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Finally: a Simple Mental Tool for Building Up Your Will Power Muscle

Updated on April 15, 2018
ValKaras profile image

Val is a life-long practically oriented student of effective emotional and attitudinal responses to the many challenges of life.

Life Looks so Different from the Perspective of Daring
Life Looks so Different from the Perspective of Daring

Every time when I am about to share a useful modality of dealing with our unwanted aspects of emotional functioning, I have to figure how to avoid making it sound like a boring lecture.

Now, while introducing the concept of subjectness and objectness I seem to be running into that kind of a problem, because I can't really inject anything of everyday examples to define it. All I can do is ask you to bear with me for just one boring paragraph, after which it gets better for the eyes.

As you are about to see, it's not even something where I could refer to those more familiar facets of our emotionality, but something entirely new that will only become very recognizable after we see it in life's practice.

So, let's get to the meat of it, hoping that you may derive the same benefits from it that I did in these last few decades---after discovering it as the common denominator of practically everything that really works in the genre of self-help.

Signposts of Life Become Visible as soon as We Open Our Eyes for Them
Signposts of Life Become Visible as soon as We Open Our Eyes for Them

A Two-Way Energy Traffic

Think of our solar plexus as an energy vortex known in yoga as a "chakra". Or, if you like it better in terms of anatomy---that intricate network of nerves located in that area often referred to as "guts", in the slang expression of "gut-feeling".

Did you know that Japanese are calling it "second brain" because of some quite telling personality traits attributed to that part of the body?

Using much of that information an intuitive speculation got born in my mind about "guts" not only being the site of our will power sensation, but also the one of fear, submission, surrender, retreat.

Then it dawned on me that all our emotions get their raw charge from guts interpreting the life situations---and then brain only attaching to them a certain significance.

I saw it as a two way energy traffic of two opposite primordial sensations which we are sharing with every living being from a virus to a whale.

One is the sensation of a force stemming outwards from our personal space--- somewhat felt like "will-power, intent" - and the other one gives us a feeling of our personal space being invaded in some way, prompting us to either cave-in into submission or use some of defenses from our survival arsenal.

The former gives us feelings of a "subject", a doer, so I called it "subjectness", and the latter makes us feel as "objects" being done-unto by the environment/world, calling for an appropriate name of "objectness".

Cute and simple, isn't it?

Noticing Our Life-Friendly Environment Makes Body Cells Happy
Noticing Our Life-Friendly Environment Makes Body Cells Happy

Our Friendly or Unfriendly World

Some decades after I intuitively hit upon this basis of all emotions, I read the book "Biology of Belief" by dr. Bruce Lipton which so nicely makes my theory hold water. Namely, that's where this brilliant cellular biologist talks about cellular responsiveness to our experiencing our environment as either "friendly", or "threatening" in some way - with our body cells setting their level of vitality according to those impressions.

So it stands to a reason that those folks with more subjectness in their guts interpret their environment as their "playground" for creativity, exploring, playfulness, and growth, whereas those objectness-folks are biologically oriented towards all kind of defenses from the environment which they see as "unfriendly".

Furthermore, the cellular biology is teaching us how our cells have basically two modes of functioning---one of growth, self-healing and self-nourishment, and another of defending.

What's significant about it is that one activated will automatically shut down the activity of the other. And it compares just fine with subjectness meaning going after all that spells psycho-physical survival, and objectness, when activated grabs all the energy from subjectness for defense.

Doesn't it ring the bell about those two basic types of emotions, one making us proactive, and another reactive---depending how we are interpreting our world, as friendly or not.

Living Defensively Is Not Living
Living Defensively Is Not Living

Living or Surviving

It takes an enormous amount of that limited available energy to be "on guard" at all times, draining us psycho-physically, and stealing away that portion of energy which would normally be used for body's recuperation, healing, and life promoting functions and activities.

Again, all emotions from the wide spectrum of our emotionality are carrying a charge of either subjectness or objectness. We like calling some people optimistic or pessimistic, positively or negatively minded.

From their solar plexus and its energy generator of will-to-live they draw every specialized emotion that basically makes them to either go-after the goodies of life, or it makes them treat those goodies as "unreachable" as they are too busy feeling bad and scared in their shell.

Indeed, whether we are talking people or animals, we can't escape an impression of some of them displaying a will-to-live and to somehow willfully affect their world-- - or those who seem to be constantly retreating, escaping, criticizing, complaining, feeling as victims---but getting nowhere, as if locked up in their mode of defensive survival.

