Why Be Negative?

What is ‘negativity’?

A philosophical inquiry:

There are some people who are “negative”— people who are generally disagreeable to be around.

But what does it really mean if an individual is “negative”? Is being negative a bad thing?


Negativity

Technically if we think about physics, we need BOTH the positive and the negative (they are antipodes, polar opposites).

In real life, whenever we call something “positive” or “negative”, it is always a value judgement.

For example, a lot of people judge that being hungry is a “negative”, but that is just an interpretation. We NEED hunger in order to motivate ourselves to move and be alive. A human being who never felt hungry would probably die off. The faculty of hunger is what helped humans survive and thrive throughout history. Furthermore, food tastes 100x better when you eat when you’re super hungry. Fasting is essential if we truly want to appreciate food.

Everyone has different value judgements

As individuals, we are constantly creating value judgements. We classify things as “good” or “bad” in accordance with our own personal needs. Thus what is “good” for someone else isn’t necessarily good for you. Furthermore, what is “bad” for someone else isn’t necessarily bad for you.

It works the other way. What is good for you isn’t necessarily good for someone else. What is “bad” or “negative” to you isn’t necessarily bad to another.

Thus it seems the logical conclusion is this:

We shouldn’t assume that what we consider as “good” as “good” for another.

Focus on yourself

Generally this means:

Leave others alone, and don’t try to superimpose your own virtues onto others.

Furthermore, we shouldn’t criticize others when we perceive they are “sinning” or doing things which are “bad/evil”. Because we are superimposing our own value judgements to their actions — but this is totally false because the reasons why they do what they do is totally different from our own personal motives and thinking.

Our desires, motives, and personal ethics are totally different from anyone else.

Thus, we don’t really have an accurate way to judge the behavior of others, because we are totally blind to their own personal motivations or thinking.

Other people are generally a black box— no matter how intelligent we are, we will never be able to truly understand other people.

Thus it seems to be a waste of time or effort trying to understand others. Instead, we should focus our personal efforts to understand ourselves, our own personal desires, our own personal motivations, and our own personal needs.

We are grey boxes

This is also the tricky thing about the road to self-knowledge or wisdom:

No matter what, we will never be able to 100% understand our own personal motivations.

If I act and do something, I might fool myself in coming up with an explanation on why I did that thing. But in reality, we often make us explanations on our actions post-ex-facto (after the fact).

When I say that we are grey boxes, what I mean is:

With tremendous effort, we can gain MORE self-wisdom and understanding. But there will always be a limit to self-wisdom– we will never become “white boxes” (100% understanding of ourselves).

Don’t worry about yourself too much

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Furthermore, I don’t believe that the purpose of philosophy is to only gain self-wisdom. Instead, this is my thought:

We are instruments of knowledge, which means we need SOME self-understanding if we want to be more effective in seeking more knowledge.

Thus, seeking self-wisdom is another road or a means to seeking knowledge.

Ethics vs Philosophy

Another thought:

There is a difference between studying ethics/morals and philosophy.

I see philosophy as a pure pursuit of knowledge and wisdom.

I see ethics/morals more as sociology– trying to determine how should we treat and interact with others.


Negative people as energy black holes

Sorry for the slight de-tour, but this is how I define a ‘negative’ person:

Someone who saps your energy in a disempowering way.

For example, when you interact with other people (friends, family members, strangers, acquaintances) ask yourself:

After interacting with that person, do I have MORE energy and power, or do I have LESS energy and power?

A person who GIVES you power is a “positive” person. A person who TAKES AWAY your power is a “negative” person.

How to classify other people

To use a better terminology, I would say:

  1. A ‘positive’ person who gives you energy is an empowering individual.
  2. A ‘negative’ person who takes away your energy is a TOXIC individual.

Thus the secret is to excise (subtract) all toxic individuals from your life.

Or another analogy:

If you have cancer in your body (toxic people), you must destroy the cancer at all costs, even though it might (almost) kill you.


Are you positive or negative?

Before we even criticize other people, we must ask ourselves:

Are we ourselves negative or positive?

Which means,

Do we nay-say other people? Do we encourage others, or discourage others?

I have determined that in my life, I will only be a YEA-sayer! Life is too short to be a NAY-sayer.

I only want to encourage, motivate, and inspire others. No negative energy from me.

When others give you ideas, are you ENCOURAGING them, or DISCOURAGING them? Do you give people ideas on how they can succeed? Or do you give others reasons why they will fail?


Life is too short to be ‘realistic’.

I say life is too short to be ‘realistic’.

A lot of people who tell you to be ‘realistic’ don’t want to see you succeed. Why? When others see you pursue your dreams in life, they feel belittled, because they are comparing their self-ego with you. When they see YOU rising and flying higher, and they are on the ground, they will want to PREVENT you from flying higher, because they see the distance between you and them widening. And they don’t like that.

Ignore others

Ignore others. Ignore the feedback of others. Ignore the ideas of others.

Just focus on yourself, and take massive risks. Have fun with it; life is too short to be meek, focus your efforts on achieving your personal peak!

GO HARD!
ERIC

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