Random Thoughts from a Restless Mind

Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘pressure’

Sunday musings 6/14/15

1) Droll. Troll who spent some time at Second City.

2) Pressure. “Pressure is a privilege.” Billie Jean King.

Perhaps Ms. King means that “pressure” is felt only by those who participate in an activity by choice. Those who have no choice feel no pressure because they simply do what they must. War. Poverty. Disease. Little or no time or energy for pressure. One must simply do.

Lots of layers to explore in that little gem.

3) Joy. “Take a chance on joy.” Saw this about 7 times in the last 24 hours in 7 very different places, 7 very different ways. Must be a sign.

Seriously, why not?

4) Profit. We ought to understand that the first priority of any business is to stay in business. The overarching priority of every business man/woman is to keep their business open. We should never be surprised when the true owners of a business make this the desired outcome of their strategy, and IMO we have no standing to criticize any legitimate business that does so.

We are, however, free to be surprised by their tactics.

5) Authenticity. Several friends and acquaintances checking in from travels afar this morning have me thinking. What constitutes a culturally authentic experience? Serious question. The follow-up, of course, is who gets to decide on behalf of a particular culture whether or not said experience was indeed authentic?

There are more questions in this bucket than answers, at least from me I’m afraid. As one not of a particular culture, is it even possible to have an authentic experience? Is the simple fact that one is without cultural “chops” nullification of authenticity? At a distance, reading about a particular culture for example, what makes it possible to have true empathy with a character? To have an authentic experience by proxy, as it were?

I am by nature a curious being, constantly on the prowl for knowledge. As I age I find that my thirst for knowledge is quenched more by experiences gained than by the acquisition of skills with practical application. It’s a search for enrichment, I think, more than a skill set. Perhaps adding a requirement of authenticity is unnecessary, even a bit precious or presumptuous. Is it even possible for a child of the unoppressed, barely burdened American middle class capable of experiential authenticity? Dunno.

In the end it probably doesn’t really matter, eh? The take home message, at least for me, is simply to seek experiences that are outside my own cultural silo. To do so respectfully, and in a way that they are as close to authentic as they might be, in order that I may then expand my understanding of cultures ever further from whatever may be my own.

Maybe–just maybe– that’ll make the experiences authentic enough.

I’ll see you next week…


CrossFit Kids and Peer Pressure

Why is it that some folks, particularly younger people, succumb to peer pressure while others somehow find the will to resist? Why, for example, does one kid accept the offered illegal substance while another says ‘no thanks’? What is it that compels the group to pile on, but one outlier says ‘enough’?

Millions of words have been spilled on this topic of course, and I’m certainly not qualified to add to the psych canon, but I’ve noticed a couple of things in CrossFit Kids groups that remind me of how a certain guy I knew walked away from an entire peer group, twice, rather than cave to pressure.

It’s easy and simple, hard and complex all at once. It has to do with success and succeeding, and getting ‘caught’ in the act of that success. Kids who regularly and routinely succeed at difficult tasks of any kind start to have a stronger belief in themselves that transfers to other stuff. Kids who are held to standards that they must self-police tend to develop a stronger sense that they can make an ethical or moral call without the need for the external confirmation of the group. You count every rep; you move through a full Range Of Motion. You make the call, or if judged you accept the call of the judge. CrossFit Kids does not hold the sole franchise for this, of course. The “First Tee” golf program, school chess programs, lots of other places exist where this type of belief in self gained through achievement and accountability exist.

It’s never too late to start this process, of course, because the dangers of peer pressure, groupthink, and the psychology of the mob do not magically disappear when we reach the age of majority. Where do you fall on this continuum? Can you think for yourself in the face of peer pressure? Do you have that inner sense, that mental muscle memory that lets you be confident when you are sure that the group is wrong?¬†When the time comes are you strong enough to stand alone?

CrossFit Kids programs are one way to provide youngsters with the inner strength necessary to stand up to peer pressure.