Reply to this topicStart new topic
> The Only Opponent Is Within - What It Means..
Ben Higgins
post Dec 5 2010, 11:43 AM
Post #1


Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 13.785
Joined: 11-March 10
From: England
Member No.: 9.820



..or what it means to me. smile.gif

Bear's post about motivation got me thinking and I wanted to share my thoughts about this phrase I keep using - 'The Only Opponent Is Within'.

We might be tempted to think it just means 'the only person we should be in competition with is ourselves'.. but really it's not about competition and pushing ourselves to the limit... at least not to me. To explain my point I'll create an imaginary scenario:

You're walking down the street. Some guy comes up to you and say 'You'll never become a great guitar player.. you suck, you'll give up sooner or later..'

Now, this guy has just said some pretty mean things to you and you might feel that he is your opponent, as he appears to be directly opposed to what you're trying to achieve in life. But after you've calmed down and given it some thought, we can look at things this way:

Other people can say all sorts of things that might affect your mood and feelings, but they never have the power to make you do anything. The only person who has the power to make you do something, or not do something is you. People can try and influence you, but the decisions lie within you.

That's what 'The Only Opponent Is Within' means. Other people are not your opponents. You are. The only person who can make you give up, the only person who can decide to be weak, the only person who can STOP you, is you. That is the real opponent.

A Zen quote says 'We can not always be master of our situation.. but we can be master of ourselves.' That is what it means to accept true responsibility.

So no matter what people do or say about you, we are responsible for our reactions to it.. and it's up to us to not let our internal opponent get the better of us smile.gif


I'm sure a lot of you already think this way... I'm interested to hear your thoughts on this.. and also if you took another meaning from the phrase ? smile.gif


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Saoirse O'Shea
post Dec 5 2010, 12:32 PM
Post #2


Moderator - low level high stakes
Group Icon

Group: GMC Senior
Posts: 6.173
Joined: 27-June 07
From: Espania - Cadiz province
Member No.: 2.194



Nicely put Ben cool.gif .

When I did my first PhD years ago on desire some of it concerned motivation, not least because Desire is often seen as synonymous with motivation. From what I recall quite a lot Western notions of motivation are also centered on motivation as intrinsic drive. Some externalise it either at an individual or group level. A few move away from the inherent phenomenological and humanist slant of both of these.

One of the ones I always quite liked, which is different to yours, comes from Julia Kristeva's and Judith Butler's separate works on psychoanalytics and Hegel's Phenomenologie .What's proposed here is that Desire (and motivation) forms as 'desire for recognition by the valued other'. In essence we do something because we want others whom we value to notice. As an example, if you love someone you want them to look at and love you. It's the desire for recognition - for them to love you back - that drives you here. If they don't, the desire as unrequited love may instead turn in on itself and drive you to despair.

Interestingly Desire/motivation here is not humanist as we are neither in control of it nor the start nor the locus. It becomes something that is able to overwhelm and move us outside ourselves. It's also a very modern take on desire/motivation that has it's roots in the early Western Christian theologies of St Augustine, St Teresa d'Avila and a few others.


--------------------
Get your music professionally mastered by anl AES registered Mastering Engineer. Contact me for Audio Mastering Services and Advice and visit our website www.miromastering.com

Be friends on facebook with us here.

We use professional, mastering grade hardware in our mastering studo. Our hardware includes:
Cranesong Avocet II Monitor Controller, Dangerous Music Liasion Insert Hardware Router, ATC SCM Pro Monitors, Lavry Black DA11, Prism Orpheus ADC/DAC, Gyratec Gyraf XIV Parallel Passive Mastering EQ, Great River MAQ 2NV Mastering EQ, Kush Clariphonic Parallel EQ Shelf, Maselec MLA-2 Mastering Compressor, API 2500 Mastering Compressor, Eventide Eclipse Reverb/Echo.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Kristian Hyvarin...
post Dec 5 2010, 01:22 PM
Post #3


Learning Roadie
*

Group: Members
Posts: 471
Joined: 21-October 09
Member No.: 7.720



Wow Ben, I've always appreciated how your guitar training tips are also (and probably even more importantly) great advices for life in general... made me think about this. Cool. biggrin.gif
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Kristofer Dahl
post Dec 5 2010, 02:18 PM
Post #4


GMC Founder & Rocker
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 15.087
Joined: 15-August 05
From: Stockholm, Sweden
Member No.: 2



Very cool post. How many of us haven't been (or are being) discouraged in our struggle to do what we believe in.

Don 't try to change the world, it requires way to much time and effort - change yourself instead (just that is surely hard enough!)


