What are the costs and risks

of living in the HOGAB?

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In short, it’s because of our species-wide assumption that life requires fighting against something:

 

  • We swim in an ocean of “shoulds.” 

  • “I should be different.”

  • “I should work harder.”

  • “My parents should be different.” 

  • “My children should be different.” 

  • “Things should be fair.” 

  • “Others shouldn’t break their word.” 

  • “Others should believe like I believe.” 

  • “The government should be different.”

  • “Big business should be different.” 

 

Every “should” is a resistance against reality; every “should” is a fighting with reality

 

  • We must fight against our desire to take care of now in order to make the future better.

  • We must fight against our desire to take care of ourselves in order to be generous and kind to others.

  • We must fight against our fear in order to do the right thing and move ahead in life.

  • We must accept that life is hard and difficult in order to have a better future and better relationships.

  • Fight. Fight. Fight.

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Numerous problems are created and/or exacerbated by living in the HOGAB

 

  • Doing things you don’t enjoy because you’re trying to prove that you’re either good or that you’re not bad.

  • Tolerating one or more processes (or people) in your life to get some result or to just “get to the other side.”

  • Overpromising and over committing, feeling pressured and overwhelmed. Feeling that you don’t have enough time to do everything.

  • Not making requests and not saying “no.”

  • Not setting and maintaining good boundaries.

  • Anxiety, worry, depression, suicide.

  • Anger, blame, resentment.

  • Low sense of self-value and self-worth because you have defaulted on your #1 job in your life (which is to take care of yourself) by sacrificing yourself for others.

  • Feeling disconnected from others and feeling lonely.

  • Feeling defensive with others.

  • Not taking care of your health.

  • Feeling like a victim.

  • Working at a job you don’t love.

  • Staying married to (or living with) someone you don’t enjoy being with.

  • Not quitting when you know it would have been better to quit a long time ago.

  • Not maintaining the effective life priorities to support your own self-interest.

  • Living a life of “carefulness,” where whatever safety you may gain is at the expense of playfulness, freedom, connection, and even creating an added level of danger.

  • Making a lot of impulsive decisions that incur many long-term costs because you haven’t gotten your my-now and my-next on the same page.

  • Not persisting when it makes sense to keep going.

  • Feeling that life is meaningless.

  • Difficulty in creating accurate assessments of benefits, costs, possibilities, and risks of your options in any given circumstance. When our thinking is colored by “good and bad, right and wrong,” valid reasoning is hard to come by.


Words almost from the grave

 

Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse. Working in palliative care for many years, she attended patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. She gathered their dying confessions into a book called “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.” Her book is a testament to what happens when you live in the HOGAB:

 

  • I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. (Others domination).

  • I wish I hadn’t worked so hard. (Next domination).

  • I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. (Next and Others domination).

  • I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. (probably Others domination).

  • I wish that I had let myself be happier. (Next domination)

 

Why is living in the HOGAB so toxic and so hard?