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7 Life Lessons You Can Learn From Kurt Vonnegut

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7 Life Lessons You Can Learn From Kurt Vonnegut

Writer Kurt Vonnegut was an American literary icon who was beloved as much for his attitudes about life as for his unique style of writing.

Born in 1922, he was marked in his early life by his experiences in WWII and dedicated much of his career to exposing the tragedies of war, particularly in works like his masterpiece Slaughterhouse Five and his last book A Man Without a Country. Vonnegut’s words and life serve as models for kindness, creativity and humor.

Here are 7 life lessons you can learn from him:

 

1. Don’t be lazy

In the beginning of his writing career, Vonnegut took in 3 of his sister’s children after both she and her husband died. He now had six children to care for. While working full-time as an advertising executive, Vonnegut also managed to write and publish five novels over the following decade. Though overburdened and overworked, he still managed to dedicate himself to his life’s passion: writing.

Always carve out time for the things that are important to you. Whether it’s waking up at 4am to write every morning before going to work or taking time during lunch breaks to work on a personal project, find the time in the corners of your life for the things you feel passionate about. That’s the only way they’ll find their way to center stage someday.

 

2. Be kind

Vonnegut’s experiences as a soldier in WWII left a deep impression on him. In order to make sense of such tragedy, Vonnegut concluded that kindness is the only thing that can redeem humanity. In his novel God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, he wrote, “There’s only one rule that I know of, babies – God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.

Fire can’t put out fire and hatred can’t dispel hatred. The only way to win a battle against injustice and hatred is love and kindness.

When you’re faced with a situation that invites you to respond with anger, remember that this will only perpetuate the problem. Compassion and love are gifts you can offer not only to the other person, but to yourself in those moments.

 

3. Don’t forget to laugh

Vonnegut was a champion of humor and not taking life too seriously. Taking life too seriously never got anyone anywhere. But laughing and sharing laughter can give you exactly the right distance you need from your troubles.

The next time you find yourself feeling overburdened, make a conscious effort to lighten up. Watch a comedy, call a friend who makes you laugh, play with your children or your pet, or just go out for a night of dancing. Whatever makes you smile.

Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there’s less cleaning up to do afterward.” – Kurt Vonnegut

4. Don’t be afraid to be different

One of the things that made his writing outstanding was the non-traditional way he wrote. Long sentences, exuberant use of exclamation points and italics, the mixing of genres made his books extraordinary and a style all his own. He wouldn’t have become the icon he became if he’d done what everyone else did.

Maybe you’re afraid what people will think if you dress a certain way,  play a certain kind of music or express an unpopular political opinion. Have the courage to say, wear, think and be who you are. Many of the most celebrated writers, painters, scientists and thinkers were those who ran against popular opinion. Don’t let fear squelch your brilliance – let it shine.

Stephen Richards

5. Take care of the environment

Vonnegut was also a champion of environmental causes: “I really wonder what gives us the right to wreck this poor planet of ours.” The planet has its limits, so getting behind those who are trying to live in harmony with those limits is a worthwhile cause.

Seek out information either from local environmental enthusiasts or the Web. Look at your lifestyle and see how you can contribute to making sure your passage through this planet is less harmful. These changes don’t have to be huge. There are a myriad of small things you can do to minimize your impact. By becoming conscious you also help spread consciousness to others.

 

6. Don’t get caught up in dogma

Vonnegut was a critic of organized religion. To him, the purpose of human life was a continuous mystery and not necessarily one that should or could be solved.

Whether you follow a religion or not, it’s important to keep an open mind about the possibilities of our existence. This allows for acceptance of others, and fosters healthy curiosity and peaceful coexistence.

Instead of preaching to others about your religion, try something different. Try to find out more about other people’s faith. The more knowledge and information you have about other types of religions, the more tolerant you will be. If more people practiced this, there might be less conflict in the world.

“She was a fool, and so am I, and so is anyone who thinks he sees what God is doing” – Kurt Vonnegut

7. Express yourself

In his last novel A Man Without a Country, he urged people to find a means of creative expression: “…go into the arts…They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.

Creative expression is a gift and one that’s uniquely human. The arts are a means of self-understanding.

Find a way to express yourself. Everyone has something inside of them to share. Try out different ways of expression until you find yours. You won’t regret it.

 

Enjoy these life lessons from a great writer and humanitarian!

Cari Bennette is an aspiring writer and content manager at Jet Writers. Writing is her true passion and she does her best to inspire other people through her texts. Also Cari provides writing and editing help for everyone who wants to deal with words better. Check out her Twitter.

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Failing is More Important Than Succeeding

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5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma

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Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.

 

Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:

 

1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.

 

2. Persistent Pain

 
Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
 
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.
 
 

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

 
Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
 
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
 
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
 
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.
 

4. A strong need for control

 
It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
 
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
 
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.
 
 

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

 
Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
 
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.
 
 

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

 
Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
 
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.
 

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

 
 
If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to awebliss.com and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
 
 
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