Chapter 72 Attaining the Ideal Category 3 Power Process is Impossible, and the Category 2 Power Process is becoming more and more difficult for more and more people.

The power process being successfully achieved as described is being able to set s realistic goal, exerting proper effort to achieve the goal, and finally attaining the goal.  Today’s society has far too many Category 3 situations.  Main stream media sets expectations so high, everyone is desperate to worker higher and harder towards unrealistic goals. 


There are so many examples of these Category Three situations that one begins to wonder where to begin.  For females, simply, to be a mother today entails  working in a career (as a typical household has two incomes), to be a gentle mother, and a loving wife, and maintaining a reputation and fashion sense around her girlfriends.  Add to this other self directed goals like being a good sister, churchgoer, daughter to an aging father.  All at once, Society has set unreasonable Category Three situations before us for females.


For males, there is an equal problem.  Men are expected to be good listeners and companions with their spouses, expected to be good fathers and role models to their sons and daughters, to be good sons and brothers, and have a successful career on top of that.  Just aiming to be a “director” won’t do.  Society asks each individual and rewards them if they are the top of the ladder, in a business… a CEO.  But how many can become a CEO? (only one in the company).  And how long will it take to become a CEO? (all their life, there are few “young” CEOs). 


This is not the end of it all.  Everyone living within Society, if they listen and abide and are sold by Society’s whims, are wealthy, successful, gained fame in their respective careers, stay young, stay healthy and fit (go to the gym), stay happy and cheerful at all times.  And on top of all that be good looking… as the ideal. 

How many people can realistically achieve all the above?  Nobody…


Therein lies the source of modern man’s ills.  As Sigmund Freud wrote, “Life is filled too much with impossible task”s, which society imposes on its members.  Take any career today.  A nurse perhaps…asked to see so many patients and do unlimited tasks to take care of them while working shift work which hampers their sleep, and working long shifts at the hospital which hurts their backs, knees…their entire bodies.  Take for another example a teacher. 


On relatively low pay, teachers are asked to work very long hours grading papers, tutoring students one on one who are falling behind, filling out report cards and other duties they are not even being paid for, while enduring the wrath of the parents who want perfection from the teacher’s methods.  Add to that the principal and the state which demands that teachers have their students achieve at a certain level or standardized score.  It was read by me that the average life of a Chicago Public School teacher is only five years…  This is after they spent four years at a college, and three years gaining their master’s degree.  They worked so hard for wonderful goals, but are driven to the point of resignation because of Society’s expectations.


We can write another book here too, on all the occupations and Society’s unrealistic expectations, which cause both physical and emotional stress on its citizens.  Yet another occupation, such as an entertainer, requires them to look picture perfect everywhere and anytime lest there is a paparazzi who snaps their photograph.  They are expected to sign autographs and present themselves in many public showings of their work when they do not desire such actions.  Who can look perfect and act perfect all of the time?  Society expects this of its citizens, which is maybe one of the causes of seeing so much drug use and therapists to the movie stars in our respective eras.     


Consider another such “goal” which is simply absurd as it applies to women, as you think about it.  Many females have it as a goal to have an attractive bikini body by the summertime.  Even if a woman could have even the time required to maintain a regime of exercise required to achieve a “slender” physique, and the discipline to maintain the healthy diet and avoid all sweets, the “ideal” is nearly impossible to achieve since much of Society’s requirements of such an “ideal” figure entails a skeletal frame which is tall, with rounded hips, provocatively sized breasts, and so forth that the woman aspiring to look great on the beach made not be even born with.  A female cannot choose the genes that she is born with, and yet Society makes her feel bad if she cannot conform to a certain standard. 