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Daniel Realpe
post Dec 5 2010, 03:02 PM
Post #5


Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 5.655
Joined: 11-October 09
From: Bogota
Member No.: 7.694



really good post. A great "secret" is to remain unreactive to life's situations and observe them from outside. It sounds easy to say but I rarely do this well. But when you do it it's really effective.

In the end we all want a bit of recognition and acceptance really. But to me that can come from within, in fact, it has to.

I recommend the book "A new earth" by Eckhart Tolle.

Don't have prejudice towards "new era" stuff. It's just a label someone put over wise literature. It made me see things in a whole different way.



--------------------
Visit my:
INSTRUCTOR PROFILE

"If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music."
Gustav Mahler


Subscribe to my Youtube Channel here
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Fran
post Dec 5 2010, 04:08 PM
Post #6


Learning Rock Star - Wiki Coordinator
Group Icon

Group: GMC Senior
Posts: 7.890
Joined: 20-November 07
From: Spain
Member No.: 3.338



Great post.

Anyway, and not talking about guitar, there are certainly opponents "outside", and not just within.
Everything that we might feel like unfair towards ourselves or the ones we love. It's hard to "observe from the outside" the happenings that take a direct impact over our wishes, decisions, plans and lifestyle, may they come from common people, laws or stupid governments.

I wish I could feel that way. But I don't.


--------------------
Guitars:
Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster, Ibanez RG2570MZ, Epiphone SG G-400
Amp:
Vox AC4TVH head + V112TV cab
Effects:
Vox Satchurator, Vox Time Machine, Dunlop CryBaby, Boss MT-2, Boss CE-5, Boss TU-2, Boss ME-70
Recording:
Line-6 POD X3 + FBV-Express, Pandora PX5D

GMC wants YOU to take part in our Guitar-Wikipedia!
Have a good time reading great articles and writing your own with us in our GUITAR WIKI!
Share your playing and get Pro-advice from our Instructors: Join REC
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Kristofer Dahl
post Dec 5 2010, 06:18 PM
Post #7


GMC Founder & Rocker
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 15.087
Joined: 15-August 05
From: Stockholm, Sweden
Member No.: 2



Free association:



--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Ben Higgins
post Dec 5 2010, 06:42 PM
Post #8


Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 13.785
Joined: 11-March 10
From: England
Member No.: 9.820



QUOTE (tonymiro @ Dec 5 2010, 11:32 AM) *
What's proposed here is that Desire (and motivation) forms as 'desire for recognition by the valued other'. In essence we do something because we want others whom we value to notice. As an example, if you love someone you want them to look at and love you. It's the desire for recognition - for them to love you back - that drives you here. If they don't, the desire as unrequited love may instead turn in on itself and drive you to despair.


Interesting points Tony.. yes it's true that so much of our behaviour revolves around the need for approval. It takes us years to even realise it, let alone do something about it.


QUOTE (Kristian Hyvarinen @ Dec 5 2010, 12:22 PM) *
Wow Ben, I've always appreciated how your guitar training tips are also (and probably even more importantly) great advices for life in general... made me think about this. Cool. biggrin.gif


I'm really pleased that you feel inspired by anything that I might have said... maybe I should get a monk's robe !!! wink.gif

QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Dec 5 2010, 01:18 PM) *
Very cool post. How many of us haven't been (or are being) discouraged in our struggle to do what we believe in.

Don 't try to change the world, it requires way to much time and effort - change yourself instead (just that is surely hard enough!)


Definitely Kris... we worry too much about what other people are saying and doing, when in actual fact.. we need to spend more time looking in the mirror and working on ourselves. smile.gif

QUOTE (Daniel Realpe @ Dec 5 2010, 02:02 PM) *
really good post. A great "secret" is to remain unreactive to life's situations and observe them from outside. It sounds easy to say but I rarely do this well. But when you do it it's really effective.

In the end we all want a bit of recognition and acceptance really. But to me that can come from within, in fact, it has to.

I recommend the book "A new earth" by Eckhart Tolle.

Don't have prejudice towards "new era" stuff. It's just a label someone put over wise literature. It made me see things in a whole different way.


True.. I guess that supports my points earlier about being able to control our emotions and reactions to life (to a certain point) so that it doesn't control us !

But yes, it IS very hard to do.. and no one of us are perfect.. and nobody will get it right all the time. But nothing that is worth doing is easy.. just like playing guitar.. it's not something we can do in 5 mins.. but the work is worth it !

I'll look for the book. Some of you may remember me mentioning a book called 'Zen Guitar' by Philip Toshio Sudo. It is the most important piece of musical literature I've ever read.. I wish I could make everybody in the world read it.. but alas, I can't. All I can do is improve myself and follow the right path.. like Kris says, we can't change the world, only ourselves. smile.gif

QUOTE (Fran @ Dec 5 2010, 03:08 PM) *
Great post.

