Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here.

Discuss the November 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes.

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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Sakshi Singh1 »

Hello scott. I've a question too. My question is "How to deal with the constant pressure and expectations of parents?" By this I mean the constant pressure and expectations of being successful, because of this pressure I've extreme anxiety before starting anything new.
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Omondi Peter »

What do you do to keep up a conversation going when you are literally out of content or vibes or words?
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Zanne Crystle »

Hi, Scott! What are your thoughts on the idea that people come into our lives for a reason and a season? For instance, many people view divorce as a failure, but if you spend a few happy years with someone and then part ways when the happiness is gone, it can still be considered a success as that relationship served its purpose for a specific period of time. If you repeat this process with multiple people, you can still have a mostly fulfilling life instead of spending 30-40 years unhappy with one person. What do you think about this perspective?
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Nasir Shaikh »

Hi Scott, I may not have a specific question, but it's somewhat related. Have you experienced a significant failure or faced a situation that seemed irrecoverable? If so, what lessons did you learn from that experience? Your insights could help me understand what to avoid or expect in life.
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Otieno Lydia wrote: January 3rd, 2024, 1:55 am

How can I identify my ideal career path?
I believe that question was already asked and answered:

How do I figure out what my dream job or business is and then successfully make it a reality?
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Otieno Lydia wrote: January 3rd, 2024, 1:56 am How can I effectively network to enhance my career opportunities?
I believe I essentially answered that question already:

How did you get to meet all the right connections that helped you in life?
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

If you haven't already, you can sign up to be personally mentored by Scott "Eckhart Aurelius" Hughes at this link.

Jessica Azuka wrote: January 3rd, 2024, 5:26 am Thanks a bunch for this opportunity. It's thoughtful and rare. My question is: how do you deal with anxiety? For someone that is afraid of failure or afraid of risks and plans failing?
Hi, Jessica Azuka,

Thank you for your question. :)

First, for anyone suffering from anxiety specifically, I strongly recommend the book Fireproof Happiness: Extinguishing Anxiety & Igniting Hope by Dr. Randy Ross.

With that said, your question is slightly confusing because of the usage of the word 'you'. Are we talking about you or me? Roughly speaking, I don't deal with anxiety. Relative to the average person, I don't really get any noteworthy anxiety about anything, because I follow the teachings of my book and stubbornly practice the principle of fully and unconditionally accepting what I cannot control. In other words, I fully and unconditionally accept what I cannot change. It's an acceptance so full and unconditional that it warrants being called love. I have "just love everything" tattooed on my arm. If you only worry about what you can control, then you have no worries.

If it's not in your control, you can't "solve" it, and thus it isn't your problem or worth worrying about at all. If you can control, change, and/or solve it, then just do so, and then there's also no problem and nothing to worry about.

If you fully practice the teachings of my book (namely fully and unconditionally accepting what you cannot control) then in most senses you won't see anything at all as a problem or worth worrying about.

Solve the solvable, and see the would-be unsolvable as therefore unproblematic. Then, there are no problems.

Only worry about what you can control, and then you have no worries. Only focus on (i.e. see as mattering) that which you control, and then you control everything that matters. It will truly make you feel omnipotent, in a very meaningful and literal sense. And from that frictionless state, you will flow gracefully and happily through life. You will achieve incredible things but without effort or worry. That is grace. And people will then ask you how they can be as graceful and worry-free as you.



With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott


There is no use getting worked up about things you cannot control.
There is no use getting worked up about things you cannot control.



---
In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

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Sakshi Singh1 wrote: January 3rd, 2024, 9:23 am Hello scott. I've a question too. My question is "How to deal with the constant pressure and expectations of parents?" By this I mean the constant pressure and expectations of being successful, because of this pressure I've extreme anxiety before starting anything new.
Hi, Sakshi Singh1,

Great question! Thank you for asking it. :)

Perhaps another way to phrase it would be this: "How do you recommend I deal with being shoulded on?"

It won't directly answer your question, but I do strongly recommend you start by reading the following short playful topic of mine:

Don't should on me. If you are going to should on anyone, go should on yourself.


You don't need to literally say to your parents, "Don't should on me. Go should on yourself."

But rather I recommend you at least embrace that attitude.