Taking a Lead in Life with Intention
Taking a Lead in Life with Intention

Opinionated and Leading - or Submissive and Following

If we cared to look around for proofs, we would notice how most of those intellectually and emotionally independent individuals happen to live longer. Even a certain types of stubborn and self-centered ones may be included into that category.

These characteristics are actually a subjectness misdirected into some less plausible outlets of expression while not usually seen as virtues. Which is telling us how subjectness has no moral quality per se, because even a gutsy bank robber has a lot of it.

On the other hand, see how depressed and anxious folks are guided by their objectness-filled guts to avoid socializing, because even those compliments they might hear are interpreted by guts as something "being done to them".

Indeed, on the strictly energy level it's all about either about an influence stemming outwards or inwards our personal space, and our guts are too primitive to tell the difference between something pleasant or unpleasant. A bridegroom whose guts are filled with objectness may faint at time of saying vows, because the "joy is too much for his guts not to be interpreted as a threat".

And to further illustrate how guts have nothing to do with morality, a ruthless terrorist has all the guts that a meek altruist, a "professionally-nice" dude doesn't have, while putting others' welfare in front of his own. also those nice and mellow altruists who put the welfare of others in front of their own. Those are the people that we usually like more, but also the people who inspired the saying : "Nice people die first."

Unfair but true.

Yes, Babies Are Very Impressionable Too.
Yes, Babies Are Very Impressionable Too.

Polarizing Subjectness Starts in the Womb

Some of you may wonder what subjectness and objectness have to do with those babies and kids who never got their chance to live. In my opinion, in their particular energetic individuality, there are some hidden sensitivities to certain signals from their environment which produce objectness in guts.

Exposure to any of those unsuspected environmental triggers may flood their solar plexus with a massive will to escape from life. Not to cause any guilt in parents who experienced that tragedy, I'd like to suggest to all parents to encourage their tiny kids to move freely, to use their hands for grabbing, to "get impressed with their own doings".

Also, don't forget - if an embryo in mother's womb can sense mother's moods, much more than that a baby will be highly impressionable to those raised voices in the household, gut-sensing a discord between those on whom his/her life is depending.

Remember, even if it doesn't result with a tragedy, a baby's individual inherent sensitivity may instill a lot of objectness in his/her solar plexus, predisposing a defensive mode of functioning later in life.

Fixating on Supplements Misses the Whole Idea of Self-Nourishment
Fixating on Supplements Misses the Whole Idea of Self-Nourishment

Not in Our Genes

My apologies to all those, sometimes called "health-nuts", but politely called "health-aware" people being constantly watchful about calories, macro-and-micro nutrients, but I have to say how their opposite type, possibly a smoker and junk-eater - only providing that he's got more subjectness polarized in their guts - may outlive them by a decade or more.

Like I said quite metaphorically in some of my other articles, we have in our nature a "chemist" spying on our dominating feelings and virtually turning a vitamin into crap, or crap into a vitamin - all depending on our "emotional climate".

It's catering to our will-to-live, raising or lowering our metabolism, giving us a propelling force or draining our batteries to go from one doctor to another, from one misdiagnosis to another. We often talk about our "genetically triggered" deceases, not thinking how our parents instilled their mentality, their emotional climate into our sensitive and impressionable child psyche making us prone to exactly the same health problems they had.

A Matter of Emotional Intensity

While nothing is wrong about being health conscious, it is about its emotional intensity playing its role in our general impression about "how friendly or not" is our environment. Our exaggerated concerns about "environmental safety" - polluted soil, water, and air, use of fluoride and chlorine, the amount of radioactivity around us - it's all biting into the years of our life.

By being so critical and overcautious we experience our world as "threatening", flooding our solar plexus with defensive objectness, too busy escaping from those dangers as to enjoy anything of life.

This paranoia actually turned into a multi-billion dollar business. Remember folks, once that our guts are saturated with objectness, it doesn't really matter what its outlet may be and what is making us more pissed off, is it our government, our food, our neighbors, our all spells out an "unfriendly environment".

If We Hate the Taste of Our Food, It's Not Nourishing
If We Hate the Taste of Our Food, It's Not Nourishing

We Are Eating Food - or It's Eating Us

I am trying to eat right foods, but there I'll go breaking any rule in the book as well. Do you know that - scientifically speaking - munching on a hot-dog with a real "gusto" and having happy thoughts will give you more nutritional value from that food than munching on a broccoli and being disgusted with its taste, and calculating calories while you eat it?

