Rage & Flow (Motivation, Inspiration, Life Philosophy)
I have good faith that this will motivate you, and that this will light a fire inside of you that has always existed and cannot be extinguished. This post is my life philosophy: it is my deepest beliefs put into words. If you have the patience to read this through entirely and ponder the weight and meaning of each word, then you just may leave with a bit more knowledge and self-awareness than when you first came in.
[Introduction – The Core Idea]
I believe that everything exists in a state of duality: two opposing extremes, two opposing forces that guide the world and allow for a balance of things to exist. There can be no concept of balance if there are no extremes: it is the presence of opposing forces that a point of balance can exist at all. The idea is that reaching and maintaining this point of balance is ideal to living a good life and becoming the truest self. However, I believe that to truly reach this point of balance, one must make use of both extremes. It is equal use and understanding of both ends of the spectrum that one comes to truly know the meaning of balance. I have given names for the two opposing forces and energies: Rage and Flow. They are opposites but when used together they act as two sides of one whole. It is understanding and balancing these energies that allows one to maximize their potentials. I believe these energies exist independently of myself: they are nameless and without a true owner. They are present in all things and can be tapped into by anyone; call them Yin and Yang, Fire and Water, Light and Dark… it matters not. These are merely labels to help one understand a concept that must be experienced.
[Rage & Flow]
In all things that you do there exists these two energies: Rage and Flow. They are each very powerful on their own but when properly used together they become something else: a fuller understanding of self and one’s actions.
“Rage” is the beginning of something; it is like fire, it burns rapidly and violently and produces a flame that can kindle other flames. It is representative of life and the start of something. When you are in the moment before the act of doing something, there are the voices inside your head that weigh the risk versus the reward: Rage is the fire that silences those voices. It is the moment everything clicks and you have decided that the rewards far outweigh the risks. It is that first moment that you have chosen to act and not remain still. Rage is contagious. As others witness that moment where you have decided to be part of something instead of being a bystander, suddenly you become a mirror for other people. What one man can do is what all men can do. You become proof and an example for others as they see that same fire waiting to be lit within themselves. I will explain with an example after the next section.
“Flow” is all the parts after the beginning, including the end; it is like water, it washes fluidly but resolutely and carries the momentum and energy all the way to the end. It is representative of death and the end of something. It is acceptance and concentration: it is the state of being in the zone. Flow is being so absorbed in an act that there exist no other things, no distractions. It is accepting all the possible outcomes and consequences of your actions and following through without any doubt. For instance, the moment after you dive off a cliff: calmness and stillness in your heart even in the possibility of death; acceptance of one’s fate so that one can focus on the act of the dive. Flow is arguably more contagious than Rage: both these energies inspire action. Being in a state of Flow is like being the one person walking in the direction that the rest of a crowd is running away from: not a drop of fear or doubt in this person’s heart because they have accepted the possibilities. It is the ultimate act of letting go.
A balance is needed in these two energies for an action to be refined. Too much Rage and no Flow is to have too strong of a start and a weak and broken follow-through. Too much Flow and no Rage is to be completely accepting of an end result with no initial passionate and controlled input. For our example we shall use a person that is going to cliff dive. Too much Rage and no Flow, and this person valiantly leaps high up off the cliff… but as they look down they decide that they are not going to commit to their jump. Now they are flailing in the air after such a strong start but no acceptance of their choice and actions. They come crashing down, belly-flopping onto the surface of the water. They had a strong start but no commitment, no Flow. Same example but this time they have plenty of Flow but no Rage. The person takes a deep breath and meditates a bit before their leap, fully accepting the possibility of injury. This relaxed and calm state of mind means they will not flail or be afraid during their dive. The person is so calm that he or she barely runs before the take-off and makes a half-assed jump. Nearly scraping the side of the cliff they cannonball into the water. The person is fine in this scenario but they were expressing too much acceptance, too much Flow. They did not balance their energy with Rage.
