The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

The three musts in life

“There are three musts that hold us back: I must do well. You must treat me well. And the world must be easy.” – Albert Ellis

Albert Ellis was an American psychologist and psychotherapist. He’s primarily known for developing rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT), which is seen as the first form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

One of his main principles is the idea of unconditional self-acceptance. A principle that is suggested by many streams of psychology or spirituality. As described on Wikipedia his approach was to advocate “the importance of accepting yourself just because you are alive, human, and unique – and not giving yourself a global rating, or being influenced by what others think of you.”

Those meditating will take a similar approach seeking to be calm, still, and quiet in the face of the thoughts and emotions encountered during meditation. Where the practice of meditation is there to teach this attitude and expand it to the day-to-day.

In Gestalt, it is Arnold R. Beisser who described this idea as an essential element of ‘The paradoxical theory of change.’ Without the ability to accept oneself as one is, the change one seeks to implement can’t be chosen.

The challenge to accepting who one is is found in three core and irrational beliefs Ellis described as holding us back. These beliefs define our relationship with ourselves, others, and the situation we are in. They are “I must do well. You must treat me well. And the world must be easy.”

Interestingly, since discovering these three musts our society has moved on to reinforce all three of them.

People put themselves under pressure to perform as best they can, they expect from others that they know what words to use to address and motivate them, and they assume that they can have an impact on day one of a new job.

It’s not new. However, it becomes more acute and contributes to growing stress levels.


Share this post:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *