M. Scott Peck is a psychiatrist who offers a way of confronting and solving life’s problems. Millions of readers have grown spiritually and improved their lives.
Life is Difficult
The very first line of the book highlights one of the biggest truths we’ll ever have to face. Life is difficult, I guarantee you’ll never have a flawless life on the bright side. You may find your passion to travel the world on the downside. You may lose a friend or your job but once we truly understand and accept that life is difficult then life is no longer difficult.
Accept Responsibility For Your Problems
Life is full of problems they cause us pain which is why we try to avoid them. We procrastinate and make up excuses hoping that problems will go away but they won’t actually. Confronting and solving problems is what helps us grow but how many of us run away from problems like you avoid checking your bank account for fear that you have no money because you spent it all, or you avoid going to the doctor’s because deep down you’re scared of accepting the reality of your injury or illness and maybe you avoid catching up with old friends because you have neglected them in the past. Whichever problem you are avoiding it will not fix itself . The very first step in solving your problem is to accept that you have one. You must take self responsibility as a psychiatrist Peck has faced many patients who were not willing to take responsibility for their illness. They were looking for a quick fix as a result they dropped out of therapy and chose to remain sick instead accepting. Responsibility may not come straightaway but for those willing to take. The time that’s necessary will find themselves cured.
Love is Separateness
Genuine love is where each person respects one another’s individuality and sees each other as someone with a separate identity. This applies to your love for your intimate partner, friends and family. Those who fail to see this can become narcissistic and clingy. Here’s a classic example, there is a man called George. George is an athletic and passionate about basketball. He had a son called Kevin. Kevin loves to read. His father pushes Kevin to play basketball instead he tells him to stop reading and get out on the court. This causes Kevin to feel guilty and unnecessary pain. When Peck is confronted by George saying that his son has a problem, he tells him that Kevin is perfectly healthy and instead he should lessen the pressure on Kevin to be an exact copy of himself. George ended up leaving in search for a new psychiatrist the lesson here is simple don’t expect your child to be just like you.
Honesty is Freedom
Imagine you go into a job interview and the hiring manager asks him “do you know how to use a 3d printer”. Then he lied and he said yes. So that he gets the job. On the first day he used the 3d printer and accidentally broke it because he don’t know how to use it and what he will do if the boss finds out it’s broken. He again lied and said that his coworker Mandy did it. He now avoided Mandy to escape an awkward situation. Soon other co-workers hear that he don’t know how to operate the 3d printer. He is asked to help them operate it but lies again by saying that he has to go to the bathroom and then he avoided them for the rest of the day. So the chain of liars grows longer work soon becomes mentally draining. Having to avoid people and create new lies to hide old ones. He should have been honest in the first place. We tell lies to avoid pain in the moment and at hand under estimating the chain of problems it will cause in the future. Peck says it takes time and self-discipline to be honest. There are no shortcuts but when is it okay to lie. Well imagine you are out for a walk one day and you see a man running towards you. He looks stressed and frightened with tears in his eyes. He says “I am going to hide here. I can’t run anymore. I didn’t do anything wrong promise me you won’t tell them where I am” so you promise the man and he hides and you keep walking. Seconds later four police officers head towards you they ask you if you’ve seen the man. They were chasing what do you do. Do you lie. The takeaway here is that sometimes the benefits of lying outweighs those of telling the truth but we often drastically underestimate them. So be honest more often and you won’t have to put on a disguise stress out or hold back your personal growth. Honesty is freedom.
“Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult-once we truly understand and accept it-then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”
The video is grasped from here.
Also published on Medium.