[Understanding the Balance – Rage & Flow]
In any task or action there are two components: the input and the output. It is recognizing and understanding that one only has so much control over a situation that one can act with maximum efficiency. Going back to the example of the cliff diver, a balanced diver will understand that it is half input and half acceptance of the outcome. Once you leap you must commit. Some people only cover half the equation: leap and don’t commit and it messes up everything, commit but don’t put enough effort into the leap and you’re setting yourself up for failure or disaster. With a balance of Rage and Flow, the person will run up to the edge and take off bravely, and then having accepted being in the air, this person will commit by assuming a diving position all the way until he or she touches the water.
Another good example is the back flip. A person attempting a back flip must balance Rage and Flow. Those that can back flip or understand how a back flip works will also understand why it requires a balance between initial input, and then letting go and acceptance. To back flip, all you have to do is leap straight up, as high as you can, then tuck… after that you have no control, your body will naturally flip due to the force applied initially and the curve of your tuck. It is half input, half letting go and accepting the outcome. Following this example, a person that has all Rage and no Flow when doing a back flip will jump high up and then bail in mid-air. It is to leap and not leave your actions in fate’s hands. The person thinks, while in mid-air, that they have made a mistake and this is not for them: it is a lack of commitment, a lack of Flow. They properly prepare for the jump and take-off but after they have jumped they fail to accept the possibility of injury and this leads to an attempt to back out of their decision. It is fear or doubt that leads them to try to flail desperately to complete the flip (a quick search on YouTube will yield many people who try with much effort to do a back flip but back out while they’re in mid-air). Then we have someone with all Flow, but no Rage. This person will be too calm before their take-off because they have already overcome the fear of death or injury. This person runs and jumps, but without enough force, and then they commit fully. No matter, full commitment does not help much because they did not put in enough initial effort. To be balanced it is half input and half acceptance of the outcome of said input. With little input, a person with only acceptance, or all Flow, has failed to understand that a back flip does not magically happen on its own. It isn’t all about acceptance and letting go of the fear: one cannot be so calm and resolute and just run up and jump and think that the flip will happen on its own accord.
Half input, half acceptance of input. Give it your all and then let go and go with the flow.
[Philosophy Applied: The Self, the Barriers, and the Aspirations]
Rage and Flow can be applied to motivation and self-development. The things that stand in the way between you and your goal are the circumstantial barriers and the self-constructed barriers. Both types of barriers can be overcome when one awakens the powers of Rage and Flow. The way I see it, the situation when chasing after a goal is broken into three parts: who you are, the barriers of the mind, and what you could be. The goal is to slowly chip away at who are to become what you could be. It is as if there is a little war going on inside each of our minds: one half wanting to remain the same, the other half wanting to change or improve. We must silence one half or push the majority of our minds into thinking we can change and that we are above our obstacles and circumstances. Hence Rage and Flow.
Every time a voice comes up in your head that is contrary to what you want to become, you must silence it. To do this well, one must learn to separate the negative thoughts from the self: try to think that these are the voices and thoughts of a weaker self. I personally use “demons” as a means of attributing all negative thoughts as separate from myself. If I’m trying to refine my diet and I see a chocolate muffin and a voice in my head says “go for it, you know you want to eat it, and we BOTH know you’re too weak to resist… who are you trying to fool,” then I attribute that thought to some entity (whether you want to believe it’s truly real or not is up to you) outside of and separate from myself. “I” don’t want that muffin, my “demon” does; my demon wants to please itself but controlling what I do, my demons are my bad habits. Having recognized my own “demon”, my own poor habits, I let that fire (Rage) awaken that silences these weaker thoughts. I am not my “demon,” I am above this, I am above primal pleasures. Then the Flow aspect would be to commit after deciding not to eat that muffin.
