4 Signs You’re Going Downhill in Midlife

When you reach middle age, everything starts to become clear. Your life situation, your identity and strength, are like the amount of hair on your head and the beer belly on your body. They can be seen at a glance. They cannot be hidden or covered. See the real chapter and the truth from the clues. Whether a person is going downhill or starting to become useless is also the same. You can tell it from some signs.


Appearance starts to look greasy

Yang Lan said: Image always comes before ability. No one has the obligation to look through the sloppy appearance that even you don’t care about to discover your excellent inner self.

There is a “primacy effect” in psychology, which refers to the impact of the first impression formed by both parties on future relationships, which is often referred to as the effect of “preconceptions”. We don’t have to worry about whether the first impression is accurate, but it does have a great impact on a person’s interpersonal interactions.

UNICEF once conducted a street experiment: letting the same little girl appear on the street in beautiful and sloppy images to observe changes in people’s attitudes. As a result, when the little girl stood on the street with a neat and beautiful image, many passers-by would take the initiative to express their love and ask her if she needed any help; but when the little girl appeared with a sloppy and ragged image, pedestrians coming and going would Few would look her in the eye, let alone offer to help, and she was even chased away when she approached the restaurant.

There is no need to torture human nature, this is the naked reality. Regardless of whether you are young or old, your appearance represents a person’s personal brand to some extent. A man who looks unkempt and slovenly says that he can do a job that requires patience and care. Can you believe it? If a person with stains on his clothes and unruly nose hair and beard says that he has a high-level network of contacts and can help you solve an important project in minutes, wouldn’t you find it funny in your heart? It is understandable that middle-aged people are busy with work and pressed for time, but this is by no means an excuse to give up image management completely. A person’s external image hides too many clues about his life, such as his education and upbringing, whether his family is harmonious and happy, whether he is popular and valued in the workplace, and whether his current economic and living conditions are satisfactory. Oops… everyone can draw their judgment from a few details.

The famous British image designer Robert Pound once said a famous saying: “This is a two-minute world. You only have one minute to show people who you are, and another minute to make them like you.” If you want to be successful, first of all Just act like a winner. Don’t worry about whether others have stereotypes or prejudices. It doesn’t matter at all. For a person who can’t even manage his own self-image, why should you ask others to believe that you can manage your work well, lead your team well, and manage your life well?


Obsessed with the pleasure of dopamine

Writer Li Shanglong once said: “In big cities, the way to destroy a person is very simple. Give you a quiet and small space, give you an Internet cable, and preferably add a takeaway phone number. Okay, you start to destroy someone.” “Yes, these things can provide a person with enough dopamine. You can browse your mobile phone day and night, play games without sleep and food, and read cool articles without any scruples… These things are like some takeaway prepared dishes full of technology and entertainment. They can fully stimulate your taste buds and make you excited. I’m so addicted that I can’t stop.

Many middle-aged people usually have the illusion that they are not children, understand all the principles, and will not indulge in it. However, it turns out that in many cases, they do overestimate their self-control. I originally wanted to check my phone for 2 minutes to relax, but I put down my phone and realized that 2 hours had passed. I believe there are many people who have had this experience. There is a company in Silicon Valley called “Dopamine Labs”. They firmly believe that “there must be addictive code in the world.” The company’s official website also states that they will use neuroscience theory, combined with artificial intelligence and machine learning, to “Make your app addictive with dopamine.”

Therefore, in the face of dopamine, don’t overestimate yourself and don’t underestimate your “opponent.” Whatever someone needs, someone will produce it. Moreover, people are easily desensitized to pleasure. When a person is used to being repeatedly stimulated and satisfied, the threshold for pleasure will continue to rise and enter a bottomless pit that continues to spiral. The most representative case is the famous white mouse experiment. Electrodes were embedded in the brain of a mouse and were discharged by stepping on the pedal. Each time it stepped on the pedal, the electrode would stimulate the excitement of neurons that produce dopamine. As a result, the mouse became addicted to stimulation and pedaled crazily at a rate of hundreds of times per minute. , and didn’t stop until I exhausted myself to death.

How can I avoid becoming that poor “guinea pig”? Bottom line: Control dopamine and chase endorphins. Although both are happy molecules in the human body, their production mechanisms are very different. Dopamine is a reward mechanism. It can give you an instant feeling of pleasure. It is usually cheap and easy to obtain. For example, watching TV series and watching short videos will cause the brain to secrete dopamine. However, endorphins are a compensation mechanism, and it is not so easy to obtain. , it often takes pains and trials to get it, and it is a sense of achievement with delayed gratification.

New Oriental founder Yu Minhong and BGI CEO Yin Ye once had a conversation on the topic of “dopamine and endorphins.” During the conversation, the bosses called excessive dopamine the “soul-inducing poison” and highly praised endorphins, believing that endorphins reward achievement and can bring real inner peace and pleasure to people. Real masters have long been away from the high feeling of dopamine; instead, they enjoy the self-motivation and empowerment of endorphins.

American writer and educator Neil Postman wrote in “Amusing Ourselves to Death”: “What destroys us is not what we hate, but precisely what we love.” Rabindranath Tagore once said: ” Only by going through hellish trials can you develop the power to create heaven.” Do middle-aged people choose to be destroyed by the things they “love”, or do they choose to create heaven after going through trials?


Stop learning new things

The famous screenwriter and writer Shi Kang once said: “A person’s death begins when he stops learning.” Today, when knowledge is updated and technology iterations are so fast and dizzying, this sentence has more practical significance.