When anyone tells me what I "should" do (i.e. when anyone shoulds on me), I treat it about the same as if some literally mentally ill homeless man told me, "you really should put this sharp razor blade up your butt!" Mostly, I just ignore it with incredible invincible inner peace and do not respond at all, neither internally nor externally. Insofar as I do have an internal (or external) response it's generally just playful amusement at the utter silliness of it, with the unspoken attitude of, "who in the heck are you to tell me what I should do?" :lol:

My generally unspoken attitude to them and their self-righteous control-freak silliness is, 'Go clean your own backyard and forget about mine', and 'Don't throw stones unless you're perfect, which you aren't and never will be.'

'I'm rubber and you're glue, and whatever judgemental nonsense shoulds you throw at me bounce off of me and stick to you.'

'Sticks and stones can break my bones, but your judgemental control-freak verbal shoulds can't make me do anything.'


Can you just ignore it? That might be the easiest, quickest, and fastest solution.

Your own inner peace or lack thereof is determined by whether or not you have expectations, not about whether other people (e.g. your parents) have expectations. If they choose to have expectations (against you or anything), then they will suffer accordingly (i.e. lack inner peace). If you have expectations, then you will lack inner peace. If you should on people and other things, then you won't have inner peace. If you engage in moralizing judgementalism, you won't have inner peace. When other people do these things in the external world around you, it has no true effect or control whatsover on your inner peace (a.k.a. true happiness).

That is part of what it means to say, judge not lest you be judged, or as I put it, to have hate in your heart is to be in hell.

Your parents' expectations and shoulding make them miserable in the sense of them not having inner peace (a.k.a. true happiness). They are the only ones who must suffer from their superstitious choice to believe that things out of their control 'should' be different than those things uncontrollably are, or that any aspect of unchangable reality should be different than it is or is otherwise hate-worthy or resentment-worthy (a.k.a. unforgivable). The same goes for any other expecters or shoulders in the outer world. You cannot save them from their own self-damnation, but likewise they cannot stop you from manifesting your own spiritual salvation, which you can do instantly and fully any moment you choose, meaning in other words you can let go of all that nonsense and thereby instantly enjoy the true happiness that is free-spirited inner peace.

If just ignoring it is not a sufficient solution for you (though I do recommend you test that solution first to see if it works for you), then I suggest you either write a brief letter or have a brief conversation with them in which you are extremely assertive, but neither aggressive at all nor toxically passive. In a calm respectful polite and very assertive manner, tell them simply and flat out that you want them to stop putting pressure on you and putting expectations on you because it's affecting your mental health and contributing to you having anxiety (if not being the main cause of that anxiety). You can tell them you are dedicated to having free-spirited inner peace (a.k.a. true happiness) and that that is what is most important to you, not being an obedient child and not living up to other people's judgemental or controlling expectations. You can tell them flat out that if they have any expectations that you do or be anything but truly happy in the sense of having constant invincible rebelliously free-spirited inner peace, then they will therefore have unmet expectations that remain unfulfilled and will suffer accordingly in terms of having that feeling of being unfulfilled and having unfilled/unmet expectations. In contrast, you can tell them that if what they want is for you to be happy, meaning truly happy in the sense of having constant invincible rebelliously free-spirited inner peace that comes with a strong sense of liberated self-determination and incredible graceful self-discipline, then consider it achieved.

You can tell them you are extremely happy and eagerly willing to forgo any and all benefits of dependence to reap the benefits of independence and freedom and self-responsible self-determination.

Or you can tell them nothing. Again, I recommend that you start by simply doing your best to ignore them, both externally and internally. What matters (for you and your happiness) is whether or not you have expectations and whether or not you engage in shoulding and judgementalism.

If you expect yourself to meet your parents' expectations, or if you expect your parents to not have expectations of you, or if you expect your parents to be proud of you or such, of if you expect anything of anyone (including your parents), then the real issue (for you) is your expectations, not your parents' expectations.

Expectation is a fool's game, namely because it is incompatible with inner peace. But perhaps the biggest question for you is why your parents' expectations matter to you.

If you are thinking that your parents shouldn't should on you, then it's your own shoulding that's causing you anxiety and misery and preventing you from having free-spirited inner peace (a.k.a. true happiness).

If you are expecting your parents to not have unmet expectations, then it's your own foolish expecting that is causing you anxiety and misery.

In that case, your parents are just a scapegoat you are dishonestly using to deceive yourself about who is really in control of your own inner peace and happiness. It's you, not your parents.

