Should it be assumed that sometimes “if you want you can not”? We live in times when we are required to be happy. Does this challenge create even more frustration?
“If you have a dream, fight for it”, encouraged Lady Gaga at the end of February with an Oscar in her arms. The singer and actress picked up her first golden statuette and wanted to convey a powerful message to the world: pursue your dreams until they are fulfilled. He did it with the best of intentions. He also did it from a privileged position. The singer was on stage, with an Oscar in her hand and an unbeatable distance between her and the millions of spectators who, from the sofa of her house, contemplated how dreams, at least of hers, came true that night.
“If you’re at home watching me, all I have to say is that this is the result of hard work, I’ve worked hard for a long time, it’s not about winning but about not giving in. If you have a dream, fight for it. You have to have discipline, no matter how many times they reject you, fall or end up destroyed, what matters is how many times you get up, you are brave and you continue, “said Gaga.
“The happiness market bombs us daily and is really harmful, it does not benefit either personally or collectively as a society”
EDGAR CABANAS, DOCTOR IN PSYCHOLOGY’
In the movie In Search of Happiness (2011), Will Smith lectures his son, played by his real-life offspring, Jaden Smith, with a similar discourse where dreams take the leading role and accept that they are not fulfilled (and nothing happens) is not an option: “Never let anyone tell you that you can not do something, not even I. If you have a dream, you have to protect it.” People who are not capable of doing something will tell you that you do not either. You can, if you want something, go for it.”
What Gaga does not say, nor Chris Gardner (the character played by Smith in In Pursuit of Happiness), nor most of the best-selling psychology books, nor all Mr. Wonderful cups is what happens if your dreams are not fulfilled. How do you manage the frustration of not achieving something that society understands that is in your power to achieve based on hard work and tenacity?
The doctor in psychology Edgar Cabanas (Madrid, 1985), author of the book Happycracia, has it clear. “It is our duty to face life as something real and not as a fable, we must be realistic and behave like adults, happiness has become a personal choice, therefore, the other side, suffering, is also. Nowadays, to say that you are not happy is to admit a personal failure and cause of shame, this happens because it is understood that unhappiness exists because you are not taking the right choices, “Edgar Cabanas explains to ICON.
The current need to achieve happiness led the UN to establish the International Day of Happiness, which is celebrated on March 20 from 2012. Certain phrases and expressions have become evil to eradicate for many specialists who advocate a model of happiness good role where everything is possible and we are all capable of absolutely everything. A model that does not include “I can not”.
On the other side, however, those specialists who hope to end the Hollywood idea of happiness fight back. These, on the contrary, admit that it is possible that all our expectations are not met, that happiness does not always accompany us and that we must learn to deal with it without it becoming a burden. “The happiness market bombs us daily and is really harmful, it does not benefit either personally or collectively as a society,” says Cabanas.
We analyze, with the help of one or the other, what is the effect that certain mantras repeat on a daily basis:
“Never say I’m not worth”
“The reality is that these are messages that blame us because what they say is ‘if you want, you can, and if you can not, you’re not doing it well or you’re not trying hard enough’
In favor. “We talk to each other and we treat ourselves fatally. Thoughts like ‘I’m not worth’ go against us. We would not allow this type of judgment to our worst enemy and, nevertheless, we do it to ourselves without compassion. Our behavior and what we say generates symptoms, so directing ourselves in a negative and defeatist tone does not lead to anything positive.
“The reality is that these are messages that blame us, because what they say is ‘if you want, you can, and if you can not, you’re not doing it well or you’re not trying hard enough’
Against. Edgar Cabanas says he has nothing against aspirations, but remember that, first of all, you have to stay realistic. “From a critical perspective it is good to recognize what our own limits are, Obviously, it is not convenient to constantly say ‘I am not worth it,’ but to think that a positive attitude leads us to where we want is childish,” says the psychologist.
- “If you want, you can” or “you just need to believe in yourself to achieve what you set out to do”
In favor. “If you believe and work, you can” or “when your heart and mind are united, everything is possible.” These are some of the phrases with which Diego Pablo Simeone has been giving encouragement to Atletico de Madrid’s fans for years. The philosophy of the Atletico coach, the club’s highest technical manager since 2011, claims the spirit of self-improvement and contagious positivism, a fierce attitude with which he has made history and which has made him one of the most loved and successful coaches of the football team. “It’s much more important what this triumph transmits [the 2014 League]: if you believe and you work, you can, everyone,” intoned Simeone in front of a sick crowd that went to Neptune to celebrate the victory of Atlético de Madrid.
Against. “These statements generate false illusions in people, which leads to frustration because many people want to do things and can not, not because of a lack of ability, but because of other people’s circumstances, for example, they are precarious and unstable times at work and, That, however much we want something, we can do little. The reality is that it is messages that blame us because what they say is’ if you want, you can, and if you can not, you are not doing it well or you are not tried enough, “says Cabanas.
“When I want someone to be nice to me, I smile at him, the same thing happens when, for example, I work on a project that I want to work.” I smile as I develop it, I smile as I talk about him … ”
JESUS, 43 YEARS OLD, ENGINEER
- “To life, you have to smile to make you smile back”
In favor. Jesus is 43 years old, an engineer and has been visiting a coach for eight months, to which he comes twice a week. “The first thing I learned is that for life to treat you well and give you what you’re looking for, you have to look at it with a good face, and this applies to everything.” When I want someone to be nice to me, I smile at him. For example, I work on a project that I want to work, I smile as I develop it, I smile while I talk about it with my colleagues and I smile again when I present it to the bosses. improved, “explains Jesus.
Against. “Believing that attitude and thinking can change reality or help achieve goals is an outrageous, empty and harmful discourse that encourages conformism.” This peroration neutralizes the indignation that should be maintained, however, in the face of injustice. They happen in life”, argues Cabanas. The doctor of psychology often finds that people who have achieved some success believe they have achieved it because they have done everything in their power. “But it’s not like that, the problems and difficulties that surround us are social and not personal, something that we should not ignore, neither triumph nor failure depends solely on ourselves,” says Cabanas.
- “Dreams are there to persecute them and not give up”
In favor. Twenty-six million and a half people listened to the speech that Lady Gaga gave in the last delivery of the Oscars. In it, the singer encouraged anyone who had a dream to pursue it without truce until it becomes a reality. The world was moved and many found in these words the necessary breadth to believe that everything is possible. Media such as Independent, Rolling Stone, The Guardian or The New York Times underscored the strength of the singer’s and actress’s plea.
Against. “Saying this kind of speech is selfish and childish, they start from a privileged position and are not very supportive, they have neither won nor won anything, and not only is it a matter of effort.” Chance and luck play a fundamental role in success. And to ignore it, over publicly and before millions of people, is to play dirty, this is a meritocratic discourse that does not take into account personal conditions or social inequalities, we must be respectful to those whose environment has prevented them from even thinking in a big way, “says psychologist Edgar Cabanas.
- “There is nothing irremediable in this life” or “even the worst moments get something good”
In favor. Elena (37 years old, lawyer) has been attending sessions with a coach for two years to improve her self-esteem, achieve her professional goals and take life in a more positive way. “If anything I have learned is that whatever the circumstances, however hard it is, you can find something positive, but in order to do that, it is essential to remain optimistic, having a coach has given me the tools to be optimistic and not get carried away. for the defeatism that prevents progress in the face of adversity, “acknowledges Elena.
Against. “We have to assume that tragedies, misfortune and bad luck exist, they are part of living and we must be adults and accept it, let’s face it, in the bad there is not always something good, neither a teaching nor a motive. you can not get anything positive from a painful situation, “says Cabanas.