One mandatory tool needed in order to live a truly authentic lifestyle is real mind control. This means to become mentally bulletproof to all criticism, slander, insults and negative judgment or opinion that other people direct at you.
If you know who you are, what you want to do, and have the balls to pursue it, then you are bound to piss some people off.
Human beings are social animals. And as sad it as it is, some people only know how to talk about other people. Even smart people can fall to this. I personally see it daily in the Greek System in college or from the lady yelling on her cell phone on the lightrail. Usually, these people are stuck in the same daily routine of the “safe” path towards mediocrity. Like doing the school thing and expecting a job to be given to them for 4 years of bullshitting on papers while amassing thousands of dollars in debt.
Basically, if you march to the beat of a different drummer or forge your own path opposite of the herd, people will be offended, and they will make sure everyone else around them knows so.
Becoming Mentally Bulletproof with Stoicism
Its amazing to read what Marcus Aurelius thought and wrote in the “Meditations”. Here is a man, who at the time of writing, was the most powerful man in the world; emperor of the Roman Empire. The following are simple tactics to use for practicing real mind control.
Its a Choice
“Either pain affects the body or it affects the soul. But the soul can choose not to be affected, preserving its own serenity, its own tranquility. All our decisions, urges, desires, aversions lie within. No evil can touch them.”
Pain on the body happens. Could be physical injuries from sports, unhealthy lifestyle choices, or just age. But the one thing you can control is your soul, your mind. Nothing can affect or injure your mind without your permission.
Start with the Mind
“Stop perceiving the pain you imagine and you’ll remain completely unaffected.”
Aurelius writes throughout the Meditations that nothing can really have a hold on the soul, that is, without your own permission. He stated that disturbance, or even distractions or criticism people will throw at you, comes only from within our own perceptions.
Mind your own Business
“The tranquility that comes when you stop caring what they say or think, or do. Only what you do.”
Stop having that “teddy bear” personality. I see a tendency of people wanting to please everyone, wanting to be “cool” with every friend on their facebook. It’s all an illusion. It’s impossible and you will exhaust yourself and your energies trying to make everyone like you. Someone doesn’t like your lifestyle, or this person criticizes your clothing style? Why care? Just move past it and continue living your life.
Aurelius sums it up best; “Don’t waste the rest of your time here worrying about other people – unless it affects the common good.”
It’s up to you…
Employing these tactics will allow you to become mentally bulletproof in any situation that life will throw at you. If you truly live your life according to your terms, aligned with your passion and goals, no doubt you will come across people who will not approve of it. Accept the fact that you will run into enemies, criticism, and road blocks. If you’re not, then you are doing something wrong.
One important note to take into consideration. Using these tactics will not only help you to become mentally bulletproof to criticism, but also to observe criticism with a positive mindset. Healthy criticism can help you become a better “You”, as long as you address it with a positive mindset. The point is to never run away or become self-defensive. The goal is to identify it, take it for what its worth, and move on with living your life.
Its up you to choose the appropriate mindset to face these situations. As Marcus Aurelius wrote;
“Choose not to be harmed – and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed – and you haven’t been.”