The Secret to Get What You Want: Don’t Try

The epitaph of my favorite writer, Charles Bukowski, reads, “Don’t try.”

Liberate yourself from social expectations and future projections that conflict with your propensity towards hedonistic pursuits. Hedonism is overlooked and frequently cited as a rationale for reveling in all humanistic pleasures. However, many people are unaware that hedonism is an integral element of reciprocal altruism, a strategic tool for advancing evolution.

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Renowned psychologist Carl Jung claimed that the unconscious deteriorates itself along with the consciousness when it imposes unnecessary constraints on itself, preventing an individual from reaching their potential or, as he put it, their “individuation.”

Psychologist Abraham Maslow developed the “Hierarchy of Needs,” a holistic pyramid that an individual must ascend to reach “self-actualization” — accepting oneself in perspective of their capabilities and potential.

Psychoanalyst and psychiatrist Sigmund Freud (yes, that Freud) coined the term “catharsis” to describe the greatest release from repressive emotions into a healthy consciousness.

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Epicurus, a philosopher and the father of hedonism, described internal tranquility as “ataraxia.”

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Buddhists refer to the highest state of enlightenment as “nirvana” — freedom from suffering.

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You get the point.

Evolutionary instinct and the notion of hedonistic indulgence are in opposition when the ultimate pleasures of all overindulgent tendencies are without restraint. Hedonism is a philosophy of being that lessens suffering and heightens pleasure, but it does not advocate straying beyond what is socially appropriate regarding human responsibility.

As Epicurus stated, “nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is too little.”

Regardless of social status, culture, background, or creed, those who comply with the true principles of the philosophy will become more competent, analytical, and, most importantly, successful (arbitrary to each individual).

Used out of context, many view it as an opportunity to “live la vida loca.” You can’t attain “individuation,” “self-actualization,” “catharsis,” or “nirvana” if you think in such a limited capacity.

Living for the moment or because of the moment?

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This kind of psychological conditioning will lead you to believe that the pinnacle of life consists of blandness and brief respites from boredom.

That isn’t genuine happiness; it’s only the absence of it.

So, what is genuine happiness?

And how do you find it?

Well, you don’t discover it. And you don’t find it, either. Because that is also a false sense of entitlement, you must generate it rather than ride on the coattails of others, pretending it’s yours. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach that works for everyone; therefore, several methods may be effective.

We’ll talk about one of the most common paths to happiness: understanding yourself.

To understand others, you first need to understand yourself. Alternately, you can opt to reverse-engineer this strategy by first understanding others to understand yourself.

As you learn, you will be able to understand humanity independent of media distortion. From these two variables, you will begin to extrapolate the elements required to manifest what you want from the people and environment around you.

That doesn’t imply using or manipulating others to obtain your desires.

People who choose what or who to listen to will blindly follow those who present a happy, feel-good book or doctrines, particularly ones that promote prejudiced ideologies. The majority of those followers not having read that literature, though, is disturbing.

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Don’t be those people…or if you are, truly consider the literature contextually with logic and reason.

Is it true that “ignorance is bliss?”

Or…

Ignorance is violent” — a phrase rarely spoken.

Why do we not hear that more often?

Carl Jung was correct in his assumption, “Thinking is difficult, that’s why most people judge.”

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But you are a survivor.

If you are still reading, that is…

Many people drift through life ignorant of who they are and how the system changes, lacking the aptitude and the capacity to counterbalance excessive leisure and self-fulfillment. The idea of identity in Aristotle’s original concept of tabula rasa has limited relevance, particularly in light of our biological function. Modern technology discredits the “blank slate” with empiricism.

In many ways, you can reject or circumnavigate any aspect of what genetics bestows on your potential. You have the fortitude to establish yourself in a way that you want, but you must find your individual path toward it. You must learn how to allow and disallow parts of your genetic code into your overall goals. This can include anything from meditating to psychotherapy.

This is what distinguishes you from earlier generations who have found and will continue to find adoration in failure, deceptively cloaked as accomplishment and success.

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Failure is merely a concept used to describe operations that are currently unfinished. It may be challenging to modify the perspective of your cultural indoctrination of values and the terminology that defines the separation from them if necessary.

You may proceed forward in the supposition of failure that others characterize as success once you accept and embrace that you are the only one who can define yourself.

Failure is a common teaching tool and a drive to keep trying. However, the term “try” insinuates that expectations are time-based demands, which induce errors and demoralize diligence. Consequently, it suppresses independence in your endeavors to compartmentalize ideologies influenced by culture.

Once you’ve overcome suppression, you can advance closer to achieving your objectives and goals using reasoning and logic.

You will be able to determine whether it provides sensibility, wisdom, and the optimum completion of a balanced, or at the very least, healthy psyche to strive for those goals.

Charles Bukowski’s gravestone has a carving of a boxer — an individual who heeds the art, the science, and the courage of a true fighter, where Bukowski gave us his last words: “Don’t try.”

So, stay blissfully ignorant and violent.

Or…

Don’t try.

And just do.

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Christopher Jacob Gil

Christopher Jacob Gil

Come as you are. Passionate about psychology, philosophy, and theology. International Association of Professional Writers and Editors 2x award-winner.