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Chapter 7: Pain is the universal constant

While pain is inevitable, suffering is always a choice. There’s always a separation between what we experience and how we interpret this experience. In this gap you have power to bear anything.

The better things get, the more we perceive threats where there are none. This is the basis of the paradox of progress.

Our emotional reactions to the problem aren’t determined by the size of the problem. Rather, our minds simply amplify or minimize problems to fit the degree of stress we expect to experience. Material success and security cause us to be preoccupied over less significant things.

Pain is universal and lies at the heart of all emotions. Negative emotions are caused by experiencing pain. Positive emotions are caused by alleviating pain.

Our tolerance for pain, as a culture, is diminishing rapidly. It generates emotional fragility, which is why everything appears to be so f*cked.

Actions to take

Principles to follow