Problems “beneath” an Overhuman

I didn’t know how to name this post and this is the best I came up with. Problems “beneath” an Overhuman are problems that are so commonplace and low-level and ubiquitous that an Overhuman does not deign to bother with them. (S)he is simply above them and considers them trifles, things not worth his/her time, things that – this is going to sound bad – are reserved for the “ordinary” people.

An Overhuman assumes what might be seen as a condescending attitude toward many things that other people worry about. Fortunately, this condescending attitude is not condescending at all because it is coupled with high emotional intelligence and, thus, empathy.

An Overhuman understands his fellow humans’ pain and suffering and anxiety, an Overhuman understands its causes and the mechanisms why these negative emotions come about, but the Overhuman does not share in their pain.

I shall give practical examples:

You have a bad relationship with a parent. Your parent is very controlling and has bad physiological influence over you. You are stressed because of your parent’s expectations, you are unsure of yourself and you seek your parent’s approval for everything you do.

You can be the best deductionist in the world and also speak 7 languages and be an incredible fighter, but if that is what’s bothering you – you are not yet an Overhuman.

An Overhuman cannot exist with problems that usually come up in normal human affairs. Why? Precisely because an Overhuman is not normal. Merely possessing Overhuman skills is not enough – it’s like having a Ferrari and not knowing how to drive it, or driving it badly, or only driving it during daytime. Skills are nothing without the state of mind that employs them.

Another example:

A war breaks out in your country and thousands of people are starving because the supply lines to your area have stopped. You starve too – primarily because you never stocked up on food in case of such events.

Or another example, based on that very same war I just mentioned: You are forced to take to the streets and because it is cold, you cannot bear it and have to change plans that involved you staying out.

What do these two examples have in common?

Well, generally speaking, the correct answer would be – weakness.

An Overhuman is an Overhuman because (s)he is not weak in any form, neither in body nor mind. For these two examples it is a certain weakness of the mind that has assured us that you are not yet an Overhuman: failure to prepare.

You see, an Overhuman is a prepper by default. Stocking up on food is done as a matter of course. It takes no thinking through – being a prepper, and – nota bene – a good prepper – is just something that goes without saying, something that is so blatantly obvious that it needs not be addressed.

And an Overhuman is also a practitioner of the Wim Hof method – by default. It goes without saying.

Are you starting to see the bigger picture?

Well, if no, I will outline it clearly.

The very foundation of an Overhuman, its base – is a high success level in other disciplines. What some may consider as the pinnacle of achievement in their art, an Overhuman considers as merely a starting point for his/her own art.

Thus fighters will strive to be incredible fighters and will consider it a great success when they become incredible. Overhumans are incredible fighters by default. For fighters, it will be their end-goal. For Overhumans, it will be their starting point.

Thus Zen monks and Stoics will strive towards mental clarity and acceptance of whatever life brings, and they will see this as “enlightenment”, as their final phase. Overhumans are enlightened by default. It’s their starting point.

Thus survivalists and preppers will strive to be as prepared as possible for various events, ranging from bad, to catastrophic to apocalyptic. Overhumans – you guessed it – are good survivalists by default. What the community of survivalists and preppers sees as high capability and preparedness, an Overhuman sees simply as a necessary base for other things.

And so, the problems “beneath” an Overhuman – being too fat or out of shape; having insecurities; not having enough money for strategical investments; speaking only one language; having a bad immune system; having bad people skills; having unresolved family disputes etc. – are truly “beneath” an Overhuman. An Overhuman simply has no time or patience to deal with such matters he or she considers as trifles. Naturally, (s)he will show empathy and give advice to those that need it, but in his/her personal life, such problems simply do not arise. They are just too low-level.

Advertisements

Can you infer personality traits?

This is something I’ve been having some doubt about, ever since a friend of mine said he considered such a thing to be quite shallow. Can you actually say things like: he’s a narcissist, she’s egotistical, they’re smart and so on? I mean, surely you can do it after getting to know a person, but can you say that someone is a narcissist only by the fact that they like to wear tight and revealing clothing? Can you say that someone is dominant or extroverted or self-confident by the strength of their handshake?

I don’t know. I don’t like not knowing.

What you most certainly can do is make comments on their behavior and behavioral residue. If there is a lot of mud on the shoes, that person has obviously been outside. If one’s clothing is dry and clean, and it’s raining outside, one can safely infer that the person has either been indoors the whole time or has changed attire.

But what about their personality?

We do not like to be negatively categorized, even though we fully embrace positive categorization. No one likes to be called lazy or selfish, but rarely will you find a person refusing to be called trustworthy or steadfast. So if I as an observer decide to call someone vain or untrustworthy, there would be a lot of disproving. If I were to call someone altruistic and creative, my words would be accepted. This still tells us nothing about the veracity of the personality inferring process.

