Frame Magazine


Psychological barriers, a negative mindset, and a narrow mind don’t let us live happy lives. To break this vicious circle, many people read classical, science fiction, and religious books. A famous psychiatrist, Mikhail Efimovich Litvak, wrote a book where he describes the most common, in his opinion, psychological barriers that don’t let us live happy and healthy lives. You can think about these while driving or whenever you have some free time to let your mind roam.

– Happiness is just a side effect of a properly organized life. Happiness, joy, and success, as psychiatrist Viktor Frankl said, are just side effects of a well-organized life. You have to do things that make you experience and reach these sensations and states. However, those whose goal is to reach these “side effects” will never reach them since these things aren’t something that you just get and have to keep.

– When you talk to a person, remember that they also have a high opinion of themselves. Just like you do. You should never forget that someone with whom you are speaking is also a person. They also have their own views and their own reasons to have such views. Every person you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. You should always respect other people.

– How can anyone help you if you are not doing anything yourself? Words are impalpable. A person is always defined by their actions. Nobody will help you if you just keep walking around and telling other people that you are going to write a book. Well, seriously, how can anyone help you if you haven’t even begun the process? However, when you finally decide to write a book and take a copy to an editor, you can always find people who are ready to help you and support you. Your work will be something real, so there will be a chance to support you and not just with words.

– Become successful, and all hard feelings will disappear. Many grudges are formed inside because of being unsatisfied with yourself. Sometimes, we hold a grudge against someone and we think that the only person who can fix it is the one with whom we are upset. However, this mechanism works differently. A student of Mikhail Litvak’s once said, “My success outshined my grudges.” This is absolutely true. Start doing what you love and become successful at it. You won’t even notice the moment when all your grudges disappear.

– Do you want to see your biggest enemy? Look in the mirror! Many people fight other people’s demons, while they should be fighting their own. And the only real enemy we have is us. You can’t get out of this situation without breaking the barriers that don’t let you grow and develop. Basically, we exist within very strict boundaries that society created with the education that we received as children. We take these rules for granted, we believe them but they take a lot of our energy. All of modern psychology is looking for a way to fight them. Sometimes, people even get psychotic trying to fight them. However, most of the time, we don’t even notice that we are fighting. When you are finally ready to meet yourself face-to-face, this will be the last enemy you will ever encounter.

– Look for the right path instead of the straight path. The right path may not always be straight. Let’s imagine that you are on the 30th floor and you need to go down. The fastest way is going through the window. However, this will probably be the moment where your journey ends. The wiser choice would be to look for an elevator, or at least, the stairs, even if the building is dark and it’s hard to find anything inside. Besides, you can imagine that a person who chooses the straight way instead of the right one looks a lot like a fly who is trying to get through the window even though it’s much faster to get through the open door nearby.

– When a person doesn’t have a goal, they don’t see anything. A goal sharpens the vision. Have you ever noticed that when you needed to buy something, for example, something for your grandmother’s garden, you start noticing this thing absolutely everywhere? And even when you don’t need the thing anymore, you realize that you’re still looking for it. The same goes for your goals. Your attention is limited, and you can only notice the things that you need. A goal is similar to setting the focus on a camera: if you set it wrong, you won’t see what you really need.

– If you want to prove something to someone, it means that you live for that person. If you want to be happy, stop trying to prove that you are right. Think about the essence of any proof: it is an attempt to try to change someone’s opinion about something. But why do you even need that? It turns out that their opinion is much more important than yours if you put in the effort to change it. If you live your life for yourself, there is no point trying to prove anything to anyone.

– The ability to love and accept loneliness is a sign of an emotionally mature person. We do the best things when we are alone. Only the people who hate themselves can’t stand being alone. They try to join a group of people thinking that it will make them feel better. A person who is mentally mature uses the alone time for self-development and to collect information to share with other people later. The important part of any communication is not only taking but also giving something that might be interesting to other people. Mikhail Litvak asks everyone who likes his books, “How many people were with me while I was writing them?”

– Happiness is when what you WANT, CAN, and MUST do is the same thing. People are often torn in these 3 directions: must, but don’t want to; want, but can’t, and so on. The only thing that a person really has to do is to develop themselves. The rest is extra. The things you want to do should be regulated by the things that you must do, such as self-development. And what you can do is a force that moves the entire system. Mikhail Litvak recommends making a list of things based on the 3 directions in order to sort your goals and values properly.