We are not eating machines, we are humans, and every morsel is an experience. Food is a part of that "friendly or unfriendly environment" and we are ingesting it, making it building blocks and energy for our bodies. On the invisible energy level, a gourmet dinner cooked by a miserable chef has "energy-toxins" in it as additional "ingredients".

Just to make this energy stuff even more spooky, have you ever heard of so called "sun gazers" who apparently hardly eat anything at all, getting all their vital energy from the sun? Imagine how far they are from worrying about their food and its nutritional value - while just embracing and absorbing the life giving energy from the sun.

Crap-In and Crap-Out

I recently bumped into an acquaintance in a grocery superstore, and he really showered me with a lecture about healthy and unhealthy foods. In short, he was a caricature of a health-nut, steaming and fuming against government food regulations and "politicians' hidden agenda to reduce the world's population by poisoning us with food and pharmaceuticals".

He just couldn't stop ranting over things that neither of us could change even if they were true - while I was not volunteering to contribute to the lecture, too busy noticing those good looking shoppers and even giving a smile to their babies. Like in so many instances in my life, again I was a witness of what objectness-filled guts can do to someone's outlook on life.

Going through Life Being Somewhat "Unrealistic and Dreamy" Benefits Us More Than a Dry, Humorless Realism
Going through Life Being Somewhat "Unrealistic and Dreamy" Benefits Us More Than a Dry, Humorless Realism

Longevity Is Really Longevity of Dreams

There is no doubt in my mind that the ratio of subjectness and objectness in our guts is determining the quality of our life and our longevity. We are born with a will-to-live and a will-to-die, and it's up to our mindset, our attitude, and our worldview which side is stronger in us.

Life can be taken as an adventure, fun, challenge, and exploring the new ways to outgrow and outdo our yesteryear's selves - or it can be felt as a constant battle against illness and death, as an escape from dangers lurking everywhere, and an inventory of all those small and big defeats.

When we remove all those toxic news and one-sided, pessimistic impressions - life is wonderful, the world is wonderful, and we are wonderful. And it takes a really suffering someone to call this "dreaming". Well, even If I am only dreaming, it feels like a dream - not like a nightmare, and it's good enough for me.


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    • ValKaras profile image

      Vladimir Karas 23 months ago from Canada

      Paula - Thanks for another encouraging comment that brings me pleasure of realization how this writing hobby of mine may also be beneficial to readers - beside possibly being just entertaining. Your wise words always echo my thoughts about human nature and life in a total agreement with them, and it's a great feeling that someone somewhere shares some of my views.

      Have yourself a fabulous day, my good friend. - Val

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 23 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Val....Here you are once again presenting to us "food for thought & consideration."

      I, for one, am appreciative that you share with your readers, wonderful discoveries of the intricacies of human beings. How we think and incorporate knowledge into our daily lives, can create who we ultimately become.

      I enjoy the simplicity of your explanations that can give us valuable insight on attracting positive and avoiding negative forces that exist in the world around us.

      An active mind, always reaching and learning is the best foundation upon which to create happiness and inner peace. The next step is to put what we learn into action. The beauty is in sharing our discoveries with one another.

      Dr. Lipton's "Biology of Belief" should be required reading by every young adult.

      Wishing you a pleasant day, Val...Paula

    • Missy Smith profile image

      Missy Smith 23 months ago from Florida

      That was the most fun response back to me that I have ever read I do believe, Val. And I am very happy you took the time to explain this to me a little more.

      As far as delving into which one I am. Like you said, we all have a bit of both, right? However, if I did look inside myself and through the years of my life, I can confidently say, now that you explained it to me further, that I, until up in my thirties was a more objectness type. I let people rule my thoughts, whether it be a partner, or my peers, I just tried to please.

      Now, the tables have turned. I believe one day I woke up and I wasn't scared to speak up anymore. I can't pinpoint that moment but it's been in full force transition for a while now. I am a subjectness type by saying what I feel for purposes I feel passionate about, and for myself as that individual no one ever allowed me to be. I am that now. I am more hurt by things than I am scared, and strong enough that I will not cover that up with silence.