If you call people bad things based on what you see, you should at least be able to call them good things based on what you see. I think this question is a matter of preference and opinion, not of fact. Some people would avoid personality deductions altogether. This is fine, but I feel you lose a lot of information out of fear of being shallow or mistaken.

So my working solution for this problem is yes. Yes, you may judge people’s personality from what you perceive. But, as in other deductions, change your deduction if new data points to another direction and do not suppose more than what the data tells you. If someone is selfish, it does not necessarily mean that the person is also a liar, nor does it mean that being selfish increases the chance of that person being a liar, or anything else, for that matter. If you conclude that someone is selfish, well, then it’s the only thing you conclude.

I do not guess. I observe. And once I’ve observed, I deduce.

 

Inverse clue gathering

So, in my people watching analyses, I usually tend to watch a person and then figure out who that person is, their occupation and the like. Now, there’s a technique which is quite useful in doing it and it’s to do the inverse. Basically, if you know who the person is, try to see what are their distinctive features that would characterize them if you didn’t know who they were.

Sounds complicated, but it’s not. Take, for example, bus drivers. You know a bus driver when you see one because that’s the person driving the bus. Megasherlock right there. But no, seriously, you see bus drivers all the time if you use public transport. The thing with this approach is to try and find their distinctive features, what makes them busdriverish and remember that so you can use it afterwards when they’re not wearing their uniform and driving a bus.

So, what would be a distinctive feature for bus drivers? Well, a lot of sitting tends to make you fat, but there is a myriad of professions out there that involve a lot of sitting, so being fat is no good tell. I seriously don’t know. Maybe stiff, but that’s also something common in a lot of professions. I’m still working on that one.

For guitar players, it’s easy. You see callouses on their fingertips. Of course, you might confound them with the occasional ukulele or violin or mandolin afficionado, but you have big chances of having a guitar player, and even if you don’t, you know it’s a string instrument player, which is also good.

Drummers are easy, they practice all the time with their fingers when they’re bored.

For martial artists and dancers, you have movement that gives them away. When people who usually move in complicated ways become bored, the routines they usually do just come out on their own, with no conscious control. I’ve also noticed that martial artists often stand in public transportation without holding any bars for balance.

There are a lot of things that can characterize professions, but we’re looking for distinctive features or combinations that make distinctive features.

The next time you watch a bus driver, try to see what it is that is common to their profession. If you see a college professor, see what makes them distinctive. Is it a pattern of behavior? Is it a movement? By doing this, you get a “dictionary” of sorts, and such a dictionary will help you in further deductions.

 

The secrets of the everyday

In my last post, I wrote about being an outside observer in every situation. This theory has not translated itself into practice, at least not in my life. I am completely aware the fact that it should, but it just hasn’t.

A week ago, someone I know found out that a certain person in their life was an alcoholic. I’ve also been in regular contact with that person and could have and indeed should have come to that conclusion, but I haven’t done that. In fact, the thought hadn’t even crossed my mind. When we spoke about it, we were both astounded by the fact that we hadn’t already figured it out. It was so obvious!

This got me thinking. If I am unable to figure something like that, what else am I missing? Because, unlike someone having a booze problem, there are things in my life that are far more discrete, far more hidden, inaccessible to prying eyes – my eyes. If I didn’t see this, I sure as hell didn’t see a hell of a lot more.

So I propose a challenge. In the following two weeks, we will embark on a journey of discovering the everyday. What secrets are there in your life, in your school, in your family, in your friends’ relationships – what can you unveil?

Do not limit yourself to these questions, but consider them:

Is someone having an affair?
Is someone pregnant?
Is someone sick or having an addiction problem?
Is someone broke?
Has someone started learning a new skill?
Has someone committed a crime?
Has someone broken up with somebody?

All these questions are intentionally superficial and without deeper philosophical repercussions. I am not asking you to figure out if there’s going to be war between Serbia and Kosovo, or if the changing climate is screwing up the orange crops somewhere. These questions are very important, but smaller questions related to people’s personal lives are often overlooked. Overlooked, because they are superficial, and related to the everyday. But the everyday is just as important as the crucial problems of mankind – or just as unimportant, depending on your philosophical stance of choice.

So we discover anew what the everyday hides from us. Ask yourself the questions above; don’t limit yourself to them. Truly be an outside observer. If you get too in on something, you lose your external perspective. You are first and foremost an observer; observe.

Pay attention to what’s going on and leave your discoveries (or suspicions) in the comments below. If you need resources, this website has plenty: from body language to detail analysis, to meditation and exercises. I’ll do the same.

Open your eyes.

Numbers are important

Here’s a new exercise for you: when you get into a train, into a bar, into a classroom – close your eyes and try to remember the number of certain things. How many sunglasses were there in the room? How many white sneakers? How many cellphones were visible?

