Day 150: Ownership, Investment, Expected Returns – the Capitalist in Me

In re-reading the blogs I wrote on the Prideful Character, there is one aspect that has surfaced several times that I haven’t explicitly opened up – and that is the point of ownership. It came up in the blog ‘Day 146: The Credit is Mine!’ as well as in my last blog ‘Day149: I don’t need no-one’s help’ where I mentioned feeling that I did not ‘own’ the correction to a point if someone assisted me to see it.

An example of the role of ownership within the Prideful Character would be where I was ‘in charge’ of a certain project for a while, and then at some point needed to hand it over to someone else. I would experience major resistance, because I would feel like it was ‘my point’ that I didn’t want to give up. So – where is the self-interest within such scenarios? Because, obviously, in those moments it was necessary to re-arrange responsibilities for the effective running of the larger group – so if I within myself fight such a change, then it is due to points of self-interest.

The Prideful Character, as has become clear, runs on the need for praise and validation – so that self may ‘feel’ valuable/worthy/good enough. So, what I would do in relation to the Prideful Character when I was assigned a task – I would define myself according to that task – feeling that ‘I am now responsible’ or if I would do the task well, I would give myself ‘positive scoring points’ based on that task/project. So, the projects would become a source of praise and validation that I would give myself – thinking that – others must see me that way as well. So – when asked to hand over the project, I would experience resistance in that I felt I would be losing this source of ‘value’ – but what’s more – I would feel annoyed thinking that, ‘now I will have to spend my time creating a different project that will give me a sense of value’ lol.

And that’s an interesting point – where I felt I had invested my time/effort into a project and so didn’t want to give it up – because, hey, I finally feel satisfied about my ‘performance’ in how I am handling this project, I am finally feeling good about myself in terms of this project and so I feel I am deriving ‘value’ from it – lol, in other words – my investment is finally starting to pay off and now you want me to hand it over?!?

All of the above runs in the background of course, on a conscious level I would just experience that sense of ‘ownership’ towards the project – where I would feel it’s ‘my project’ and then the resistance in not wanting to hand it over.

The reason I find this point to be so interesting is that during my economy studies there was one point that I just didn’t understand or couldn’t grasp in ‘how it would make sense to base an economic system on that principle’ - and that was the point of ‘the capitalist’ and the principle that those who own something get to earn profits from it – because, well, to own it they invested a lot of money in it, so now they should earn returns on it in the form of profits. Somehow this point evaded me – who came up with this logic?? Because once you own something, you’re not doing anything per se, you’re just ‘busy owning something’ – yet that would give you the right to an income through profits.

And here I am, lol, throughout my life living out this exact same logic without even realizing it – where it would only become apparent when I was asked to hand over my project to someone else, as I’d then throw a hissy fit inside myself – and even then it was not always clear ‘why’ exactly this was bothering me. Yet here it is, the capitalist in me, clinging to that which I have invested my time, my effort, myself in – because I was deriving a continuous flow of ‘earnings’ from it as a sense of value. It wasn’t even the project in itself that I didn’t want to ‘lose’ – it was the ‘returns’ that I expected to receive if I continued to ‘own’ that project.

It’s fascinating that in anything we do – we’re not working with the inherent value of that which we’re busy with, acknowledging and honoring the inherent value of contributing time and effort towards a particular project because we see how it assists others, how it makes a difference – no, we’ll only acknowledge the imaginary value we assign to ourselves for participating in that project – making it about ‘how good a person I am’, ‘how good I feel about myself’. And in the same way – we won’t recognize our own inherent value – we feel the need to ‘derive’ it from something or someone else – the need to ‘own’ something so that IT may GIVE me value.

It is quite saddening to realize that we had to create such consequence on a global level for the outer reality to reflect and show us just one point: that we never accepted ourselves, that we never appreciated ourselves and that we never honored ourselves as life, as the only real value.


Day 149: I Don't Need No-One's Help

Intertwined within the whole Prideful Character exists the refusal to ask for help.

In previous blogs I discussed how the prideful character within me originated from a self-definition as ‘someone who is good/successful at anything’ – and how this gave rise to a fear or making mistakes or not being good enough. So, asking for help has been a tough point for me to learn – because I perceived asking for help as admitting failure, believing that: if I can’t do the task on my own, then I am in some way not good enough, ‘not up to the task’ –and now I have to ‘degrade’ myself to asking another for help.

