It is said that you only use 5% of your brain. But, of course, you use all of your brain most of the time, but not for something worth using a precision instrument even the stupidest person possesses.
The truth is that 99% of your usage, what you see, what you say about what you feel, what you think is not new, and not accurate and not worth thinking, because it leads to no benefit.
I have students that make this phenomenon very easy to observe.
If you put all their posts together, take out the repetitive stuff, you end up with one, maybe two posts for the whole 67 step cycle.
Skimming the foam from the top
They (you) hear the same thing over and over. Nothing new. Skimming the foam from the top.
And the narrower your “spoon” with which you skim the foam, and the thinner the top, the smarter you feel.
It makes sense that you keep feeling smart, if you consider that you never encounter anything new, anything challenging, anything that would say that you are not as smart as you fancy yourself. Even though your results in life are non-existent or sub-par… you never awaken to the fact that you are not as smart as you think you are. You are not awakened to the fact that you didn’t hear anything new, only what you already knew…
This fact also illuminates why you skim the foam from the top instead of drinking deeply.
Because drinking deeply is very very very uncomfortable.
And all growing, all getting smarter, all learning is a function of your ability to allow the discomfort to be there and even grow.
The “smartest” ones, the skimmers, have barely a millisecond tolerance to discomfort, feeling bad feelings, before they disperse them. The discomfort hasn’t even had time to reach their conscious awareness, it is already gone.
I think I am going to add this* to the “combo” measurements, that I call Starting Point Measurements.
*The level of discomfort you are willing to allow without the urge and the habit of “fixing” it… dispersing, leaking, releasing it.
Let me look at some specific people to see what these numbers look like. I won’t use names, but these are some of my students and then some well known public figures:
Silent Partner, underachiever: 1%
Finish What You Start, 3%
Eliminate Hatred, great insights: 1%
Building Bridges, company owner: 7%
Tai Lopez: 7%
Bill Gates: 30%
Warren Buffet: 50%
Donald Trump: 1%
My own: 50%.
My new “Montenegro” client: 20%
My new Kurdish client: 40%
My “Share the light” friend: 2%
The higher your number the further you can go in life. Why? Because the energy, the strategic, tactical, guiding, directing energy of the discomfort, your internal guidance system, wasn’t dampened.
The higher your number, the higher the inner fire can grow. The furnace. The motive power.
If this is clear, or somewhat clear, then you should ask: What can I do to increase my motive power?
To the degree you can delay gratification, to the same or maybe even larger degree you increase your motive power.
Now, gratification, the word, we normally use, but few know or ever asked what that is.
And this is at the heart of the matter: The longer you are willing and able to hold your fire, the more delayed your gratification.
Let’s look at eating:
- If you are the cook: you taste everything, and by the time the food is ready, you are not hungry. You could not hold your fire.
- Sex: you have a hair trigger… You have never grew your ability to be with the considerable discomfort of sexual desire… so you release it. You can’t hold your fire.
- You are reading something that is difficult to read… so you start fidgeting, jump up, go for the fridge, go for the computer game, can’t hold your fire until you get some clarity.
- Someone is trying to teach you someone. That makes you feel inferior. So you start giving them, teaching them… You never learned anything… you could not hold your fire.
I could give you a lot of examples. My 50% is relatively low, so I am going to start growing it, starting now.
The urge to jump up, the urge to push it away. Tightening… The job is to just watch it. And allow it.
Trying to breathe it away is more of the same.
The job is to allow, without weakening it, without changing it.
That is what increases the capacity.
Just like in weight lifting: reducing the weight won’t build muscles.
Nietzsche coined the term “Infantile will to power” or crying for the bottle.
I won’t explain what it means, I just want you to pay attention to the developmental age of the behavior. Infant. baby. bottle fed.
You don’t want to remain a baby. You want to become a man, a person. Woman is included in man. Man is the name of the species in an evolved state.
Become part of the “elite” 8-9% of humanity… The 8-9% who grew up and can do, because they have a “delayed gratification factor” of more than 9%.
I muscle tested these numbers… so Source and I may have misunderstood each other… but they are ballpark figures.
You don’t become a man unless you have the capacity to let the fire burn inside, so you can direct it to something worth doing… learning, work, growing as a person.
Like me, you want to start with mapping out your own signals, signaling that you want to reduce the discomfort.
For me the arms are foolproof.
- I used to use the phone…
- I used to eat (and often still do)
- I used to jump up (and still do)
- I used to yell (and still do)
- I used to switch activities (and still do)
Now that I am more aware, now that I am more conscious of what these “actions” want to accomplish, I can start to increase the amount of time I spend with the discomfort.
I am uncomfortable with this idea, by the way. All my muscles are poised to jump up and leave. Even my fingers hurt… but I am hanging in there, watching. I am winning so far, and not the “baby”.
My scalp is itching… I am not scratching it. I am keeping my fingers on the keyboard, typing away… My back is itching, my feet are cold… I am getting my whole body tell me to jump up… But I am a person, and I decide when to jump and when to stay put.
OK, the tension is lowering, my jaws are starting to relax.
My neck released. I am going to live… lol.
Now, as you saw, the body doesn’t know real danger from imagined. The body was doing as if I were looking at a tiger in the eyes… with nothing between us.
But there is no tiger, the avalanche of bad feelings came from the idea of spending more time with painful feelings.
Nothing life threatening. Just growing pains.