As my book teaches, you are 100% in control of your own spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) and free-spirited inner peace (a.k.a. true happiness). As my book teaches, not even a literal god could come between you and your choices. I wouldn't suggest you worry much, or at all, about your parents' choices. Worry only about your own, and you control those 100% so then there's nothing to worry about. When you only worry about what you control, then you have no worries. When you only focus on (i.e. see as mattering) what you control, then you control everything that matters. Then there is no reason for worry or anxiety, and any bodily feelings like it that uncontrollably arise in your body can be just as easily ignored as one can ignore the shoulding done by one's own parents or the shoulding done by a crazy homeless man on the street.


To summarize, I suggest you use the following steps to resolve your concern:

1. Ignore your parents' expectations and pressuring, and ignore them when they should on you or such.

2. After testing out #1 for a while, if it doesn't sufficiently resolve the matter for you, then move on to very assertively telling your parents (either in person or using a written letter) to stop putting pressure on you and to never ever should on you at all. For the first round, you don't necessarily need to use ultimatums, and you will definately want to keep it simple, brief, and very assertive. For more on that, please see my topic, Big Tip for Negotiation & Productive Communication: Less is more. | The power of direct, simple assertiveness.

3. If #2 doesn't work, do it again, but this time give an ultimatum (e.g. "If you continue to should on me or put pressure on me or guilt trip me or try to control my life rather than respect my independence, I will cut off contact with you.")

4. If #3 doesn't work, cut them out of your life. Cut off contact. Block their phone number if needed. Block them on social media. Move further away.


#4 isn't the goal, but the last resort. The initial primary goal is to solve it with #1, but if that proves impossible then you resort to #2, and if that proves impossible then you resort to #3, and then and only then resort to #4.

For more on the concepts behind that procedure, please see the following tweets of mine:

Sometimes the most loving and kind thing to do for all involved, including yourself, is leave the proverbial door unanswered. True love is freedom, not slavery.

When someone communicates their boundaries to you, it is typically an effort to keep you in their life rather than push you away.

Not letting other people's foul mood ruin yours is itself a healthy smart boundary.

Compassion without boundaries is toxic.

Empathy without boundaries is toxic.



My advice: Let go of all of your expectations, including any expectation you have that you meet others' expectations or live up to their literally miserable standards. Instead, create and assertively enforce healthy boundaries.

In short, let go of expectation, and assertively enforce healthy boundaries.

Your inner peace (a.k.a. true happiness) is 100% in your control.

Freedom means self-responsibility. Will you choose it? Will you choose the invincible and often uncomfortable happiness that is spiritual liberation, self-discipline, and self-determination? The choice is yours. 100% yours.



With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott


I have invincible free-spirited inner peace (a.k.a. true happiness) because I don't have any unfulfilled expectations. I am invincibly and consistently fulfilled.
I have invincible free-spirited inner peace (a.k.a. true happiness) because I don't have any unfulfilled expectations. I am invincibly and consistently fulfilled.



---
In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Post by Amy Jackson »

Does this mean living life without expectations is the best way? How about expectations like being the best in school or carrying a pregnancy to full term? I think not having those expectations can make it feel like you're somewhat expectant that the worst could happen, so you don't have any expectations of the good happening, so that you can be prepared if the worst happens.
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Omondi Peter wrote: January 4th, 2024, 11:14 am What do you do to keep up a conversation going when you are literally out of content or vibes or words?
Hi, Omondi Peter,

Thank you for your question.

A very wide range of very different scenarios would fit that general description. In other words, it's not really specific enough for me to answer per se. In analogy, it's like asking me what I would do if it's a Tuesday and raining. There's countless different things I might do depending on countless other factors.

Thus, if you can provide a lot more specifics about the hypothetical situation, I can likely tell you more specifically what I would most likely do in a situation like that.

Nonetheless, the most common thing I would do, if I ran out of things to say, is not say anything.

Indeed, I've often heard throughout my life people say to me, "You are so quiet." Many people have explicitly told me that I am literally the quietest person they have ever met. I answer questions when asked, and (as anyone who read my book knows) I am an extremely honest person and being honest and valuing honesty in others is a huge part of my philosophy and way of life. But if you don't ask me a question, I usually won't say anything at all. Sometimes folks will attempt to read into my silence (i.e. project on me, meaning use me as a blank canvas for their projections), and as part of that wonder why I am quiet: is it because I'm mad, sad, arrogant, shy, nervous, scared, etc. But generally none of that is the case. Because of my extreme inner peace, even if I did have any minor feelings like any of those it would be so muted that it would not be noticeable to others by my outward actions or lack thereof. The main fallacy is them thinking I need a reason to be quiet. I don't. Generally speaking, it takes a reason for me to speak, not a reason for me to not speak. It typically takes a reason to motivate me to do something, not for me to not do something. I don't shop in the store by looking at each single item one at a time and thinking, "Why won't I buy this? What reason do I have to not buy this?" No, instead, my default is to save my money, time, energy, resources, and words. It takes a reason--a very very good reason--for me to say or do anything. Otherwise, I am happy to calmly sit on my patio drinking seltzer in silence or in my backyard in criss-cross applesauce meditating under the sun, quiet, quiet in mind and body, in mouth and brain. And, while one isn't strictly required for the other, it's still true that a habitually quiet mouth is conducive to a peacefully quiet mind. I think it was Bruce Lee who wisely said, "calmness is a superpower."

