The fallacy of striving for more positive lives. - Alexander T. T.
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The fallacy of striving for more positive lives.

I was recently listening to a lecture by Alan Watts, a modern philosopher of sorts. While listening I came across a concept that he was describing using Yin & Yang, which really struck me. I had never thought about it in such a manner, but it made a lot of sense. His basic idea is that in modern society a lot of us look to only add Yang (light) to our lives. However, the concept of Yin & Yang means that the two are always in harmony. So, whenever there is more Yang there is more Yin.

To put it simply. If you strive to have more success in your business, you are looking towards only the positive. But with that success, inevitably comes more yin, or negative. Meaning, if you are to achieve the said success you will have a lot more responsibility and stress to manage and maintain it (Yin). Therefore, with more success & money (yang) comes more responsibility, stress and long hours (yin) and you cannot have one without the other.

The same applies to all other aspects of life.

  • We want that flashy new car (yang), but without the bills, maintenance or stress from damaging it (yang).
  • We want to live freely (yang), but at the same time we are not willing to give up on the possessions, job or people who are holding us back (yin).
  • We want that amazing body or success in sports (yang), but are unwilling to follow a diet, workout every day for years and educate ourselves (yin).
  • We want to have a happy, loving, deep relationship (yang), but we are unwilling to put up with the vulnerability, commitment, compromises and conflicts (yin).
  • We want the joy and happiness of raising a child (yang), but are unwilling to give some freedom or have sleepless nights (yin).

With more Yang always comes more Yin. We cannot have more light than darkness. The two are always in balance and cannot exist without each other. So next time you wish for something positive in your life, think about the yin that comes with it. Can you put up with it? Are you willing to make the sacrifice? Is it truly worth it?

Alex T. T.
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