Q&A: "If something out of your control happened or was going to happen, what would you do about it?"

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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Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
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Q&A: "If something out of your control happened or was going to happen, what would you do about it?"

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.


Q&A: "If something out of your control happened or was going to happen, what would you do about it?"

The short answer is: nothing.

If it is out of my control and/or something I cannot change, then I truly cannot do anything about it, and anything I allegedly did do about it would be wasteful and symptomatic of resentment (a.k.a. unacceptance, unforgiveness, and/or hate).

People who haven't read my book (or who otherwise choose to not following its teaching) tend to have a persistent underlying premise in their minds and attitude like the following:

- "I have to have an opinion or judgment about everything I see or find out about."

- "I can do something about everything."

- "I have to do something about everything."


Many of the questions I get asked via my free mentoring program are loaded questions. And they are often loaded with one of the above falsehoods. It's amazing how much more pleasant and peaceful your life becomes, especially inside your own skull, when you let go of the anxiety-inducing burdensome attention-demanding falsehoods and illusions like those represented in the three sentences above. It's amazing how much more peaceful, quiet, calm, and spacious your mind becomes. Some people's minds are like an overcrowded room stuffed full of people all screaming different things, like the New York Stock Exchange on a busy day. Mine is always like a vast huge spacious quiet grassy field with nobody around on a warm summer day with a nice slight breeze and a few pretty clouds quietly floating by overhead. I can look in any direction and see miles of green grass without a single person or animal in sight. There's so much space and quietness and freedom and opportunity. I can say and think and do whatever I want because there is so much free space in which to do it with so few distractions, or I can just sit or lay quietly and motionless and bask in the quiet warm sunlight. Anyone who reads my book and chooses to do their best to strictly follow all eleven of the numbered suggestions at the end will feel the same and know exactly what I mean. All those heavy loud nonsense illusions will just dissolve, leaving the quiet simple spacious lovable truth behind. Even to say, "it is what it is," is, in a way, to over-describe it and use too many words--no matter what it is. Most thoughts are untrue, or at least based on untrue premises, and when you let go of all the anxious illusions and needless counter-productive worries, it's so much quieter and more spacious.

It's rarer that I get those kind of loaded questions from someone who read my book, and it's essentially impossible that I get them from someone who has chosen to strictly follow all the eleven of the numbered suggestions at the end. Granted, there's a little room for it even from the latter group due to honest misunderstandings and regular human forgetfulness.


One thing that can make this confusing for people--especially those who haven't read my book and/or thus aren't focusing on the dichotomy of control--is that indirectly one situation or thing can seem to indirectly entail another.

To illustrate what I mean, for one who read my book and follows its teachings, they like me will see that the following are three very different questions each with a very different correct answer:

1. "When it starts raining, what do you do about it?"

2. "What would you do if you were inside and saw it was raining outside and you have an umbrella by the door?"

3. "If it was raining, and there was a million dollar winning lottery ticket blowing by in your yard about to get wet and ruined, and there was an umbrella by your door, such that you have the choice between (1) getting the ticket before it gets wet and ruined but without the umbrella so that it gets wet and ruined while you are running back inside, or (2) staying inside where it is nice dry and letting the lottery ticket get ruined, or (3) grab the umbrella, open it while getting the lottery ticket, and bringing the lottery ticket inside without it getting wet. Imagine those are your only three options. Which would you choose?"


My answer to #1 would simply be: nothing. I don't control the weather. I fully and unconditionally accept what I cannot control and cannot change.

My answer to #2 would be: There is not enough information and specification in this hypothetical for me to answer. For instance, is there a reason I would want to go outside? Is there a special reason I might not want to get wet? I need way more information and details about the specifics of the hypothetical situation and want options are hypothetically available to me in that situation to say what I might or probably would choose.

My answer to #3 would be: Of those three options, I would obviously typically choose the option of using the umbrella to get the lottery ticket.


I mention all that mainly as a way to help my mentees and other followers craft their questions when asking me a question via my Public Mentoring Q&A.

If your question is a hypothetical, similar to the form of, "What would you do if...", or "What do you do when...", then you will want to make sure your question has both of the following qualities:

(1) You elaborate in extreme detail about the specifics of the hypothetical situation I would be in. You'll probably want to write 10+ sentences describing the details of the situation.

(2) You want to specify what my hypothetical options are, with the pros and cons of each, making sure that there is more than one and that the list is exhaustive (meaning you've listed all of the available options).


Finally, if you are really meaning to ask about yourself, you will almost certainly have better results and get a more helpful and applicable answer if you ask your question in the first-person instead of as hypothetical question asked in the second person.

For example, you will get a more helpful and applicable answer, if your question is like #1 below rather than #2 or #3:

1. [first-person, actual] "I am deciding between renting an apartment and buying house. Here are some details about my unique situation: XYZ. Some of the pros of going the apartment route for me would be XYZ. Some of the cons would be XYZ. Some of the pros for me for buying a house would be XYZ. Some of the cons for me would be ABC. I understand one person's trash is another person's treasure, such that you cannot give a one size fits all answer about whether houses or apartments are better or whether renting or buying is better, but nonetheless what advice do you have for me? Based on the details I provided, would you recommend I go with renting an apartment or buying a house?"