Another example of the power of Rage and Flow is when one is faced with pain. If I’m doing push-ups and I’m aiming for a 100 but I’m at 70 and a voice in my head goes, “70 is ‘good enough’, hey man just rest here it’s okay, your body is in so much pain, you don’t have any more strength in you,” then I must silence this thought and keep going till I actually, physically cannot do another. When facing pain in this way you will find that through perseverance and commitment, the pain itself is lessened and your willpower begins to grow. The 70 push-up mark becomes 86… or 92… or 103. When your mind is stronger than your body, you begin to break limits. Your mind should never be at the mercy of your body; never let your body tell you what to do. If your body is in pain, then let it suffer: mold your body after the ideals of your mind, not the other way around. Don’t eat because your body enjoys eating; don’t go masturbate because it pleases your body. Live for you ideals so that you can be your most ideal self: as the body suffers, the mind and spirit grow stronger. Understand this well and may Rage and Flow be your guides.
“Find what you love and let it kill you.” – Charles Bukowski
My interpretation of the quote is that you should live doing what you love: find your passion and let that or those passions be the end of you; die while living out your passions.
That is all. Thank you for your time.
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@egarim, No biggie dude! Its a prominent thought now that I will apply and play with! When I read how people have discovered truths for themselves like in this post, it really shows me that anyone can do it. It is a potential layer of the onion waiting to be peeled off. You created that spark in others and now I’m more certain of my initial idea. At the end of the day though I have to discover this for myself but this is a big push in that direction if you know what I mean. ;)
No problem. And I do know what you mean, best of luck my man. Thank you for your thoughts and appreciation, it really helps me in the learning process. It’s also a wonderful jolt that keeps me on track while I continue on my journey. Have a great day dude!
You imply that by intentionally speaking like an idiot (which is your opinion and judgement, not mine) I elecit a negative response from you. This assumption is wrong, therefore I can’t answer your question because I don’t agree with your question.
However, I am trying to get a response from you, whether you think your response will be negative, is you opinion.
I find that when I speak, I speak to myself, as people are mirrors to me, what I try to tell others, I actually try to tell myself. If you don’t learn from your own philosophy, how is it even possible to have come so far? Isn’t the whole point of philosophy to try and answer the life’s great questions?
Did you never thought of this whole text at all before you wrote it? Did your fingers automatically type this text?
I find that I know a lot of stuff, but I don’t always follow my own words, but of course this won’t apply to everyone. However, I am of firm belief that it is so with most people.
I believe that philosophy brings one further away from one’s own nature, as it tries to answer questions, which in turn only give more questions.
@egarim, It’s tricky to write without writing too much. Personally, I think all the text in your OP was due and added value to the post, and I also tend to write way too much myself.
Posting mind-opening material is kind of like mixing and mastering a track, make it it home as hard as possible and for as many people as possible, it’s a tricky art. Takes many years of practice to get really good.
But you did do a great job with this post.
The best part was the last few paragraphs, so much good stuff in there. Practical application, that’s what it’s all about.
“Champions are made from something they have deep inside them: A desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.” – Cassius Clay
The ego is like an obstinate, needy bitch. See her for what she truly is, and she dies in bliss. Her curse has been lifted, the demon turns companion.
First impressions are never correct, first impressions are nothing but snapshotting/strawmanning, one big projection of lies. There’s probably no way out of the habit of snapshotting, but we can control how we deal with it.
It is also important not to let our opinions and disagreements taint how we view another person, because that is just a negative projection, an untruth, and a mean-willed action.
See, now I’m writing too much again haha.
“I find that when I speak, I speak to myself, as people are mirrors to me, what I try to tell others, I actually try to tell myself. If you don’t learn from your own philosophy, how is it even possible to have come so far?”
Of course, it seems we had a misunderstanding. My philosophy is my own, of course I reflect on what I do… but when I am sharing my philosophy, it IS NOT for my own reinforcement. I don’t tell people to eat healthier because I want to remind myself to eat healthier… I tell them because I’m hoping they take it as a nudge in the right direction. I train myself regardless of other people. I don’t have to preach a word (I usually don’t preach, I just practice it and then people ask me my philosophy because they see how hard I work and I can’t respond properly) to try to better myself.
I am not that egotistic so I don’t use others as mirrors; my personality is self-contained and not reflective in that sense.
