How to disagree with something, a guide.

A statement is made that upsets or angers you or a plan is devised that you feel is incorrect. Say a politician created a law or made actions using their position that do not fit in your perceptions of what is correct, ethical or even humane. A situation in which your brain is overflown with negativity. In short; you disagree with something. Fabulous, seeing how disagreement is one of the most effective mindsets that make every individual just that, an individual, as it is a mindset that strongly conveys your opinions. But there is some thing to note:

Disagreement can be executed in several ways; you can blatantly blurt out: ‘I disagree!’ and leaving it at that. With this “Loudest voice” mentality you provide a short and powerful statement, but in the end only show bigotry and bluntness.

Another, more powerful, thoughtful and effective way is to contemplate your disagreement and providing an educated counter argument. Not sure how to thoughtfully disagree? Here’s my take.

  • Understanding and Empathy

These first two steps elucidate the process of orientation: Understanding what someone is claiming and why. Now, in these steps you do not direct the actions towards yourself, try as much as possible to objectively and truly understand what the individual is communicating.

Initially, ask questions like ‘What is he precisely saying?’, ‘With what resources or methods does he want to execute this?’ and ‘What are his proposed benefits?’, and other similar questions. Research the claims made, find the grounding that the statements are based upon.

This is also the phase of empathy; the phase of understanding. Solely find information that supports the claims made and that the conflicting individual agrees with. Find out why the person you disagree with thinks what he thinks, and find all material that he uses to support him and understands why he thinks that way. Know your fight.

  • Specific disagreements

After researching and getting to know your enemy, you know exactly what he is saying, where to find evidence of what he said and what the specifics of his claims are. You didn’t get carried away in your anger and have comprised a list of claims that is as objective as you could make it. It purely says what he said, not personal conflict shown yet.

Now is the time to get, calm and collectedly, angry. What are the points you disagree on? Not the whole statement, but the exact points. Was inhumanity exhumed in a certain step of a proposed plan? Were unethical actions planned as horrid means to an end? Have racist implications been made? Is the message of the whole statement a hateful message? Find certain, specific aspects of the matter. Not the generality. It shows that you know what your countering, it attacks your opponent more effectively.

  • Substantiating

You’ve chosen the aspects that counter your philosophy regarding life and that are antonymous to your view of humanity. The proceeding step is to show that you know what you are saying. Support your claims. Explain why you think that the statements were incorrect, but don’t stop at the statement ‘It is inhumane.’ as this is why you chose to attack that certain point in the first place. Why is it inhumane? Who does it hurt? Why is it bad that those people are hurt? Why is something said unethical or hateful? Explain why the points you chose are outright preposterous. Be in-depth, explain to the roots of your personality and of your nature why the statements are disagreeable to you.

  • Countering

The comprehensive list of disagreed points has now been expanded to an essay thoroughly illuminating your disagreement. Yet writing this essay purely as a rebuttal to a statement is half the effort and effect. It shows thoughtfulness, resourcefulness and cleverness but leaves room for integrity.

Counter the statement, make your own statements, concerning the matter, that support your views of correctness and ethics. Explain how your views are better, and don’t be afraid to release your hold on the original matter and write on what morally right in your point of view. Write what you think is correct, why you think that and why it is better.

 

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Adrift

via Daily Prompt: Adrift

I awoke adrift on an unfamiliar dingy raft beside that great island of confusion and madness. How I got there I don’t know, why I was there is a conundrum even greater to me. A place occupied by disarray and chaos of grandeur was the only thing that awaited me on that plane of insanity bereft of any interest. An overwhelming sense of solitariness came over me as I searched fruitlessly for anything my mind would recognise and would comfort my wrecked head. As I reached the place, pushed ever forward atop my raft guided by the endless waves of the great waters behind me, thoughts ran more and more at disarray. I came ever closer to that grotesque continent, yet it stayed ever out of reach.

I awoke adrift in my bed beside my own thoughts, seeing them from a point of view which was not a view of my own.

Becoming unmoored.

via Daily Prompt: Unmoored

Unmoor, verb: to loose (a vessel) from moorings or anchorage.