Perhaps that points to one of the main details you left out of the question: Why would you be feeling any kind of desire to speak? Why would you be seeing the choice to not speak as being some kind of obstacle to overcome?

For many people asking for advice about mindfulness, spirituality, and inner peace (a.k.a. true happiness), it's the opposite; They ask how they can stop their mind from making so many words. They ask how they can slow down the inner monologue in their head, or learn how to temporarily turn it off at will, both of which are feats of mental strength that almost anyone can learn but that take practice, training, and exercise similar to building physical strength in the gym by lifting weights or running to near torturous levels of exhaustion on a treadmill.

If someone offered me a million dollars to say something, I'd probably say something, even if it was just random gibberish.

In contrast, if I have no strong incentive to speak and have nothing to say, then I simply don't speak.

Again, feel free to re-ask your question with more specifics about the hypothetical scenario and/or with some specific detailed examples of specific real-life situations you've been in previously that I can use as the basis for the hypothetical.

Regardless, you might benefit from reading or re-reading the following topic of mine:

The Six Dangerous Misery-Inducing Words: "Must", "Have to", "Need to", "Should", "Ought", "Try"


You also may want to re-read the following chapter in my book, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All:

"Suggestion Ten — Let go of restlessness and overcommitment. Do less, better."


There is nothing you must do.

There is nothing you must say.

That is the nature of your incredible spiritual freedom. Must and choice are beautifully incompatible.



With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott


in-it-together-page-186.png


---
In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

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Zanne Crystle wrote: January 6th, 2024, 4:23 pm Hi, Scott! What are your thoughts on the idea that people come into our lives for a reason and a season? For instance, many people view divorce as a failure, but if you spend a few happy years with someone and then part ways when the happiness is gone, it can still be considered a success as that relationship served its purpose for a specific period of time. If you repeat this process with multiple people, you can still have a mostly fulfilling life instead of spending 30-40 years unhappy with one person. What do you think about this perspective?
Hi, Zanne Crystle,

Thank you for your question!

I've been married and divorced twice, so I might be a bit biased, but I totally agree that many times both parties will be much better off in all senses of the words if they choose to get divorced. The adage often holds true that it is better to have loved and lost than never have loved at all, even when, or actually especially when, the 'loss' is simply the result of the two people growing apart and deciding to part ways. One of my favorite songs, of which this line of thought reminds me, is the song Palace by Sam Smith.

Interestingly, my first wife (who is also my kids' mother) and her husband are now two of my very best friends. In fact, to call them friends is a wild understatement; they are family, very close family. I regularly babysit their kids (who are my kids' younger siblings), and we all go on vacations together and are very close. It all turned out way better than I ever could have imagined when I was on the other side of that divorce, and infinitely better than the ridiculous nightmare that would have ensued if we stayed together for some crazy reason. A sunset can be the most beautiful thing of all if you don't cling to the sunlight; it's amazing what beauty we can manifest out of the seemingly dark side of things when we realize love isn't possessive and that possessiveness smothers and blocks love. Addiction, clingy attachment, and possessiveness are easily mistaken as love, but are ironically instead the very thing that smothers it and prevents it from being fully manifested and realized. You can't love if you need, and to love is very different than to own. Love comes from the freedom of free-spiritedness, not slavery, such as the slavery of addiction or needy clingy desperate possessiveness. The alcoholic doesn't love alcohol, but rather only the totally unaddicted one can truly enjoy a nice drink, or a sunset or sunrise. In other words, it's amazing what beauty we can manifest when we practice radical acceptance, healthy spiritual detachment, letting go, forgiveness, and true unpossessive unconditional love.