Anyway, and not talking about guitar, there are certainly opponents "outside", and not just within.
Everything that we might feel like unfair towards ourselves or the ones we love. It's hard to "observe from the outside" the happenings that take a direct impact over our wishes, decisions, plans and lifestyle, may they come from common people, laws or stupid governments.

I wish I could feel that way. But I don't.


Fran, I totally hear you on this. Don't think for a minute that just because I made this post that I don't struggle with this just the same as you smile.gif I swear it's so hard not to take things so personally when it feels like life is kicking you in the balls !! mad.gif But, that's the whole lesson of it all. To see if we are strong enough to turn it around and not be a victim of our circumstances.

This video explains it quite well, about seeing ourselves as a cause, not an effect:
Will's Wisdom

Somebody directed me to this video once and I think it's brilliant. When I have a crap day I watch it again and remember I'm in control of how I deal with it all ! smile.gif


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Marek Rojewski
post Dec 5 2010, 10:09 PM
Post #9


Experienced Guitar Hero
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1.657
Joined: 26-May 08
From: Lodz, Poland
Member No.: 5.185



The topic is quite difficult, and it is hard to find the right words. Ben wrote that we have to control emotions, but this also can be misleading, because "controlling emotions" is also bad/wrong. When You control these, You "don't let them out" and grow tired/ill because of this. What is "correct" from for example psychological point of view, is to "let emotions flow and understand them" that way emotions doesn't "control You", but also You don't "control" emotions.

If one asks me, I can tell that most people "battle" and worry about outer circumstances their whole lives, because they want to escape the responsibility of living their own life, before it inevitably ends. Those people are but a pray for the hunter that is world itself ph34r.gif


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
MonkeyDAthos
post Dec 5 2010, 11:49 PM
Post #10


GMC:er
*

Group: Members
Posts: 2.392
Joined: 28-October 10
From: Portugal; Bombarral
Member No.: 11.477



i think it was all already been said.

"Only you have the power the defeat yourself and only you have have the power to stand your ground!!, people can say that, you can't ever reach that level or otherside yes you can!! but i blv that only that isnt enough, you need to have that inner strengh, and to know how to use it

This post has been edited by MonkeyDAthos: Dec 5 2010, 11:51 PM


--------------------
QUOTE
It's a proven fact that guitar faces have a bigger impact on tone than wood does.


Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Todd Simpson
post Dec 6 2010, 03:19 AM
Post #11


GMC:er
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 14.124
Joined: 23-December 09
From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Member No.: 8.794



Very well said and a great post! It does take a great deal of determination to become the player you want to be and it really never ends. You can always get "better". So if you are struggling with how hard it is to get where you want to be, step back from the goal for a minute and try to focus on the task at hand, playing your fav songs, lessons, scales, etc. The reason to do this is that becoming the player you want to be honestly takes years. You can't force it to happen overnight. So focus on the goal of just putting in some practice each and every day, nothing else will to more to make you better.

It requires an almost defiant determination sometimes. I struggled with it myself. As a youngster I was diagnosed with "poor small muscle control" and the doctors said I would never be able to write in a legible fashion (they were wright about that actually) or play an instrument. I started asking for a guitar at the age of 5. I finally got one at age 7 because I just wouldn't let it go. I started trying to teach myself and make any noise I could on guitar. I didn't really start being able to play for another 7 years. It was hard. But I just refused to quit. By the time I was in my late teens, I'd put in a staggering amount of time practicing and could finally play just about anything I wanted to. I started playing in bands, playing gigs, etc. Later on, I started teaching guitar. I love doing that too. I"m sure the doctor who diagnosed me would be shocked to hear me playing guitar, much less find out that I teach it as well. But it just goes to show, the real key to just about anything is persistence. More than "talent", more than good gear, more than anything, sheer, dogged, persistence.

I can't tell you how many people I've met that tell me "I always wanted to learn to play an instrument", to which I can only reply "So did I? What's stopping you?"


Practice!
Todd


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Ben Higgins
post Dec 6 2010, 10:05 AM
Post #12


Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 13.785
Joined: 11-March 10
From: England
Member No.: 9.820



QUOTE (Marek Rojewski @ Dec 5 2010, 09:09 PM) *
The topic is quite difficult, and it is hard to find the right words. Ben wrote that we have to control emotions, but this also can be misleading, because "controlling emotions" is also bad/wrong. When You control these, You "don't let them out" and grow tired/ill because of this. What is "correct" from for example psychological point of view, is to "let emotions flow and understand them" that way emotions doesn't "control You", but also You don't "control" emotions.

