Be Practical to Be More Effective

Updated on April 18, 2018
ValKaras profile image

Val is a life-long practically oriented student of effective emotional and attitudinal responses to the many challenges of life.

Intelligence Is a Problem-Solving Ability, so We Create a Lot of Problems out of Being Intelligent
Intelligence Is a Problem-Solving Ability, so We Create a Lot of Problems out of Being Intelligent

Lost in Self-Made Mazes of Complications

Let's face it, folks---we are probably the only living species on this planet that, despite our enormous brain capacity, complicate our lives to a point where we are getting lost in our own created mazes.

We have become experts at first creating problems, and then wasting an enormous amount of energy on solving what we have messed up. We can recognize this to be true on every imaginable level---personal, familial, social, religious, and political, not even to start talking about all that scientific cosmetics painted over matters that are actually quite simple.

Everybody complains how the "life is too short". But look how expertly we are making it even shorter by passionately avoiding to go practical about life and allowing our precious time to be abused on things which have absolutely no value for the quality of our living.

And it all really boils down to exactly that---to our apparent inability to look for the most direct and effective way of staying on the course of what we really want of life, instead of being so pathetically focused on what we don't want.

For, by forgetting what we wanted in the first place we resemble that dog barking and chasing his tail and getting nowhere, just going around and around pissed off at the fact that things are not going his way.

The objective in all this is, again, the minimum time and effort spent in the course of getting to the cheese in that maze that we have created for ourselves out of a sheer love for complicating things.

In the paragraphs that follow, let me give you a few examples of practical reasoning in life situations. Then we can all apply it more than we have been doing it so far in different areas of our life.

Don't let the simplicity of it turn you off from doing it. Please, remember, that passion for complicating will try every step of the way to sabotage the simplicity by injecting "but what if" into it.

Illegal Parkers Will Be Eaten Alive--- Signed: a Pissed Off Impractical Collectivist
Illegal Parkers Will Be Eaten Alive--- Signed: a Pissed Off Impractical Collectivist

Those Bad, Bad Illegal Parkers!

Let's start with some examples from my personal experience.

I live in an apartment complex, and although it happens quite rarely, occasionally a visitor to some other tenant may take the parking spot assigned to me. So, how do I go about it?

If I responded with my collective consciousness, which is so often synonymous to fussing-in-vain, I would have reasoned in terms of social rules, norms of decency, probably cursing the idiot for not reading the sign or ignoring it altogether. That's what impracticality is all about---justice, right and wrong, that stuff.

And if on top of that I had also been enraged with that display of violation of my rights (read: my territory), I would have called a towing truck to "teach the bastard a lesson that he woudn't forget".

Well, instead of any of that, I calmly parked at the visitors' parking, and later on re-parked, after the "culprit" was gone.

You see, my sense of practicality has its own rules. To me it's important to achieve a result with as little expenditure of nervous energy as possible. Thus, getting upset was out of the question for me.

Had I blown my top over it and ranted about it to my poor wife for the rest of the evening, it would have come to the same in practical sense---I would still have had to wait for that much hated person to leave my parking spot.

And this is a typical example of practicality in action, where the outcome is calculated to be the same regardless of how much we want to fume with all those violated rules and regulations in mind.

Time to Leave, Not Time to Bitch
Time to Leave, Not Time to Bitch

No Right-Wrong Games

Back there I mentioned "collectivism" while attaching to it impractical attitude of using excessive emotional energy for no results being achieved.

Now, regardless of what definitions others may have for it, to me collectivism is--- among a couple of other things not directly pertaining to this topic---a tendency to see everything in life through lenses of established, stiff rules of coexistence, meaning the exhausting games of "rightness-and-wrongness".

Now, having that definition behind us, let's continue with some more examples of practical approach to some testing life's situations.

There was a time, or there were quite a few in my long history of employment, that I was not satisfied with a job I had for any of the reasons.