My head was no longer my own, my mind was wandering from place to place, from hither to thither, my thoughts were unmoored. After trying for days on end, I was able to unanchor my contemplation, I was able to let my mind go free. I could observe my thoughts, opinions and reasonings, I can let a train of thought carry on its own track and observe where it went, what turns it took and better myself by finding the inappropriate inclinations embedded in my mind, inclinations I could never observe before as they were part of me.

Becoming able to unmoor my thoughts was the best thing I have ever achieved, as I am now able to observe my unrestricted brain and conclude things about myself, and mankind, I was never able to witness before. It improved my self.

A new idea

So I have this idea for a weekly/bi-weekly feature: ‘Psychology for all’ (a working title).

It’s going to be a feature which explains psychology, concepts concerning psychology and other ideas and theories in psychology in a comfortably readable way, to explain it to everyone.

I feel that psychology is a field of science which is, still, misunderstood or partly unknown -Not everyone knows what psychology is actually about, opposed to things like physics or maths-

I want to also include theories in philosophy, another underappreciated or misunderstood field of knowledge in the modern day.

Would you be interested? Feedback/ideas? Please leave them! Thank you! 😀

My beautiful epiphany

Not too long ago I had a moment of realisation of unimaginable scale, at least to me. It was a realisation concerning all of mankind; me, my friends, family, partner, a random person in the train and even you. Allow me to explain my epiphany and tell you why it was so impressive to me.

What I realised, with my feeble mind, was that we all think and have thought things. All the little things you, the reader, think about everyone else thinks about. Everything you thought about or have an opinion on, everyone has. Everyone has a mind as bogglingly complex as yours, everyone has opinions as deeply grounded as deep as yours in your brain. The people who write their opinions in columns or blogs have thought about their opinion in the same way you have, and carry the same emotions as you, and the latter is possibly even more boggling.

Everything you’ve had emotional feelings about; your youth, school experience, work and love everyone else has had feelings about. Just as deep as you have had. every person you see, passing in cars in the opposite direction or walk past in the street has emotions, is thinking something when you see them and have a goal or direction in their life. 

And the fact that everyone has a goal they’re working towards was the realisation that was awe-inspiring to me. The fact that everyone is there for a reason, for a purpose. And possibly of no purpose for you, but for them. And this is the point I want to stress: Every single person exists for a reason, every individual you see. Every man working in a field that you pass by train, every store clerk, every child and every elderly person who scuttles by on his old day. That man who was driving towards you on the other side of the highway wasn’t just a car you saw once in your life, never to be seen again but it was a man with a goal he was driving towards, possibly returning home to his family he loves or going to work, possibly with the same unwillingness you have had when you had a job you didn’t like. And the same emotions concerning those situations.

And it is not just this one man, but every single car passing you on the highway has someone in it with a mind as complex as yours. They all work towards goals and have directions and purpose in their lives. Every single person. This realisation at first made me have a small existential crisis, as I realised that my brain, in the large picture, is not unique. No one’s is. We all think, feel and see. We all experience. And then even more amazing is the fact that, when you really look at it, everyone is then unique. Everyone, through the experience of their childhood, education and all else has a unique thought process, unique “sets of opinions” (read some opinions are shared with others, but you will never find someone who shares the exact same opinions on everything ever as you).

I guess all that I realised that everyone is a person, and that was amazing, awe-inspiring and beautiful to me.

A lesson in inspiration

I had bought a magazine on photography, as I was quite keen on photography and like to make pictures myself. I had bought a camera, second hand, a few months ago and was getting the hang of the new mechanics. I did have a camera before, but not one of this quality.

I had bought the magazine to see what other photographers were doing, and what things to look at when taking photos. It was a magazine filled with works of critical acclaim made by highly awarded photographers. I had found a certain photographer whose style inspired me thoroughly in one of the ‘trending photographers’ sections. He used objects that don’t belong in a certain scene; like a soda can hanging from a tree or in a small old town in an old clothes store a bunch of new clothes.

I had gotten so inspired by his work that I went out to (almost) recreate his work. I made some pictures in an untouched part of the woods where I’d put some out of place objects. I made the photos, processed them and printed a few of them. I got so happy with my work that I put a lot of effort in publishing them, and the thing I could barely dream of happened: A popular photography website found my photo and posted it on their front page. For the publications I wrote a small piece about what made me take the picture and mentioned the artist who inspired me at the first place.

