Too Tired To Fight

Week 9 of the Pessimist to Semi-Optimist Project

Last weekend I had lots of productive plans to write more books, but had to make time for the arrival of a new baby and to attend a real estate speculation seminar. I stayed overnight at the hospital with the new baby which made me super tired, since I had no sleep for over 36 hours. At the real estate seminar I was appalled by the prices (Toronto is in a housing bubble) and people were jumping in by borrowing loans to pay for multiple properties. People buy properties and then rent out, in hopes they can flip for a profit later. I did not agree with investing money as the data presented by various financial experts  believe that the current market is not sustainable. The people around me all disagreed and thought I was being stupid, naive, etc. for not wanting to become rich.

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Image source: aktinmotion

The combo of not sleeping and being an outlier of a group triggered horrible memories of my father’s death once again (I was accused of crying wolf when he got sick, then he died) and I fell into a deep, deep depression. I spent some time trying to figure out why I was wasting energy fighting people with my opinions about their investments and why they were making me feel bad. I concluded I was worried about them throwing money away and potentially going bankrupt in the future and they were saying crappy things to me because they wanted to control me/convince me to buy in.

Brain-xercise Week 9: Acceptance chart

The thought of “too tired to fight” is partially true because I didn’t have the energy to do so. However, there is also no point, as written up in this New Yorker article, entitle Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds. As stated in the article, a human advantage is our ability to co-operate. When we believe in something, a confirmation bias occurs which means people will only accept information to confirm their beliefs and reject anything that doesn’t. If we were mice and didn’t believe there were cats around, we would be eaten. However, this trait survived possibility due to hyper-sociability.

A community of knowledge can become dangerous when a group of people believe in something that is not true. If one person believes in a baseless fact, let’s say mice eat people and a second and third person agrees, this suddenly becomes a belief. When a fourth person comes into to contradict this with evidence it’s not true, they are shot down by the three people. It appears that providing data will not influence the group, but appealing to emotion may help. Researchers are still trying to figure this out!

Acceptance chart – a few questions to ponder on before accepting outcome of a situation

  1. What is the situation and why does it bother me?
  2. What is the cost/benefit of accepting the situation?
  3. Conclusions on accepting the situation

acceptance-chart

Semi-Optimistic Thoughts: Acknowledge that people have free will and you can only give them your opinion. At the same time, when people try to strongly impose their opinions on you, recognize you have the choice to deflect and ignore critical thoughts that may hurt you. They may not agree to disagree, but you have to protect yourself! Oh and sleep is really, really, really important!

Song I’m listening to this week – “Be Yourself” – Audioslave

And even when you’ve paid enough, been pulled apart or been held up
With every single memory of the good or bad faces of luck
don’t lose any sleep tonight
I’m sure everything will end up alright

You may win or lose

But to be yourself is all that you can do
To be yourself is all that you can do

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