind?

Is it necessary?

Post only if the answer to all three is yes.”

AND

The Low Information Diet


Ask Yourself

What do I observe in the present moment?

How do I feel, physically, right now?

What narrative might I be telling myself about these observations and feelings?


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