It got seen by many people.

One day, ecstatic from the popularity of my picture, I received a message from the photographer who inspired me at first and got very excited when I saw his name. Yet the message was very apt to cool my happiness and made me look at inspiration in a very different way.

Hello,

I saw your pictures online, and couldn’t help but see the similarities with my work. After reading one of the texts you wrote besides one of the publishings about how I inspired you I got somewhat angry, and here’s why:

Inspiration is, to me, a way of stealing my work. I worked hard on creating that idea, those misplaced items. I wanted to make a classical, somewhat boring scene interesting and I did this by the method you found in my work. I worked hard on this, setting a challenge for myself, thinking of the solution and I created this idea. And you stole it. You found the composition interesting (which is what I wanted to achieve) but you recreated it blindly, not thinking of any of the reasons behind the concept.

Next time, when you feel this ‘inspiration’: contact the artist, ask why he did a thing and from THAT answer, namely in this case to make a boring scene interesting, create your own solution to that problem. It makes your artistic mind more creative and keeps this concept I made connected with my name. This feels like artistic theft. If you would’ve asked me how or why I did what I did with my photos I would not have been as angry as I am now.

Get inspired, but don’t make inspiration your drive. Be inquisitive.

This message, though somewhat selfishly worded, made me think of inspiration in such a different way. Whenever I’m inspired in such a way that I want to recreate something, I contact the original artist to find out why he did what inspired me, and make my own solution to the problem he wanted to solve. I found it made me smarter and, moreover, made the artist I admired aware of my admiration for his work. It’s far more personal and making art feels much more satisfying.

Create your own solutions, be inquisitive, don’t keep to blind inspiration.

Making art

‘How do you make a piece of art?’

Making art is difficult at many a stage. No matter what corner of the artistic spectrum is yours. Starting a piece, continuing to create and then finishing are all, in their own rights, difficult steps. Here is a little help through the process of creating.

First: The start. Pushing yourself to write those first words, make that first brush stroke, put your pencil on the paper for those first lines, pick up your instrument and start playing those first chords, go outside to take that first photo or actually open your mouth to let your vocal cords vibrate harmoniously to produce beautiful vocal tones. We all have to start at the beginning. Pushing yourself  to begin is difficult, and here is a reason why.

Disappointment. Or, to nuance, the possibility of disappointment, the knowing that those first chords or the first drawn lines could be wrong or incorrect. It is the knowing that this is possible and the effort put into starting your art, grabbing your things and actually beginning, would be all for naught. But there is also the possibility that starting that piece of work could be the start of your masterpiece. But for the possibility of disappointment, you let your masterpiece go unseen or uncreated. The classical idea of a missed opportunity. Start something knowing that it’s possible that it can fail at first, accept it if it fails, or doesn’t, but then:

Keep going. You have your things you need, you’ve begun putting your efforts into your work, you’re in the mindset and in the flow of expressing yourself.

Keep going! If your work didn’t turn out, start another, try redoing it or, most difficultly and skilful, keep working on that failed work. If you’re drawing’s not going in the direction you’d like, keep going. Keep working and finish it! But remember: Whatever your decision, there is no shame in starting a new work. As long as you keep trying to improve, you keep doing what you like and keep using your skills. You have to keep working on your art. Finally finishing your work after several failed works, after days of trying and after mountains of disappointment and looking at your finished work, your effort exposed on a canvas or in a song, and being happy with that work will be the best feeling. The relief after disappointment of a work working out is the most exhilarating and, most importantly, satisfying. The long awaited and anticipated satisfaction of being happy with your work is amazing.

But then? What to do with your finished piece of pure beauty? Put it in a drawer? Store it on a hard drive to be forgotten? Of course not, silly. Publish it!

Now, this will be a difficult thing. Search some tips on how to publish things, that’s not up to me as I have no clue how to make your work exposed widely, but publishing is a thing I can do, proven by you reading this. Publishing can be hard. Criticism is a thing you will receive, and for some will be something that is difficult to handle. Understandably.

