The Trustee: Uncertainty in Self-Development like Water in Swimming

Exploration yields three possible outcomes: gain, loss, or nothing. Intriguingly, psychology reveals that the pain experienced from a loss outweighs the joy derived from a gain in our brains. This imbalance results in a negative expected value for uncertainty within the human mind. Consequently, the brain naturally abhors uncertainty and reacts with distressing sensations such as anxiety and pain, orchestrated through specialized neural networks. These neural networks are a product of millions of years of evolutionary evaluation, sculpted by survival circumstances, forming an unalterable foundation for our brains, iterating slowly only within the context of the human reproductive cycle. Unfortunately, this slow iteration falls significantly behind the demands of modern society, causing a discrepancy between traditional neural networks and contemporary needs. Therefore, it is prudent to manage and accelerate the iteration speed of neural networks to align with the present environment. Furthermore, we might anticipate leveraging advanced biological technology to directly adjust neural networks, enhancing evaluation speed, despite the potential negative effects akin to a double-edged sword.

Understanding, adapting to, and effectively utilizing anxiety represents a practical and balanced approach between passively waiting for the brain to naturally adapt to a new environment and resorting eagerly to extreme biotechnological methods for neural network reconstruction.

Anxiety, as mentioned earlier, primarily stems from how our brain's neural network reacts to an unfamiliar environment. When we find ourselves in such environments for extended periods due to work or other reasons, the brain's preprogrammed responses are triggered, resulting in persistent anxiety. It's important to consistently and logically remind ourselves that the current anxiety and discomfort are simply outcomes of our brain's operations, signifying its healthy functioning, without any deeper meaning. We should acclimate ourselves to the sensation of anxiety and recognize it as a byproduct of outdated brain programming°™akin to a 'garbage file'. By actively deepening our understanding of this process, we can mitigate the distress caused by anxiety and work towards optimizing this obsolete brain programming, gradually alleviating its impact on our decision-making.

The primary challenge for every novice swimmer is overcoming the fear of water. Beyond this, anyone aspiring to master swimming faces a second common obstacle: learning to merge seamlessly with the water, both physically and mentally. This entails becoming a part of the water rather than approaching it with the conquering mindset of a beginner. Essentially, these two challenges revolve around addressing the primal fear of water covering the mouth and nose, deeply ingrained in the brain's neural network over millions of years. The objective is to retrain the brain's neural responses, so it no longer reacts to tactile signals from the facial skin being submerged in water, visual cues of the eyes under a horizontal surface, auditory signals of ears surrounded by water, occasional olfactory signals of water entering the nasal cavity, and other sensory inputs. By achieving this, individuals can calmly integrate themselves with various water bodies°™be it pools, rivers, lakes, or seas°™floating effortlessly, utilizing interaction forces to propel themselves forward through the water.

The concept of uncertainty mirrors the relationship of the ocean to the act of swimming forward in the realm of self-improvement. Much like swimming, the genuine assimilation with water and advancement necessitates the conquering of the inherent fear of water within the brain. This analogy holds true in facing uncertainty°™by gaining a comprehensive understanding of anxiety's mechanisms and adapting to its presence, we adeptly maneuver uncharted voyages within uncertainty, fostering continuous self-enhancement. Consequently, anxiety serves as a catalyst for progress, propelling us ahead as a steadfast companion. Considering this within a broader human context, these approaches are dynamically evolving and constitute priceless spiritual resources for posterity.

Ankang Guo

2023/9/29