Now, instead of giving myself more time to "get adjusted", I promptly thought how in the months to come it would cost me less mental effort to search the job market for something more rewarding---than to stay with that pissed off group of coworkers daily bitching around in cafeteria and in the restroom---apparently already for some years---but doing nothing about it.

Again, the idea was not to give that collectivist in me a chance to vent out about a problem which I would refuse to solve by staying there. It would have been like all those politically minded lay people who don't have a clue about real politics going on---away from cameras and press conferences---but just indulging in ranting.

I honestly didn't care how "bad" or how "incompetent" those bosses were, and it made no difference to me that they "had their ass-kissing favorites". None of that qualified to be of some significance to me.

By the way, neither did I care about any of that stuff on jobs which I kept---because, as we all know, politics is everywhere in one form or another. That for the simple reason that I came to work exclusively to make a living, not to evaluate this or that boss or coworker.

It's Really about Having Something Like Life

Once that we get into the spirit of practicality, we can't but apply it to every little or big moment of our life praxis.

When I eat, I don't discuss---period. It's time to digest, not time to mince all kinds of things in my mind, most of which I either can't or won't do anything about. The same applies to bed-time.

Bed is for sleeping and for making love, not for reading books, doing crossword puzzles, discussions, gossips, planning, or for watching a bedroom TV, which is an absolutely crazy idea.

By making it my habit to think in terms of what is practical and relevant, I usually fall asleep like a baby in 3 minutes or so. Never had a nightmare.

Watching the TV news I do only for entertainment. Let's face it, what am I supposed to do about all those political clowns? They get elected, or get paid to do their job about which I have no clue. Do you know how to run a country? I don't. So I don't pretend to know anything about all those policies, and all those matters of economy, diplomacy, foreign affairs, and what-not.

But you can catch me writing about that stuff from the perspective of a lay person who often satirically touches the enormous involvement of masses in those very things that none of us understands.

Needless to say, I can't join all that ranting. The only thing I can do in my articles is wonder how incredibly impractical it is to ruin one's health with all those unnecessary stresses of political mambo-jumbo.

From the strict point of practicality, what has any of those ranting folks ever accomplished with that dark passion? Scrolling down that amusing You tube assortment of political news, I recently noticed some degrading crap about Trump's wife.

Which reminded me once again how the world totally loses from focus what is relevant, as they verbally attack a woman who in no way affects their way of life---just out of hate for her husband, the president. Now, how much more insane does it get?

I might as well switch to a sitcom on my TV where the same absence of logic is the rule in creating a caricature portrait of humans displaying their pathetic impracticality.

Well, I could go on and on with these examples, but I hope that I have made a strong point with these few presented---we just have to realize that being present in every moment we can only do what is doable, while the rest is just a crazy excess of nervous and physical involvement.

I have also pointed out that the collectivistic worldview simply doesn't work. We can't live life of a nation, only our own, and seeing everything through the prism of right-wrong we often lose from sight what it is that we really want.

Practicality is the way to live life to its fullest, as we don't allow our precious time to slip through our fingers like a desert sand of a life that's heading to become nothing but a desert---if we allow it.

I hope you found some of the ideas helpful and doable.


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    • ValKaras profile image

      Vladimir Karas 3 weeks ago from Canada

      Linda---Sometimes our tendency to complicate comes from our general intellectual treatment of reality, which by itself is not a bad thing---but then we don't even notice how our intellects get carried away giving too much significance to things that can only shine in their simplicity.

    • ValKaras profile image

      Vladimir Karas 3 weeks ago from Canada

      Carolyn---You said it right...being bothered by all those non-doable or irrelevant things is a pure waste of energy and our precious time.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      When I read that we get lost in our own created mazes I found myself in complete agreement. I know that I make things more complicated than they need to be in my life. I think that there are some things that we need to become involved in and stand up for, but I also think that the practicality that you describe is important. Thanks for sharing some good advice.

    • Carolyn M Fields profile image

      Carolyn Fields 3 weeks ago from South Dakota, USA

      Do what is doable . . . . that's the key. I would put it this way: pick your battles, and only spend time on things you can actually influence.

      Great hub, as usual!