This exercise will give you more precision in your analyses. With it, you also develop your memory and visualization skills. It happened to me more than once that upon entering a certain place, I looked around, spotted the best exit options, spotted the most colorful people and the good-looking women, but had absolutely no idea who else was there. I could give a pretty good description of what I saw, how the place looked like and so on, but had astoundingly low precision when it came to numbers of things and things I didn’t find interesting.

The reason is this: I didn’t find it interesting enough. But then one day I rode a train and after some 20 minutes I became aware of the presence of the most dangerous man in that entire train. The tattoos said war veteran, the insignia said patriot/nationalist, the look said nervousness and potential PTSD, the hands said strength. One could easily infer a presence of a weapon. Understand the gravity of this: for twenty minutes I didn’t notice somebody that could do real physical harm. I didn’t notice him because there were more interesting things to watch. I glanced over him, and my superficial glance didn’t find anything interesting, EVEN THOUGH he was loaded with information.

This exercise will teach you too look at people and things you think do not have any meaningful information. And with it, you will learn an important lesson: it is often the most meaningless, bleak, uninteresting thing that has the most interesting story behind it.

Looking at people 2

Person 1
Female, 50ies. Very overweight, sedentary lifestyle, probably sitting a lot at an indoors job, judging by her clean, yet worn shoes. Poor vision, glasses.

Person 2
Female, 20ies. Psychology student (has a psychology book in hands). Purse on right side, right handed. Clean, neat, no make-up.

Person 3
Female, 20ies. Shoes dirty, outdoors. Relaxed, but observant. Right handed. No make-up.

Person 4
Male, 60ies. Two rings, both golden. One a marriage ring, the other one a bit bigger, with a stone – an engagement ring from his late wife? “X” tattoo mark on left hand, old greenish ink – ex soldier or convict. Very alert.

Person 5
Male, 20ies. Karate practitioner – inscription of his club on his bag. Poor sight, glasses. Right handed.

Getting stuff in control

I’m going to jump straight to the point: I’m soon going to be 21 and that will make a full year of my decision to improve myself onto “superhuman” levels.

Now, there’s no hurry and time is here to be savoured and enjoyed (just like food 🙂 ), not passed or rushed through, BUT I would like to see more progress and I would like to systematize what I’m doing just so it becomes clearer to myself and so that I can measure it.

What I’d like to do the most is apply the SMART system to these goals I wish to achieve.
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-framed or -based. So, for example “I’m gonna be more productive at work” changes into “By 20th October I will have completed 45 sales to customers X, Y and Z”. Quite a change of perspective. The latter sentence obliges you to something, while the former is just vague.

Now, the problem is here that some of the goals aren’t really measurable. What I CAN measure though, is how many times do I “exercise” perception, memory and so forth. So, counting deliberate attempts of exercising, sessions, so to speak.

And so I came up with a plan/program of my exercises which could potentially serve as a draft for others, or maybe just advice, but I plan on sticking to it. The first three month period, or semester, consists of the following subjects:

Mnemotechnics 1

After three months, the student should be capable to remember up to 50 vehicle registration plates, up to 1000 unconnected one digit numbers and 2 decks of shuffled cards. The main topics are:

  • Major system
  • Dominic system
  • PAO system
  • memory palaces (loci) and journeys

Literature:

 

Non-verbal communication 1

After three months, the student should be more aware of other people and their communication, emotions and intentions. The student should also apply concepts to himself and his own communication and be capable of communicating with others while at the same time being capable to perceive and analyze others’ signals.
The main topics are:

  • the FFF reflex (freeze-flight-fight)
  • changes vs. static states
  • pacifiers
  • an introduction to lie detection

Literature:

  • What every body is saying, Joe Navarro

New language 1

After three months, the student should be conversationally fluent in either a new language or a continued language. The choice of language is free, but “big”, widely spoken languages, are preferred. Examples: English, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, German, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese and so on. The focus is on phonetics of the language and the student should learn how to transcribe sounds into phonetic symbols. The literature is diverse, but various grammars for foreigners are recommended, as well as finding native speakers via Livemocha. This is also useful.

Meditation 1

After three months of practice, the practitioner should feel more relaxed and less stressed, and be ready for deeper, longer and more complex meditations, such as Prana Bindu. There is no literature as it is very simple: find a lonely spot, somewhere where you won’t be distracted, sit comfortably with your back flat and up, do not lie down, relax all the muscles you can except those that keep you sitting and breathe normally. Concentrate on your breath, observe it. When thoughts come up, discard them and focus on the breath. Sessions should last anywhere between 10 minutes and 1 hour.

That’s all for this post, the next one will be more about physical training.