Thanks for your thoughts!
No, thank you for reading it. I never post these things for myself, this has been my life philosophy for a long time. The only purpose is to share, and that purpose fails if no one reads it.
Have a good day my friend
That’s a good analogy for the writing process; it really is a tricky art to master. I give much credit to the many great thinkers that manage to get a point across as simply and profoundly as possible. Thank you, I really do appreciate your support and feedback. Very nice quote by the way, it really stirs up the image of a champion.
Of course, the ego is something that needs to be understood and assimilated: something that takes time and discipline. I’m working on it and I think I’m doing pretty well. As for our prior misunderstandings and false first impressions: all we can do is not repeat any negative manners of thinking and move forward.
In the same boat haha, thanks for your thoughts man
@egarim, I really like this part
” Your mind should never be at the mercy of your body; never let your body tell you what to do. If your body is in pain, then let it suffer: mold your body after the ideals of your mind, not the other way around. Don’t eat because your body enjoys eating; don’t go masturbate because it pleases your body. Live for you ideals so that you can be your most ideal self: as the body suffers, the mind and spirit grow stronger. Understand this well and may Rage and Flow be your guides.”
Excellent post, very well put.
@egarim, Thanks for your sharing, you reminded me of the spark of an idea that I had, I’ve been trying to put those two concepts together for a while, but I didn’t have words for them. Rage and Flow, so intricately connected but different and its so important to know that. You put it so well!
I wrote this as a short note on my phone almost 2 months ago:
“When focused on a goal, don’t be so influenced by other thoughts or wants that will pop up. You want to complete what you are doing but when you start falling for these old thought patterns it is like jumping off of a 50′ rock to dive into the water below, with your body poised for the least impact, but then, looking up to see how far you have come, giving up control, and then slapping your stomach on the water with a heavy blow.”
Haha is that your logic? Dude are you intentionally speaking like an idiot to try to elicit a negative response from me?
It is precisely because I follow these beliefs that I don’t post it for myself. Just like any professor: they don’t teach the material for themselves… they know the material, it’s for those that want to learn.
These are my personal beliefs and life philosophy… of course I follow it. I posted it for anyone who would want to take something away from it.
No harm done. Have a good day!
I couldn’t help but smile when I read that. Here is the thing, I know for a fact that Rage and Flow exist independently of myself: my philosophy is a combination of many existing philosophies, all of which are understandings of things that exist independently of humans. The fact that you were onto a similar understanding is proof that I merely stumbled upon an idea that already existed.
We even used a similar example haha. I know of other philosophies out there that cover the concept of “Flow” in different words and also the concept of “Rage.” I found names for them to make them more personal for me, but if I died tomorrow I know these two energies will continue to exist and be rediscovered… whatever name they are given matters not.
Thanks for your thoughts man:) Glad I helped solidify that spark of yours!
@egarim, Really good material, great stuff, the presentation could have been better though. There’s too much text, this is basic stuff and you could shorten it down a lot without losing any content.
But hey, repetition makes ideas stick, although lots of text scares lazy people away. Those with a big flow deficiency are very unlikely to read this.
@xyver, That’s not a one-way street yknow, the body knows what the body needs.
Don’t starve yourself if you’re hungry.
The body tells you to stop overeating, tells you to stop wasting your seed, but the ego wants to keep doing it. The body always wants what’s best for it, and it shows you clear signals when something is wrong. Whether or not you notice these signals is all up to you.
And again, you are right. My posts do tend to be longer than what most people deem necessary… but hey it was a good effort (at least I think so) in being thorough. To be honest, I was actually going to write a hell lot more on things that I didn’t touch on but I guess it’s kinda a good thing that I didn’t haha.
Thanks man, I appreciate your feedback. I wanna say that my first impression of you was wrong (not entirely, I picked up on your intelligence) and that you are a really friendly dude. It’s just sometimes we have our disagreements and the discussion takes a wrong turn. And the Flow reference is totally tight and relevant aha