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Every day we are confronted with a multitude of problems; some of these are easily solved, some are difficult and some impossible. The stress we feel when coping with problems is what makes them annoying, but that can be controlled with the attitude we bring to our world. A pain-filled emotional state will hamper dealing with even the simplest problem and make the completion of any task onerous and if one is in a truly dark state absolutely impossible.

I am reminded of the old saying, If you want to get something done, ask a busy man. Conversely, if you don’t want something done assign it to an idle man. The reasons are obvious enough: the busy man is filled with enthusiasm, success and the inertia of accomplishment, while the idle one is swallowed up in his own misery and the inertia of despair, doubt and failure. Most people most of the time are in an emotional condition where they can cope well enough with their daily problems. However, they shuffle their bigger ones off onto other people who are willing to take responsibility for  getting the necessary things done. People are motivated by their bosses who take responsibility for their purposeful behavior which they themselves cannot do. These other people are no better prepared for coping with the problems, but they have accepted the official task of taking the responsibility and are abstracted enough from their subordinates’ emotional tangles that they can make decisions. They then shift the responsibility for accomplishing these decisions off onto others who don’t have to endure responsibility, but just do the physical things that are needed to be done to accomplish the task. The whole process is that of shifting the emotional burden for the social responsibility off onto others and as soon as this process has gone through several steps the cause and effect of any individual’s actions is blurred sufficiently that everyone can sleep well and just do their job.

I accept this rather grim view of social reality as part of natural reality, both of which also have some aspects of unavoidable pain. However, after we have gotten over the unsentimental part of that idea and move forward with coping with problems themselves they become much more tractable. One of the key elements of accomplishment is confidence. That is born of a clear vision of what needs to be done and the knowledge that the resources are available to do it, but the key element of confidence is the habit of acting decisively when the time is ripe, even though the facts are not all in. Confidence is in the habit of instant action when action is needed, but to be successful it must be founded on well-practiced habits and not so much on perfected information.

There is a strange crossover and amalgamation between confidence and contentment because, although confidence seems founded in action and contentment seems founded on inaction, they are in their roots the same thing. Great action requires confidence that all will be right with the world regardless of the outcome. The champions of confidence behave as if their actions will result in perfected accomplishment, but this is almost identical to what contentment means because, even if by chance there is absolute failure in the action, even then all will be right with the world. Contentment permits total confidence and confidence permits total contentment.

The joust and the clash are whole-hearted for the real competitors.