Unfuck Yourself Principle: Hierarchy of Powertm
BLUF*:Knowing what you can control and can’t.
We all aim to have power over our lives in one way or another. From the remote control, to having a daily planner to schedule every single intended interaction for the day. Through observation and daily monitoring we even obsessively check our bank accounts as if the balance might surprisingly change on a day to day basis. Truth is, we don’t really have power over much.
Reality: there is a Hierarchy of Power in which there are really only the three domains of power that we have over everything that exists within our perception which are: Control, Influence, and Observation/Interaction. The domains themselves are not static, and interact with each other through our perception.
Since our thoughts lie in the domain of Control, we can use our thoughts to understand and interact with our emotions through Influence. All this to ultimately realize that we can only ever Observe and Interact with the External universe.
When you are able to respect each entity’s respective domain, you can then find more peace since you won’t be wasting energy in the wrong domain- i.e. trying to influence the external, only observing your thoughts as they run rampant, or worst of all attempting to Control your emotions and running the risk of depression.
1. Observation/Interaction: External/Outside World
If you consider the Hierarchy as a Pyramid-the lowest, and largest domain of Power is Observation and Interaction which extends to everything external to our Self. Currently, we have mistakenly convinced ourselves that we have more power over the external, but in reality we merely interact with and observe all that is external to our Being. However, the external world plays large role in the domains because we tend to respond and react according to what we observe, but we have no power over it-
Wait what the fuck, how? Let me explain…
Simple. we remove ourselves from the need to have power, and then it becomes easier to observe. The specific entities that fall into the domain of Observation include- everyone else that ever was and is on the planet (even our children), the intangible/spiritual realm ( if you so choose to engage with it), the past, and the physical world as it is. Notice, I did NOT include the future in this. The fact is those actually fall into the domain of Influence .
2. Influence: Emotions
This one is a little tough to explain, but follow along it’ll make sense.
What do I mean by “influence” emotion?
Influence by definition is the power or capacity of causing an effect in indirect or intangible ways.
To influence emotions means using your thoughts to glean useful insight on what is going on in our reality, rather than them influencing your thoughts and wreaking havoc.
Emotions themselves are a very interesting entity. They are intangible, but behave in an almost semi-autonomous manner. They show up unsuspectingly to those not acutely aware of their function and purpose, and when mistreated they tend to be the root of Depression (unacknowledged anger) and Anxiety (unacknowledged fear). When we acknowledge that emotions serve as a gauge to monitor our internal status, then we can better deal with them in a healthy manner.
Example: the Observation could be a fender bender. The emotions that present themselves as natural response are sadness, anger, and annoyance. You can use your external to influence them, and become a victim of circumstance. Or you can dip into your largest pot of power which your own personal domain of Control which I’ll explain next.
The highest and coincidentally the smallest domain of power is Control, and all that domain covers is our mind. That is it. Our thoughts, sentiments, reactions, and responses are well within our domain of Control. They rely on the last two domains to come into fruition. Thoughts themselves generally manifest as a result of our emotions that are a result of entities at play within the domain of Observation.
If applied to the scenario of the fender bender, you have the external reality in which you participated in and observed a fender bender. This led to your emotions of anger, sadness, and maybe irritation coming into play, and now your mind has to make the choice of what to think, say, and ultimately do. If you misappropriate the powers, you an find yourself acting very inappropriately by screaming and raging. Or you can resign to your mind and realize that your emotions are a psycho-physiological response, and that the reasonable reaction to take is to remove the vehicle from the road. Exchange insurance information, and have the car towed. Someone who irrespective of the allocated power may behave in a manner that only incites other parties, and in turn stresses everyone out unnecessarily.
So what if others behave this way(crazy and a victims of circumstance)? Well I’m a fan of stoicism for its practicality, and stoic teachings would suggest that you acknowledge the domain in which they are in regard to your existence, and acknowledge that you ultimately have no influence over their behavior. We can only consciously play a part in our own world which consists of the mind which we have control over, the resulting emotions that we can influence, and the external that we can only observe and interact with. These all combined work together to create our manifested reality.
*BLUF: a common military acronym “Bottom Line Up Front”