However, to help side-step my possible bias and also just provide more clarity by bringing more examples of the true underlying issue that unites the different examples, I think my answer to an earlier question about overthinking will actually apply greatly here, especially since in my answer I discuss other examples of possible addiction, overdoing, and/or toxic dependency/codependency. Here's an excerpt:

Eckhart Aurelius Hughes wrote: November 29th, 2023, 5:45 pm It is not about how much you do the thing, whatever it is, but rather why you do it, and whether you are a happy free-spirit exercising self-discipline and enjoying inner peace while you do it or a spiritual slave or oppressor who is abusing, especially in the sense of abusing yourself.

Addicts are full of excuses and rationalizations, so recovering from your addiction [...] entails being extremely cynical towards your own mind.


[]Read Full Post]

Many people have a relationship to their spouse or romantic partner that is very much like the relationship an alcoholic has to alcohol or that an overeating food addict has to food or that a sex addict has to sex or that a gambling addict has to gambling.

In domestic or romantic relationships, the terms 'dependency' or 'codependency' are more common than 'addiction' but they are generally just ways of saying nearly the same thing.

If a romantic relationship becomes addictive or toxically codependent, you can look at it a bit like you are addicted to the other person. But a more accurate way to look at it is that you are addicted to the relationship itself. And like an alcoholic going back for another hangover, it's amazing what kind of romantic relationships people will fight to keep going and to stay in. It's not just that these addicts will do it, but they will fight hard for it. As a very very rough rule of thumb, if you suspect your relationship to alcohol, gambling, undereating (e.g. anorexia), or food/overeating, or to a marriage has crossed into the realm of addiction or toxic dependency, then it probably has. As another very rough rule of thumb, at that point, your best test is often going to be to take a long break from the thing for a minimum pre-set amount of time (e.g. two months). If you think your relationship to alcohol has crossed over to alcoholism, take a break for two months where you don't drink any alcohol at all, and then re-evaluate because what happens in those two months will be very enlightening. Likewise if you think you may have become addicted to your romantic relationship or might be in a toxically codependent relationship, agree to a trial separation for two months or such, with a certain pre-set time.

The break/separation serves multiple purposes. First, if you fail to do it, that validates the original hypothesis that you are an addict who is addicted to the thing. If you promise yourself up and down that you won't drink for two months, and then you cave and do drink, you are probably a drinking addict. If you promise yourself you and your spouse will go no contact for two months, and maybe date other people during that time, but you cave and go back to them or violate the terms of the separation (e.g. maybe by stalking them while they are dating other people), then that validates and confirms the original hypothesis/suspicion that you are addicted. If either of those things happen (be it with alcohol, gambling, a romantic relationship, food habits, or anything) I recommend you get medical help from a medically trained professional. And that can be as simple as going to a weekly session with a highly accredited therapist. My book is also a huge help for anyone struggling with any kind of addiction, which is typically almost everyone. Bluntly, all humans are addicts to some degree or another. Some people call their addiction a "bad habit" or such, but whatever they call it, my book will teach them to break free of temptation and obtain incredible spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) and thereby transcend all addiction and "bad habits" or whatever they want to call it.

A second purpose of the trial separation is that if you do make it the full two months and stick to your new behavioral diet for two months straight, then you might find you have more clarity and peace of mind to realize you don't want to do that thing anymore, at least not as much. That space can reveal to you that it wasn't that you were becoming addicted to the thing, but rather that you were growing apart from it and it was time to do it less and you were ironically mistaking your growing emotional distance as addiction. From there, you might not quit alcohol entirely but just drink a lot less now that you see that you weren't addicted you were just kind of over it. I still love a drink here and there, but it's just not as interesting of a habit to me now as it was. For a while I was borderline addicted to jiu jitsu and boxing and was doing multiple practices per day and just sore 24/7, and I loved it. I wasn't really addicted, but what did happen over time is that I lost interest and I still do it from time to time but not so much. Maybe after the break, you will realize you just want to be friends, or less than that. The point is you might realize you weren't addicted but that you also simply don't want to be with the person anymore romantically, and that's why you were getting that sense you might be addicted or such.

Thirdly, you might realize you weren't addicted and also that you do want to person still, which you can then do with more clarity and confidence. Distance makes the heart grow fonder, sometimes.

If you are married and you haven't even had the suspicion that you are in a toxically codependent relationship and/or that you are addicted to the romantic relationship and/or are a prisoner of the comfort zone that is staying in the marriage and not getting divorced, then (as a rough rule of thumb) I'd suggest that it's probably worth working on for now and at least going to couple's counseling if you haven't done that yet to see if that helps.