This perception started in the class room. The teacher would explain something , we would do some of the exercises together, and then we’d have to do it on our own. I believed that – after the teacher had explained everything and after we had done exercises on our own – I ‘should’ be able to get it. And I mostly did. Those that asked for help, I saw as the ‘dumb kids’ – and I always pitied them and felt sorry for them that they NEEDED to ask for help – that they were so incapable or inadequate within understanding and processing the information that they couldn’t apply it for themselves in exercises and had to put up their hand in embarrassment and ask the teacher for help once more. I always felt lucky that I was spared from that experience.

Of course, outside of the classroom – when it’s not merely about learning information, someone showing you exactly what the rules are that need to be applied and then applying it – I ran into many moments that I actually ‘didn’t know what to do’ or where I had an idea of what I was supposed to do but I had no rulebook to fall back on or a script to follow. I didn’t realize that – yes, when you’re working with information that strictly follows certain rules and you’re actually working with ‘copy/pasting’ a certain format of resolution unto certain information – then sure, if you understand the rules and the conditions under which to apply them – then you simply do it for yourself. But most problem-solving in ‘real life’, outside of the class room, outside of maths, outside of grammar, outside of physics or chemistry – doesn’t follow such strict rules and doesn’t first hand me a formula to apply. I didn’t see the difference between the two – all I saw was: I have to get a project done or I have to master something or I have to direct a certain situation: and I find I am unable to do it!!! AAAAAAAAAAH!!!! What’s wrong with me!!!! I SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO THIS!!! Lolol.

Fascinatingly, instead of simply admitting that: well, I don’t know what to do – let me ask someone else who might be able to assist me – I would just muddle on in all stubbornness – regardless of how ineffective I was and regardless of how long it was taking me to make any progress at all. I felt that – at least if I don’t ask for help, then I’m not officially stupid or inadequate – then I might ‘suddenly’ understand it, then I might find in my memory some piece of information that will be the key and all will be well in the end and I’ll see that I could do it on my own all along, it just took me a little longer.

I made many things unnecessarily hard for me this way. Also within my process for instance, if I didn’t see how I had created a certain experience for myself or if I was unable to make a decision – rather than speaking to someone about it and asking for their perspective, I would just try to ‘find the point on my own’, while in the meantime still sitting with the same experience or accumulating anxieties and doubts for not being able to make a decisionthinking that, if I ask for someone’s assistance, then I’m not the one walking my process, then even if I’m the one opening up the point further in writing and self-forgiveness and self-correction – I would think I didn’t ‘own’ that point of correction – because I wasn’t the one to see the point for myself.

Lol – it would feel like cheating and looking in the back of the book for the answer to the question I wasn’t able to resolve on my own. Again – a point I created in school where I made it quite a point not to go and look for the answers in the back of the book until I had an answer of my own – then it was okay to go and check if I had the right answer. But to go to the back of the book to see the answer while I didn’t have an inkling of how to solve the problem, no, that to me was totally unacceptable – that was cheating and dishonest. Lol – quite a morality point I created around ‘honesty’ here. But that’s in essence how I perceived asking for assistance – that I was cheating and that I was taking a short-cut. Those answers that I would go look up at the back of the book – because, yes, sometimes I was so stuck and desperate that I would go peak – after reading the answer I could suddenly see how they got to the answer and I would be able to work it out for myself in how to get to that answer – but those exercises didn’t ‘count’ then – because I had ‘cheated’.

So, a word of advice would be to look at your perceptions around ‘asking for assistance’ – specifically look at your childhood/schooling years – and to remove these associations, judgments and beliefs. If you have a look: it simply is a matter of fact that through defining ourselves through certain ideas, views, beliefs, opinions, personalities, etc – we have limited ourselves in being able to assess information for what it is and directing it effectively. If we each stick to trying to do everything on our own – it’s going to take forever to find solutions and walk them into correction, because in order to see information for what it is, we have to be able to also identify the lenses through which we view information – but if we have accepted those lenses as ‘normal’, then how can we see that they are lenses? Fortunately, each one has lived a different life, with different parents, with different upbringing, with different experiences – and so in asking another for perspective, they might be able to see something that we hadn’t considered on our own, because the particular lens we were looking through, the particular glasses we were wearing didn’t allow us to see that point.