2. [second-person, hypothetical] "What would you, Eckhart, do if you had the option to buy a house versus renting an apartment? Would you buy or rent?"

3. [second-person, hypothetical] "Eckhart, what do you do when you, Eckhart, have to choose between buying a house versus renting an apartment?"


My answer to question #1 will be very different than my answer to question #2 or #3.

So, if you are really meaning to ask #1, then I strongly advice you avoid phrasing your question like #2 or #3. The answer I give you will be different and quite likely opposite to what I would answer if you asked the different more correct question.

In either case, to even start to answer the question directly, I would need very much detail about the specifics of the situation you are in (or that I am hypothetically in) and, more importantly, a list of what the different options available are either to you really or to me hypothetically.

If there are no options, then my answer is obviously this: Nothing. I would do nothing.

If there is no options, I would do nothing.

It's like asking what I would order at a restaurant with no menu and nothing available to order. I would order nothing.


Don't get me wrong with this post: In no way am I frustrated when people ask me these kinds of incoherent or impossible to answer hypothetical questions that lack detail or options, and even more importantly I wouldn't waste my time expressing such a feeling with a long public post if I was having it.

Instead, I realize that with my free mentoring program and my Public Mentoring Q&A, my job is not really about telling people what to choose and not really about giving people answers, but rather my job is really about helping people refine and more clearly word their questions such that the answers become so obvious there's no use to ask me.

In that way, I teach them how to easily and confidently answer all of their own questions, both present and future, all on their own quickly for free without even having to involve me or anyone else.

They end up having their own version of me inside their own head they can contact for advice, except that guy who lives in their is even smarter, wiser, calmer, and better informed than I ever will be or could be.

My job, which I happily accept, is more about me teaching you how to ask questions, rather than about me answering questions.

That's also the essence of Socratic Method. It's being the kind of person that, when people talk to you (or 'with you'), they then find the answers they are looking for on their own. You seem to have this way of helping people find the answer within themselves, rather than giving them the answer. And that's really the only way to do it because at the level of form--meaning at the level of things we can see, touch, and empirically study--one person's trash is another's treasure, and thus there is no answer except the unique hidden one inside the asker.

If two people ask the same exact question, the correct answer to each is going to be different, often times the exact opposite.

Imagine someone asking: "Do you recommend I eat peanut butter?"

Or imagine someone with peanut butter allergy asking me, "Eckhart, hypothetically, if you saw peanut butter in front of you what you do?"

My answer might be: I'd eat it. I love peanut butter. It's so tasty.

I recommend you don't ask me hypothetical questions about me and I would do if you are really asking about you and a situation you are actually in.




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

The beauty of freedom is the creative diversity it engenders.<br /><br />One person's trash is another's treasure.<br /><br />Everything is a success.<br /><br />Diversity is beautiful.<br /><br />Live and let live.<br /><br />To each their own.
The beauty of freedom is the creative diversity it engenders.

One person's trash is another's treasure.

Everything is a success.

Diversity is beautiful.

Live and let live.

To each their own.



---
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.
Risper Ouma Lisa Anyango
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Re: Q&A: "If something out of your control happened or was going to happen, what would you do about it?"

Post by Risper Ouma Lisa Anyango »

I will do absolutely nothing because the events are out of my control. I now understand why you always asked me to rephrase a question I asked. It's because you wanted me to learn how to ask the right questions correctly. Thanks for the teachings.
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Surabhi Rani
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Re: Q&A: "If something out of your control happened or was going to happen, what would you do about it?"

Post by Surabhi Rani »

I am so inspired. I like how you compare your state of mind to a vast, huge, spacious, quiet, grassy field with no body around on a warm summer day with a nice slight breeze and a few pretty clouds quietly floating by overhead. I am inspired to apply the eleven numbered suggestions of your book at work and life.
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Sushan
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Re: Q&A: "If something out of your control happened or was going to happen, what would you do about it?"

Post by Sushan »

It's true that stressing over things beyond our control is futile. Embracing acceptance rather than resistance brings inner peace. Thanks for this perspective!
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
Adaolisa Okoye
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Re: Q&A: "If something out of your control happened or was going to happen, what would you do about it?"

Post by Adaolisa Okoye »

I won't be doing anything because it's out of my control. But after it happens, it's left for me to control and manage the impact. Even if it affects my mental health, I will find a way to uplift my mood and constantly remind myself that there is nothing I could have done about it.
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Re: Q&A: "If something out of your control happened or was going to happen, what would you do about it?"

Post by Paul Great Grace »

When faced with something beyond my control, I would focus on acceptance and adapting to the situation as best as I can. I believe in approaching challenges with a calm and resilient mindset, finding ways to navigate through the circumstances and learn from the experience.
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