About youngkim3000

I grew up in Virginia and went to a top tier high school, being so ambitious and wanting fame and fortune like the next kid. I received good grades and then I went off to the University of Chicago where I majored in Psychology and Economics. After a brief but successful "Wall Street" career, I realized that I was not happy and left thinking that a career in the medical field would satisfy me. Then, I did some post Bac work at Northwestern and UIC, and then ended up at UIC Medical School. The problem was I was not happy there either. The structure, the repetition, and lack of being able to be free and spontaneously creative really knocked me down. Having to be subject to constant subjective evaluations sucked my soul dry. As I sought another chapter in my life, then came the financial collapse of 2008-9 which destroyed the "nest egg" and saving that I had worked so hard to build after college--which I so "identified with". I was so depressed at the loss of career and the loss of money that I fell into self pity and a deep seated depression. For weeks on end, I could not even get out of bed. I went to many doctors who could not really help me. I took so much anti-depressant medication and also self medicated with alcohol to dull my mind. One day though, I went to the public library in Niles, IL, and picked up some books on "Self-Help". I figured what do I have to lose? I was already so depressed I could barely get through a day. I picked up books by Wayne Dyer (Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life), Deepak Chopra, Louis Hay, Ram Dass, Osho, and Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth), The Dalai Lama, and revisited my faith in Catholicism. I devoured so many books to unearth just why I was suffering so much. I learned so much about myself and realized that my deep suffering was actually a gift for me to discover myself. Simply put, those words in those books saved my life. I was taking so many drugs and my physical health was in serious jeopardy. I realized that I could not live with myself any longer, and I needed to be free. I realized...that it was my own thoughts that were making me so depressed, as was my own "life story" that I replayed over and over. I realized that my mind was busy creating negative thoughts. Thoughts are "things" and expand. I understood that you do not "normally" choose your thoughts. Just like the digestion of a meal, the mind automatically creates all kinds of thoughts whether you like it or not. Just like you do not "choose" to breathe with your lungs or "choose" to make urine from your kidneys, you "normally" do not "choose" your own thoughts. They just happen, just like digestion. And if you had a bad experience, your mind recreates the negative thoughts without your conscious consent but you are forced to relive them endless times per day. It is only through CONSCIOUS INTERVENTION that you can make your mind change course from recycling negative thoughts. This is just like your breathing. You breathe automatically, but you CAN choose to influence your breathing, you can hold your breath if you are going to dive deep in the water, or you can consciously "slow down" your breath if you are relaxing in meditation and prayer. Once I realized I did in fact have an ability to control my thoughts, I consciously redirected the thoughts to positive uplifting notions. I noted that I had built such a large ego that the collapse of it dragged me down in catastrophic fashion. A big ego is different from self esteem. Both were destroyed, but I learned to regain self esteem through positive affirmations and knowing that the negative thoughts are not reality. I was choosing definitively to live in the past via my repetitive thoughts. I was also choosing to live in an uncertain future that I painted with dreadful possibilities. I realized that if I live in the "now", the present moment, I really did not have any reason to be depressed at all. I discovered I really only live in the "now". The past and future are fictions. It is akin to a motorboat on the water on a lake. The "wake" that the boat produces is the past, my vision of the future is what I can see in front of me, but I really only exist ON the boat in the present moment. I was living my life only on the "wake" created many meters before. Soon, my self-pity slowly subsided as I learned to accept "what is" and not grasp for anything and everything that is valued by Society. I concurred that it was my own "expectations" not realized that were causing such waves of discontent. Once I dropped my self imposed sad "life story", my yesterdays, I came to my senses that there was no need to feel upset at all. That realization hit me like "a ton of bricks" and quickly lifted me out of the well, like a rope thrown down the dark walls of the deep well. I would like to share that it was only that single moment of enlightenment, a "satori" event that forever changed my life, but that was not so. It was a gradual climb out of the abyss (over about a year). I realized that my mind was like a superhighway of blazing thoughts that went through my mind over and over based on the recent past. While my "life story" was going great, I believed in those thoughts, and my ego grew such that I became arrogant and sometimes unkind. Then when my "life story" changed for the worse, I similarly believed in those new negative thoughts with the same passion (which hurt me so deeply throughout my waking hours). I noted to myself that this was why I craved so many "tranquilizers" and medicines that would halt my thoughts. I realized that I was drowning in my negative thoughts and that I was CHOOSING to believe in them. But I learned through focusing on positive affirmations, meditation and prayer, I did not need any more drugs to "halt" my mind from stabbing me to death. Through the filter of society's measure I had evaluated my own life, unable to fully realize that it was all a fiction that my mind had created. I was completely unable to live in the present before this profound awakening. My life had turned into a constant "replay" of the past, the anxiety of the uncertain future...and my destroyed ego. Because of my belief that my thoughts were the ultimate truth, I suffered so deeply... but needlessly. Once I changed the direction of my thoughts, everything changed. The way I looked at my own life changed. I realized that LIFE is not a long emergency where the one with the most toys at the end wins. I realized LIFE is something to be lived fully, and joyfully...not some series of problems to be solved. Once I realized these insights, I realized that I was the creation of my own depression. Although a devout Catholic, I am also deeply moved by the ideals of Buddhism. About Karma and "Dependent Arising"...both of which are also in the Bible (Galations 6, Do not be deceived, God will not be mocked, a person always reaps what they sow). And I was...for the better part of my life, a runaway train into disaster that I was blind to...that I had planted the seeds onto. Putting money, fame, accolades, trophies, and so forth as the ultimate end to my goals sowed the seeds of psychological calamity when the inevitable tides of change occurs in every life. A person who extols those superficial qualities dooms himself/herself to disaster. The only variable is "time". Would it take a long time to find yourself in a train wreck or a short time? It doesn't matter. What matters is how soon can you realize the truth of existence and your place in it...and rise above what Society tries to focus you to believe. Society always makes you compare yourself to others, Society never leaves you alone to just be yourself. You have to exert effort and unlearn what Society has poisoned you with. I am now doing various "work" (not holding down any soul sucking corporate job), teaching, making money through various income sources like buying items at rummage sales and reselling them through Craigslist, asking neighbors and doing work they need, trading stock options when my financial tools indicate that there is a good trade. I am not focused on any "ladder to climb" or any "prestigious career"...and I am so much happier and at peace. I'd rather be "waterboarded" that go back to Corporate America. I have also a solid equanimity, and i am OK with whatever happens, and thus accept what God and the Universe wish for me. I wish to share my newly found wisdom and hope that my story and my interpretation of my newly found contentment can benefit others and I also wish to hear similar stories of awakening. God Bless, thanks for reading my "profile" and leave me your stories of awakening. Outside somewhere is a field where all of us are the same, I cannot wait to see you there...Namaste...
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