So, in working together, asking for support and others’ perspectives and suggestions, we have the greatest chance at walking this process most effectively and formulating solutions most effectively – because in the end, it’s not about where some piece of information/some suggestions came from – it’s about putting all the pieces of information together, to see the whole picture and then directing it in terms of what is best for all. In the end, information is information, it cannot really be ‘owned’ – information is here – it doesn’t belong to anyone .


Day 148: Let's Stop Playing the Game of Thrones

For context, please read my previous blog-posts:
Day 146: The Credit is Mine!
Day 147: A Memory, a Trigger Word

In the post ‘Day 146 – The Credit is Mine!’ I saw how the prideful character is like a queen on a throne requiring subjects to come and ‘bow for the queen’ – where the bowing stands representative of others giving ‘positive feedback’ as ‘praise’. In my last post – ‘Day 147:A Memory, a Trigger Word’ I explained how I realized the word ‘queen’ exists as a polarized word within myself – having both positive and negative charges. I used a Memory to show how – when this word was used by someone to describe me – I experienced a flood of reactions as the word ‘struck’ to the heart of who I was living as within myself as the prideful character.

I had a look then at my relationship to the word ‘queen’ and I could immediately see several Disney movies and fairytales that had influenced my understanding and definition of this word. When watching the movies and reading/hearing the stories – I would admire the character of the ‘kindhearted’ princess (who will become a kindhearted queen) and I would fear the character of the ‘evil queen’ that usually plays some part in the stories as well – be it as an actual queen, or as an evil stepmother, as an evil fairy, etc. – they all embody the same character of a spiteful woman in an authoritative position.

As I moved through the story, I would identify with the kindhearted princess – because that’s who I would want to be and how I would want to be seen by others. I’m sure this is the case for most girls – I haven’t heard any girl saying she ‘liked’ the evil queen characters more than the princess characters. But fascinatingly, when having that picture of the ‘kind princess’ who is loved and revered by all who are fortunate enough to know her, in front of self as what self would like to live and experience in this world – then disappointment comes soon enough, because – guess what: people don’t love and revere someone just for who they are. In my experience, it was grades, success and good performance that got me praise – not ‘me being myself’.

And in so desperately attempting to hold on to that picture, that ideal, that feeling of being praised, of being a princess, a kindhearted queen – I split myself – because it was only on the outside, in how I presented myself towards others that I would play this character – trying to be the ‘good girl’ – but within myself, a fear and anxiety grew that turned into an obsession – because what if this praise stops or what if others stop seeing me in a good light, it would feel as though I am losing myself – so in the background, within myself, hidden from sight – would develop a different character – the prideful character – the exact character that I would fear when watching the Disney movies or when hearing fairy tales: the evil queen.

It’s interesting when looking at it, that in the Disney movies – they tend to cut the story line before the princess actually becomes a queen – or just after – you assume that the kind princess remains true to her ‘kind nature’ – but we don’t actually know, they don’t show you – what kind of queen does the kindhearted princess become? Perhaps the truth of the matter is seen as too shocking for children – what if the children would see that the kindhearted princess becomes the evil queen over time – what if they could see that the good queen and the evil queen are but two sides of the same coin? For that matter – what kind of a princess was the evil queen before she was an evil queen? Isn’t that what the movie Maleficent has contributed in showing?

Children have a degree of innocence and ‘good intentions’ when they are young and we like to believe when we grow up that we are doing good, that we are living up to those good intentions and that we are ‘doing the best we can’ – but who are we truly? Who are we within? Who are we when others leave the room and our backchat about them flourishes? When we scheme and plot to surpass and outshine others? When we throw tantrums for not being praised? When we judge other out of sheer jealousy? We’re all wanting to be kings and queens – good ones on the outside, but evil on the inside – how about we stop trying to be kings and queens? How about we learn to appreciate ourselves and support ourselves to live by principles that are best for all – and do the same for others? Do away with fear, do away with hiding, do away with manipulation and deception – is that not what we all would truly want?

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