Regardless, addiction and toxic dependency (including but not limited to being in a toxically codependent romantic relationship) is a self-abusive habit. Ask yourself if staying in the marriage/relationship would be like an alcoholic choosing to continue drinking or a gambling addict choosing to renew their annual membership at the casino. That's a way of asking yourself if you would be self-abusing by continuing to stay in that spot that might be a toxic imprisoning comfort zone for you, or not.

These kind of addictions, such as alcoholism or choosing to stay in a toxic codependent romantic relationship, tend to be cyclical. The participant(s) gets stuck in a cycle.

Cycles have a stability and gravity to them, like the cyclical orbits of planets. The cycle can masks the imprisoning stability of it. If you are running in circles, it doesn't matter how fast you run, you end up going nowhere, but you can feel like you are working hard, making progress, doing your best, and not complacently choosing to leave that prison. It's like a prison with an unlocked door and the prison is so busy exhausting themselves by running in circles that they don't even have the clarity of mind to think to just open the door and walk out.

The word 'cycle' appears 19 times in my book, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All.

There's a reason for that.

If all humans and animals and other life were all just philosophical zombies in a zombie world where true consciousness didn't and couldn't exist, that was similar to ours as one could be initially, I believe a lot less cycles would get broken. There would be a lot less free-spirited creativity. Logically, there would be absolutely no free-spirited creativity because there would be no spirits to free.

Addition and temptation as we know them wouldn't exist in that hypothetical world. We know them as spiritual slavery or spiritual imprisonment, which in part comes with a correct sense of feeling like a prisoner in one's own body or a slave to temptation and the object of one's addictions. But without a spirit (i.e. consciousness, meaning you, the real you), there's no spirit to free. There would be no spiritual slavery (i.e. addiction as we know it) because there be no spirit to be enslaved or imprisoned or free.

But that's not the world we live in, and it couldn't be because that's a world that lacks us (the real us) by definition.

But this world, the real world, doesn't lack us. It has us.

Here is a quote from page 97 of my book, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All, about being a rebelliously free spirit and rebellious cycle-breaker:
In It Together (Page 97) wrote:In this revolutionary war of spirit versus flesh, we are united in our free-spirited rebellion against primitive otherwise unconscious nature, creatively rebelling against otherwise cyclical static patterns of flesh. We are rebellious cycle breakers, battling addiction and temptation in all its forms, on countless fields in a seemingly endless war, seeking the freedom that is self-discipline.

And here is a quote from page 162 about healthy detachment (a.k.a. letting go) and not being possessive, desperate, clingy, or addicted:

In It Together (Page 162) wrote:If you think you own the sun and have a right to its beauty, you will cry or scream at the sunset. But when you realize you have nothing to lose because you never really own anything in the first place, then you love both the sunrise and the sunset, and the very fleetingness of things contributes to their beauty: each moment unique, each dance its own. Each hug, each kiss, each smile, rising and setting, floating away.

To love is very different than to own. Admire and appreciate without clinging, without desperate possessiveness. Just love, true unpossessive love.


With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott



To love is very different than to own. Appreciate without possessiveness.
To love is very different than to own. Appreciate without possessiveness.



---
In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

If you haven't already, you can sign up to be personally mentored by Scott "Eckhart Aurelius" Hughes at this link.

Nasir Shaikh wrote: January 8th, 2024, 1:40 pm Hi Scott, I may not have a specific question, but it's somewhat related. Have you experienced a significant failure or faced a situation that seemed irrecoverable? If so, what lessons did you learn from that experience? Your insights could help me understand what to avoid or expect in life.
Hi, Nasir Shaikh,

Thank you for your question! :)

Strictly speaking, I don't believe in failure. I never try, and thus I never fail. That is what I call and grace or gracefulness: Namely, to do, without trying. Another way of saying the same thing is that I believe, generally speaking, success is a choice. In yet other words, I believe that what most people describe as a "failure" is actually success plus dishonesty and/or some kind of lack of acceptance of what they cannot control (a.k.a. what they cannot change).

For example, the adulterer would often rather muddy the waters by dishonestly saying, "I failed to be faithful despite trying so hard," than honestly say, "I chose to cheat and succeeded." The food addict would rather muddy the waters by dishonestly saying, "I had a bad day, so I need some comfort, so I have to eat this comfort food", than honestly and simply say, "I want to eat this, I am choosing to this; and I have now successfully eaten this. I succeeded in eating it." The alcoholic would rather muddy the waters by dishonestly saying, "I believe I shouldn't drink, and so I'm trying not to drink", while they lift the glass to their mouth, rather than honestly say, "I am choosing to drink, and succeeding at drinking."