There is a “flowerpot effect” in psychology, which means that if a person stays in a comfortable “flowerpot” for a long time, he will easily lose his ambition and become content with the status quo, thus making himself very vulnerable. A slight change of environment will make him vulnerable. It may wither and fall. Each of us has his own comfort zone, with familiar people and doing things that are comfortable for him. It seems that the wind and rain outside have nothing to do with him. As long as he “copy and paste” his every day, he can enjoy himself. Well, spend the rest of your life in peace. But that’s probably not the case.

Recently I heard a friend talk about his spouse being laid off. My friend’s wife used to work in the archives of a state-owned unit, and her daily work was very relaxed. She spent most of her time chatting and shopping online, and she didn’t feel anything wrong. She always thought that she was a guaranteed rice bowl in a state-owned enterprise, and that she could make it to retirement no matter what. Unexpectedly, despite the recession in the past two years, her unit is also undergoing reforms to survive. One of them is to centrally manage the files of the group’s branches and optimize the personnel in relevant positions. My friend’s wife lost her “iron rice bowl” in this way. What makes my friend even more worried is that my wife has been working in her original position for more than ten years. Not only has she not learned any skills, but she is also seriously out of touch with the external workplace. After leaving her original platform, she is like a “waste” and has no hope of re-employment. Know what kind of job to look for.

Social development is changing with each passing day. Everyone should keep an open mind, keep up with the times, constantly acquire new knowledge, and carry out self-iteration, instead of confining themselves in their comfort zone, giving up learning, and stopping growing. After all, life is like sailing against the current. If you don’t advance, you will retreat, and you may not be able to retreat.


Trapped in an information cocoon

Brother K has read this passage: You don’t need to tell me what you want on Douyin, and you don’t need to search. As long as you have more than 20 likes and comments, I know you better than your colleagues; if you have more than 20 likes and comments, 50 likes, I know you better than your classmates, friends and relatives; more than 100 likes and comments, I know you better than your mother; more than 200 likes and comments, I know you better than your wife; more than 300 likes and comments, I know you better than you know yourself… This statement may be an exaggeration, but it reflects a truth that is horrifying to think about. We are being coerced by algorithms, and step by step we are trapped in an information cocoon woven by ourselves and the code without even realizing it.

The so-called information cocoon is a concept proposed by Keith Sunstein, a professor at Harvard University, in his book “Information Utopia: How Everyone Produces Knowledge.” To put it simply, in the dissemination of information, a person will only pay attention to the information he wants or can make him happy. Over time, the information he is exposed to will become more and more limited and narrow, just like the silk spun by a silkworm. Wrap yourself up, and eventually be enclosed in an “information cocoon” like a silkworm, losing your ability to understand and access to other different things.

In the Internet world, we are “just holding chopsticks and being pushed across the table.” The essence is that we are locked in a certain type of fixed information accurately pushed by algorithms. Over time, this will lead to single cognition, solidified thinking, and even blurred thinking. It dilutes the true perception of real society, thereby indirectly depriving us of our “right to know” to other information. What’s more important is that we sometimes “trap ourselves” without realizing it. Not only do we not feel our own limitations and narrowness, we even use the information pushed by algorithms that “coincides” with our own views. The material of self-certification completes a “logical closed loop” for yourself that is unreliable and unreal, so that you will never recognize your own problems, let alone self-improvement and growth in the true sense.

In a sense, the information cocoon room is another form of “nipple fun” for adults. Through powerful computing power and big data analysis, it is fed to audiences with relevant preferences. Once a person is surrounded by these superficial, vulgar, and fragmented things and becomes addicted to them, he is not far away from being useless.


Addicted to Ineffective Social Networking

Carnegie once said: “Professional knowledge only accounts for 15% of a person’s success, while the remaining 85% depends on interpersonal relationships.” This famous saying of the Iron King has become a guide for countless people to promote social interaction and interpersonal relationships. Best endorsement. Social networking is indeed important. It is an important means to increase knowledge, make friends, and break out of circles to improve. But there is a premise. It depends on whether your social interaction is truly meaningful or a waste of time and ineffective social interaction.

What is ineffective social interaction? To put it simply, it is social activities that cannot bring any pleasure or improvement to your spirit, emotions, work, and life. The essence of social interaction is exchange, including exchange at the spiritual level and at the interest level. Through these exchanges, both parties can gain psychological, material and other gains. If you can’t get these, the business cards, phone calls and WeChat messages you want through “social networking” will become meaningless.

There is a passage in the book “Please Stop Ineffective Socializing”: “You are busy socializing, tired of coping, and the embarrassment of talking to each other is everywhere. You run for the laughter of others, and sacrifice yourself for the recognition of others. , your life seems not to be yours. In fact, you are not socializing at all, but wasting your time needlessly.” The social scene is like a card game. Everyone must prepare chips before going to the table. What kind of strength can be entered? This kind of card game must be carefully considered by oneself. Unless you think you are extremely lucky, don’t always be deceived by chicken soup. You always think that a poor boy can connect with the top bosses and gain nothing by relying on your sharp tongue. That is a cool article, not reality.

Writer Liu Tong once said: “I used to think that only by pleasing others can I succeed. Now I find that only being a truer and more committed myself is the prerequisite for success.” In the final analysis, we still need to spend more time and energy on introspection and In terms of self-growth, rather than letting yourself become a transparent person and a passerby in a seemingly lively social situation.

The famous Brazilian writer Paulo Goero has this passage in his fable novel “The Fantastic Journey of the Shepherd Boy”: “It seems that everyone knows clearly how others should live, but no one knows how their own life should be. , like the old woman interpreting dreams, not knowing how to turn dreams into reality.” I hope that each of us can control the remote control of our own life, be positive and brilliant, and not be desolate or decadent. mutual encouragement!

error: Content is protected !!