If one asks me, I can tell that most people "battle" and worry about outer circumstances their whole lives, because they want to escape the responsibility of living their own life, before it inevitably ends. Those people are but a pray for the hunter that is world itself ph34r.gif


Marek, you are right.. 'controlling emotions' was probably the wrong way to put it... we shouldn't deny our emotions of course, otherwise we will just implode inside eventually as you pointed out.

I guess what I'm trying to say is we should be aware of when we are actually being a negative force on ourselves from within. We can't control what happens to us / what others do to us etc... but we are in charge of the resulting energies that manifest within us. After feeling the necessary emotion (anger, sadness, lack of faith etc) and identifying with it, we can either choose to let it keep going and eating away at us, making us feel powerless.... or we can choose to not let it carry on, because it's us that is doing it to ourselves . If we start replaying and re-living negativity and start believing it, then we're being our own worst enemies.. not the outside world. The outside world can't actually make us think a certain way, only we can.

You said it perfectly in your final sentence ! smile.gif

QUOTE (MonkeyDAthos @ Dec 5 2010, 10:49 PM) *
"Only you have the power the defeat yourself and only you have have the power to stand your ground!!, people can say that, you can't ever reach that level or otherside yes you can!! but i blv that only that isnt enough, you need to have that inner strengh, and to know how to use it


That's it exactly... only we hold the power to our success or failure, nobody else.

QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Dec 6 2010, 02:19 AM) *
It requires an almost defiant determination sometimes. I struggled with it myself. As a youngster I was diagnosed with "poor small muscle control" and the doctors said I would never be able to write in a legible fashion (they were wright about that actually) or play an instrument. I started asking for a guitar at the age of 5. I finally got one at age 7 because I just wouldn't let it go. I started trying to teach myself and make any noise I could on guitar. I didn't really start being able to play for another 7 years. It was hard. But I just refused to quit. By the time I was in my late teens, I'd put in a staggering amount of time practicing and could finally play just about anything I wanted to. I started playing in bands, playing gigs, etc. Later on, I started teaching guitar. I love doing that too. I"m sure the doctor who diagnosed me would be shocked to hear me playing guitar, much less find out that I teach it as well. But it just goes to show, the real key to just about anything is persistence. More than "talent", more than good gear, more than anything, sheer, dogged, persistence.

I can't tell you how many people I've met that tell me "I always wanted to learn to play an instrument", to which I can only reply "So did I? What's stopping you?"


Practice!
Todd


That's an excellent story Todd and well done to you for actually refusing to be held back by a label or condition !

Regards your last sentence.. yes !! That is a classic statement isn't it ? smile.gif I always remember my Dad once came up with a simple phrase that was probably more true than he realised: 'If you REALLY wanted to be doing something, then you would be doing it.'

Our actions are a direct result of our will. If we really want to do something, we will do it. If we don't do it.. then we didn't want it badly enough.


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Cosmin Lupu
post Dec 7 2010, 12:49 PM
Post #13


Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 22.808
Joined: 14-June 10
From: Bucharest
Member No.: 10.636



Guys, I totally agree with Ben smile.gif in lesser words just be who you are and do what you do as good as possible! You can't go wrong with that biggrin.gif


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Daniel Realpe
post Dec 7 2010, 10:04 PM
Post #14


Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 5.655
Joined: 11-October 09
From: Bogota
Member No.: 7.694



I would also want to add that: Once you declare there's an opponent, then there's a struggle. If there's no opponent, there's no fight...I guess we all like to fight to the point where we realize that fighting is pointless, so we are only left with surrender,

It's a very Zen like way of seeing things,



--------------------
Visit my:
INSTRUCTOR PROFILE

"If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music."
Gustav Mahler


Subscribe to my Youtube Channel here
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Ben Higgins
post Dec 8 2010, 08:32 PM
Post #15


Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 13.785
Joined: 11-March 10
From: England
Member No.: 9.820



Thanks for all your input guys.. and good words from both Cosmin and Daniel there. smile.gif


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Ivan Milenkovic
post Dec 11 2010, 11:34 PM
Post #16


Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 25.396
Joined: 20-November 07
From: Belgrade, Serbia
Member No.: 3.341



Very profound posts, I like them a lot, and I agree, the only opponent is within. It's amazing what people can do if only they are open to themselves and they put their efforts into something! smile.gif


--------------------
- Ivan's Video Chat Lesson Notes HERE
- Check out my GMC Profile and Lessons
- (Please subscribe to my) YouTube Official Channel
- Let's be connected through ! Facebook! :)
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

Fast ReplyReply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 


RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 25th March 2017 - 06:42 PM