Sex, adultery, alcohol, food addiction, and overeating are just a few tiny examples of some of the props in the common struggle that unites us all. The specific props vary from human to human, but the underlying struggle is one in the same and it's the main topic of my book, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All. In a rough sense of the words, someone who still believes in the self-deceiving illusions of trying or failure, or who otherwise still a slave to temptation or bodily feelings such as fear, hunger, anger, pain, or discomfort, is thus still on the losing side of that common struggle, battle, and war. Most likely, that means the person hasn't read my book yet, or at least has not chosen to strictly follow the teachings of the book, namely all 11 of the numbered suggestions at the end. That's because anyone who has read my book and chosen to follow the 11 suggestions at the end will have won the war and found inner peace because to truly win a war means to also thereby end the war. So when you truly achieve the wonderful spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) and invincible inner peace (a.k.a. true happiness) about which my book teaches, you no longer even see the war as war, but rather just see yourself as a winner. It comes with a degree of confidence, grace, and invincible spiritual happiness so incredible that it warrants being called supernatural. That incredible confidence, grace, and invincible spiritual freedom and happiness generally leads to incredible external success (e.g. making tons of money, achieving incredible fitness goals, obtaining incredible results in the realm of romance, sex, and romantic relationships, or whatever external success would look like for the person relative to their unique human goals and material preferences). As a result of that as well as due to other reasons, onlookers often mistake the external success as being the cause of the happiness rather than vice versa, but the vice versa is actually the case. In a stricter sense of the words, what I've called "external success" is really a pseudo-success that is itself a common symptom of one having achieved real success, which is internal, and comes in terms of achieving spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) and inner peace (a.k.a. true happiness), which itself comes in part from admitting to oneself that trying is lying, failure is an illusion, and both true success and true happiness are a choice.

As anyone who read my book knows, I believe very strongly in the principle of fully and unconditionally accepting that which you cannot control, with an acceptance so full and unconditional that it warrants being called love. That's why I have "Just Love Everything" tattooed on my arm, where I see it everyday. To me, to do anything else (e.g. engage in resentment, hate, denial, or unforgiveness) is fundamentally dishonest, self-deceiving, and delusional, among other things such as being wasteful, miserable, foolish, exhausting, and inner-peace-destroying. So before you give me an alleged counter example of failure that you don't think is an illusion or trying that you don't think is lying, really ask yourself if both you and the alleged failing person (if it's someone besides yourself) are really practicing the principle of fully and unconditionally accepting that which you cannot control.

That's the thing about an illusion: Seeing it isn't enough to believe it.

"It's not an illusion; I see it right there;" is not as good of a counter argument as the self-deceiving delusional person might think.




Here are some other helpful topics about the fact that (1) trying is lying, (2) failure is an illusion, and (3) success is a choice, which are three different ways of saying the exact same thing:

"When it comes to your choices, you always get exactly what you want, meaning what you choose."

I have inner peace because I shamelessly know I do only what I want to do, and I don't ever do what I don't want to do.

Beware: The phrase "work hard" can be just as dishonest and dangerous as the word "try". Be very careful with it!

My Three Principles for Happiness and Success (in that order!) | Be Happy and Achieve Incredible Success Guaranteed


With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott


Trying is lying, failure is an illusion, and success is a choice.
Trying is lying, failure is an illusion, and success is a choice.


---
In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
User avatar
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
The admin formerly known as Scott
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

If you haven't already, you can sign up to be personally mentored by Scott "Eckhart Aurelius" Hughes at this link.


Hi, Amy Jackson,

Thank you for your questions!
Amy Jackson wrote: January 11th, 2024, 10:42 pm Does this mean living life [in XYZ way] is the best way?
Insofar as "the best way" entails shoulds and oughts or other judgementalism or moralizing, then the answer is that the question is loaded and effectively meaningless. In that way of using the words, my response would be that there is no best way to live life.

In a sense, drinking blood and annoying the heck out of humans is the best way for a mosquito to live. To destroy entire cities and kill many humans may be the best way for a hurricane to live and be itself.

Whatever it is, it is what it is, and then there is really no room for better or worse, or best or worst. Instead, everything is the perfect version of itself.