After all this effort and hard work the last thing you’d want is for someone you’ve never met before is to point out what you’ve done “wrong”. But we can get through this. Criticism is something to be happy with, as long as the critic is nice about it. Use it to improve your skill, look at things from a point of view you’ve never taken or thought about. Accepting criticism is one of the best things you can do for yourself. It broadens your view immensely, it makes you look at your work from a view besides your own, a more objective view of someone who does not know your story of making that piece.

Another thing people find difficult when publishing their work is a certain mindset which is very understandable after all that work, after all those disappointments and set-backs. That the piece they made is theirs, and no one else’s. After that work it’s yours, not to be exposed to others but only to you, the creator of that work. What ought to be said is that this isn’t selfishness and should not be treated or degraded as such, as this feeling is a deeply seated one of protection of something that is loved by someone.

But the contentness formed from feeling that your work is beautiful and perfect and yours is destructive to your abilities. Never publishing anything makes you unable to receive feedback and criticism, and does not allow for progressing and refining your skills and crafts.

And remember: Perfection is a myth, as you as the maker will always see things you’re unhappy about in your work from spending a lot of time with it, and something that is perfect to one will not be perfect for another. Strive for perfection, accepting that you will never reach it as perfection doesn’t exist. But do finish it, and publish it.

So, here we are. I started writing this after a long day of postponing. There were several unpublished stories drafted up and deleted before this, and after all that: It’s published.

The next step is up to you, as the consumer or receiver of this, or any work. Leave feedback, criticise, but be nice about it. pointing out the things you like is feedback too, as the artist may have taken it for granted and never looked at the things you find beautiful in the same way you do. It will help the maker infinitely.

Routine

Routine

Routine is a thing us humans all depend on. From psychological things like the things you do when you get home after a long day, checking of your phone is front right, your keys are front left and your wallet is back right or the thing you do when you’re stressed like opening Facebook or scrolling through twitter looking for a distraction. Or physical things like scheduled house cleaning, the route you walk home, your partner walking on your left when you’re out together or other small things like the way you like your desk ordered -yes, messy is an option-

Small routine is wonderful for the mind, as it is a thing that creates the two main types of certainty:

Immediate certainty

You can pretty much immediately execute this routine because these routines are so small that most of them take next to no time and you immediately see the result of your routine, or you’re able to reasonably expect what the result would be.

Most small routines are socially accepted, as these are routines widely practised and appreciated. Almost everyone has these routines leading to these certainties.

Long term certainty

These routines create this certainty, as you can be pretty sure that these routines can be executed long term: thus you do not in any way have to worry. In stressful times these routines create a mental safety and handhold: Even when all else in your life suddenly changes , you will always be able to have your keys in your front left pocket, or put your phone to the right of your keyboard when you sit down at your desk.

But

As you possibly have noticed with yourself, if any of your routines fail to be executable, panic ensues. You’re outside and your wallet isn’t back right you freak out, or you’re stressed so want to open an app for distraction but your phone is out of charge. Failure to execute small routines create mental disarray and discomfort. But we can prevent this!

To prevent this, I ask you this: Next time you walk home, walk a completely different route, when you’re stressed out: find another distraction you’ve never tried before, put all of your pockety things in different pockets, or just throw out your whole set of daily routines and, just for the day, do it all differently! this will make you more adaptable to changes in your routines.

So examine your life, find your routines and, every so often, do it differently, or not do it at all! It’s lovely and discomforting and all.

Thank you for reading!

Prudence

via Daily Prompt: Prudent

Prudence, the mother of all virtues. The ability to make decisions based on rational thoughts and reasoning. Making a prudent decision, the thing that makes humans amazing.

The ability to outweigh -in a reasonable span of time- the pros and cons, the requirements and even the consequences (the future!) of a decision is an incredible feat of the mind.

Being prudent is a wonderful thing, as you will seldom have the feeling of having made a bad decision, thought prudence is often confused with cautiousness which some people see as a bad quality. Bad decisions are so harmful to mankind, as it is a truly painful feeling that can in no way be reversed or changed, a pain that can not be comforted without the medicine of time. Decisions made are decisions made, and if said decision was a prudent one happiness and gladness and content ensue.

Prudent

 

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