Thursday, January 15, 2015

Negative to positive affect

DIY psychology. The change from a negative to positive affect is ultimately one of the changes required. For me, this was first seeing the difference. A negative affect (, in my case was learned for survival in my youth, to stay away from people, to blend into the surrounding as best possible, to be non memorable and through this I learned this negative affect personality. Now I have seen the light, and need to develop a positive affect in my personality. ( Not an easy task.

The Tetris effect ( is a process by which the negative affect is maintained. I did QC work and materials testing for many years, followed by forensic engineering along with geotechnical engineering. And then defensive driving, run all the idiot moves others can make, and be wary or these. It prevents accidents, but give one a negative outlook toward other idiot drivers.  This life is really a negative affect haven, and became too depressing to continue. Having retired, I now have time to explore philosophy and psychology of life and eating issues. It has become apparent to me that modern life is largely to blame for the whole obesity problem. Some of the commonly held beliefs are wrong and are the root of the problem. We cannot achieve "anything" we put our mind and effort into. We can achieve only that which is achievable, in our current environment, economically, politically, and most importantly within our own skill and ethics set. Other people maybe able to do more, or less, but they also have different histories, skill and personality sets. We need to learn to live within our own skill, philosophic, ethical and personality sets. We can adopt specific new concepts, but only if they are compatible with our existing beliefs.

Change will be slow, for we must work through all our beliefs, to demonstrate compatibility with any new belief. We will not accept anything that does not agree with our current beliefs. This suggests that there may be a order required in the change of our beliefs, first, we must come to believe that change is possible and worthwhile before it can happen. We then must compare one new belief with our existing beliefs. If the new is similar, there is nothing new, but if it is incompatible with our existing beliefs, now we need to examine, pick the better view, and go on from there. Our existing view may have preference. Oh well. Which is the better view?    

What is bringing all this up now? Well, I have started to read Flourish by Seligman, and it does not agree with the Stoic, virtue is necessary and sufficient for successful live. Virtue, doing right for the sake of right, with purpose, meaning, engagement, and if fate permits, achievement, satisfaction and joy. Seligman insists in the first chapter that a positive attitude and relationships are required. It the stoic philosophy, positive attitude is assumed to be better, is not necessary and while relationships are important, more important is letting go of attachment and desire to these relationships to maintain self. The 'cardinal' virtues: gratitude, temperance, prudence, justice, courage, persistence are used along with a long list of secondary virtues. Virtue is doing right for the sake of right, hence satisfaction and upright character is guaranteed. This is producing some cognitive discord with this book.

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