We live in a me, me, me world. Or as the Beatles said, “I me mine.” Often, when “the me” isn’t getting its way, isn’t losing weight, getting rich, finding true love, or gaining more confidence, it turns to self-improvement products to make things better. You know what I’m talking about, the books, audio recordings, and classes that lead to an even greater focus of attention on “me.”
Recently, I read about a different kind of self-help in an article by Gregg Krech, ToDo Institute, which in this country is the main champion of Japanese Naikan therapy.
The article lists skills that are the foundation of Japanese psychology.
*Acceptance. We’ve all heard this one. If you can’t change an unpleasant situation or experience, stop focusing your attention on it . Easier said than done, but Krech makes it seem more doable when he says, not to let go “is to fight against reality.” When stated that way, do any of us really have time to invest in a fight like this?
*Coexisting with conflicting feelings. Krech says, “accept them and take them with us as we do what we need to do in our lives.”
*Shift our attention away from ourselves. “…self-focused attention is associated with psychological and emotional suffering.” When we stop obsessing about our problems and shift our attention outside of us, the problems lose their power to make us miserable.
*Courageous self-reflection. This involves focusing attention on all the people who have supported or cared for you in some way. If you consider all you’ve received from others, whether in the form of a friendly smile, a cooked meal, help making a purchase, or clean teeth, it’s easier to spend a little less time in a me, me, me world.