Existential Psychology

Psychology For Dummies

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Whether it’s getting in shape without having to work out, losing weight without having to change eating habits, or mastering a discipline without laborious study, we are seduced by the prospect of finding a shortcut that will let us bypass the hard work and go directly to the desired result. But shortcuts don’t exist for anything worthwhile and the idea of a psychology for dummies is an oxymoron on par with jumbo shrimp.

Any time you are confronted with a salesperson pitching you a ware that offers a shortcut in an area that is known to take hard work, consider the pitch fraudulent and walk away. It preys on our secret desire to beat the system and get something for nothing.

What we are really hoping for when we go the ‘for dummies’ route in a discipline is to strip the meat from a subject and get down to the bare bones. We think that if we can just understand the essential we will be in the clear and save ourselves a lot of time.

But knowledge is a fine wine and it takes time to mature. You can only truly understand the essential in any discipline when you can grasp the subject in its entirety, meat and all, and any other route you take will only lead to a superficial understanding that might make you feel better about yourself but won’t be worth anything.

Instead of constantly searching for a shortcut, one that always ends up backfiring, steel yourself for a long journey and be proud of your increasing skill in areas that take a lot of time and hard work. Ask any accomplished person in any field you can think of how long it took to get there and they will tell you many years. Why on earth do you think the same rules shouldn’t apply to you? There is no such thing as a psychology for dummies, there is only a psychology for dedicated people who are willing to invest themselves fully in the subject matter and allow their understanding to slowly build upon itself, unfolding in its own time.