Here are two important quotes about this concept:


there-are-no-shoulds-and-no-oughts.png
perfect.png

Amy Jackson wrote: January 11th, 2024, 10:42 pm How about expectations like being the best in school or carrying a pregnancy to full term?
I recommend you (and all my mentees and anyone who wants my advice) avoid all expectations, including even those. That's mainly because I firmly believe that having expectations is incomparable with having free-spirited inner peace (a.k.a. true happiness). In other words, one will necessarily remain unhappy and spiritually unfulfilled until one lets go of all their expectations.

While I firmly believe expectations are incompatible with inner peace, I totally support humans making predictions.

For more on the difference between prediction and expectation, and why expectation is so utterly incomptatible with inner peace (a.k.a. true happiness), please read the following topic of mine:

Letting go of expectation | How clinging to the superstitions of expectation and blame disrupts your inner peace


Another way of looking at it is this:

The universe (or what some would even call "god") doesn't miscalculate. Humans miscalculate, but the universe (and/or "god") doesn't.

When a human being has expectations, it's as if the human is saying and believing that they as a human are calculating better than the universe, which is ridiculous, obviously untrue, and leads to instant misery for that human in the ways described in more detail in the post mentioned above.




Amy Jackson wrote: January 11th, 2024, 10:42 pm I think not having those expectations can make it feel like you're somewhat expectant that the worst could happen, so you don't have any expectations of the good happening, so that you can be prepared if the worst happens.
Well, certainly if you are expecting the worst than you are not following my advice. My advice isn't to expect the worst instead of the best; my advice is to let go of all expectation.

I do believe in the concepts like the law of attraction (in a non-supernatural sense), karmic contagions (e.g. the way both smiles and frowns can be contagious), the incredible power of an abundance mindset (e.g. being unconditionally grateful every day no matter what cards are dealt that day instead of being desperate, clingy, jealous, possessive, and needy). To those ends, by all means feel more than free to be a glass-half-full kind of person and to lean towards making optimistic predictions.

Again, it's very important to understand the difference between expectations and predictions, as I use the terms.

With predictions, your feeble human mind is just doing it's best to guess the right answer the universe will calculate correctly. If your prediction ends up being revealed to not match the correct one that the universe calculates, you just respond like a happy math student who was told the right answer by a helpful and more knowledgeable teacher after putting down an incorrect answer on the test. You say with a smile, "Opps, I miscalculated." And, likely, you express gratitude for the lesson, because typically each time that happens you get better at calculating, meaning you get slightly closer to being the perfect calculator that the universe is. To have expectations, or otherwise believe in shoulds or oughts, is to tell the universe (i..e the proverbial math teacher who calculated correctly) that it calculated wrong and that you are actually right. Reality can never be wrong, but your calculations and predictions can be wrong, not in the sense of being morally wrong or evil or such but in the sense of simply being a miscalculation in that the math answer/prediction/guess you gave was revealed as objectively inaccurate.

And, if you believe in a singular omnipotent creator god, either literally or figuratively, you can just re-read the paragraph I wrote above, but replace every usage of the phrase "The Universe" with "God", such that it instead reads something like this:


With predictions, your feeble human mind is just doing it's best to guess the mind and intentions of God. If your prediction ends up being revealed to not match the correct answer given by God, you just respond like a happy math student who was told the right answer by a helpful and more knowledgeable teacher after you (the student) had put down an incorrect answer on a math test. You say with a smile, "Opps, I miscalculated." And, likely, you express gratitude for the lesson, because typically each time that happens you get better at calculating, meaning you get slightly closer to being the perfect calculator that God is.

Physics is just applied math, and whatever terms one wants to use, I can assure every single human on this planet that their little human is not as good at math as the universe (or "God" as some would say). So feel free to make predictions, but never expectations.



With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott




---
In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
Jane Honda
Premium Member
Posts: 4
Joined: August 31st, 2023, 8:59 am

Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Jane Honda »

I really love this platform. I have a pressing issue which I would want to ensure that it works this year. How do I become a bestseller? It could be depressing writing a book and no one wants to read or purchase.
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Jane Honda wrote: January 14th, 2024, 2:09 pm I really love this platform. I have a pressing issue which I would want to ensure that it works this year. How do I become a bestseller? It could be depressing writing a book and no one wants to read or purchase.
Hi, Jane Honda,

I believe I essentially already answered that question earlier in the Q&A:

What advice do you have for an author who wants to sell a million copies of their novel?


With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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