      So, this was a very productive conversation for me. I understand now why I had conflicting thoughts about which one I was the most at this very time in my life. Thanks, Val. :)

    • ValKaras profile image

      Vladimir Karas 23 months ago from Canada

      Ladyguitarpicker - In a nutshell you are right, and that could be one of the ways to explain my hub. Yes, more or less it always boils down to our love for ourselves and our life, and how much optimism we invest into our life. And I definitely agree, life is a beautiful thing, but it's up to us to see it as such, and make the most of it.

      Thank you for your short and elegant comment.

    • ValKaras profile image

      Vladimir Karas 23 months ago from Canada

      Hey Missy,

      These mini talks with you about human nature have always been a treat, so let's have another one - even if it happens to end with this comment to your comment.

      Every living being has a polarized combination of both in their solar plexus chakra - the sensation of an outgoing force, making him feel like a doer, a subject (which I called "subjectness"), and a sensation of an object of someone or something else's doings (which I called "objectness") It individually depends on the ratio between these two sensations - which one is the dominating one in that person.

      So we could say, if Missy has a predominant feeling that she is the doer in her intimate and outer reality, affecting others' lives, making changes happen, igniting events and basing her self-conduct on willful intents - then she is a "subjectness- type.

      And, if this same Missy has a predominant sensation about her life that she is at a "receiving end" of someone else's influences, someone else's acting, volition, and doings - then she is an "objectness"-type. (Subjectness and objectness refers to feeling as a subject or an object, and has nothing to do with "objectivity", or subjectivity" which is a totally different pair of conceptual opposites).

      So, in all honesty, Missy, I can't tell what type is predominant in your energetic mentality, only you can know that because it's a part of your intimate reality which I could only guess about - and I have too much respect for someone's intimate truth to play with guesses.

      Subjectnes-folks are those with a strong will, knowing exactly what they want of life, and "doing it to the world" in their going after the means of psycho-physical survival, and their wanted life-style. They make things happen, and they are insisting on creating happy, harmonious and rewarding relationships - with themselves and with others.

      Objectness-folks are a "victim"type, with life "happening to them", searching for the ways to defend themselves from the unfavorable blows of life, and generally with a lower capacity for joyful experiencing.

      Again, no one is a 100% one or the other, but it's a matter of having a ratio between them in which one is stronger than the other.

      For a little further illustration, in animal kingdom it's easy to tell who has more subjectness in their guts - a beast or a rabbit, a shark or a gold fish. And among the humans, is it an athlete or a couch potato, a leader or a mousy follower, a general or a poet.

      For example, your activity about the gun control depends on where it's coming from - is it coming from a strong moral conviction and your need to assert your arguments in your hubs, possibly affecting others' stand about it? Or, is it coming from a feeling of fear inspired by recent events of terror?

      So, in the first case you are acting out your subjectness, and in the other your objectness.

      When you give a good and deep look at your inner world, you will get the answer if you need to practice more of those attitudes which promote the sensation of subjectness - or you are quite content and happy with how effective you are in your life. Only you can know that, because you know your heart the best.

      And again, you may get the mixed answers, but the ultimate one has a lot to do with how happy your effectiveness is making you, because the pleasure principle is the one that's the last criterion of how effective we are. No matter what we do, we do it for a fulfillment, for a satisfying completion, for happiness, which is the parameter of subjectness in our individual ratio.

      Sorry, Missy dear, if I did not tell you "what type you are", but I hope you can easily figure it out by yourself by having a peek into that big and noble heart of yours.

    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 23 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      I think a lot has to do with being optimistic in yourself, and in liking yourself. A person who likes their life will want more. Life is beautiful and it stays that way if you want it to be this way.

    • Missy Smith profile image

      Missy Smith 23 months ago from Florida

      Hey Val,

      This is a very interesting read. A great perspective of two different types of people that exist. However, I have a question; what if a person is both types? At times subjective, and at other times objective in a way of retaliation towards people with strong opposite opinions? See, I've always had this issue with defining myself as a certain type in any aspect. I seem to keep my cool most of the time, but would become very objective if constantly pushed to that point. You know, because that's how those constant objective types are, they push you to a point of objectness. I believe, sometimes, it doesn't have to be a particular person, just a particular event or subject matter. I am passionate about gun control laws, so I protest on my page against this. It's an important issue and something I do think could change, so what exactly does this make me, because I don't stay quiet about it? Do I lose my subjectness I most of the time have? My real question is; how would you define a person like me? :)


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