The first step with dealing with your demons

The first step with dealing with your demons is acknowledging that they will always be around.

The Oscar winning biographical movie “A Beautiful Mind” had a lovely way of portraying this. In the movie, Russel Crowe portrays Nobel Prize winning Economist John Nash and his struggles with schizophrenia. All of John’s delusions revolve around three imaginary characters – Charles, Marcee and Parcher. As the story progresses and as Nash comes to terms with his condition, he accepts that all three of them are just figments of his imagination.

However, they never go away. The final scenes depict this beautifully. Right after winning the Nobel prize, John glances at the other end of the hallway to find all three of them standing and watching. But, he’s learnt to walk away. It is a powerful moment.


I was reminded of this as I was reflecting on three moments in the past month where I let my impatience get ahead of me. My immediate reaction after those moments was to be annoyed at myself for letting impatience even show up and, thus, find ways to tap into irritation. However, the flip side of impatience, a bias for action, is a core strength. So, the impatience isn’t going to go anywhere anytime soon. I just need to be more aware of it and be able to catch it before it dictates my actions.

The “A Beautiful Mind” depiction is a good one. The next time I find myself falling prey to impatience, I think I should remember John Nash and say to myself – “You can choose to ignore it.”

Acceptance of the fact that it will always be around is the first step, though.

8 thoughts on “The first step with dealing with your demons”

  1. Sometimes it is frustrating to find that I am still myself, but if I were not I would be someone else, and I don’t want that.

    Seriously, that’s how I deal with it. :)

  2. Like you, I’m not thrilled when my shadow side shows up–while I can work to avoid letting it take charge I’m convinced I’ll never completely eradicate it and probably wouldn’t want to if I could. The Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung says that our shadow is where the gold in all of us lies, thinking of this with your observation of having “a bias toward action.” What’s not to like about that? …and all the best as you get ready to graduate, Rohan, very much hoping you continue writing here!

    1. Ah. Love that you quoted Jung!

      Regd writing of course.. this blog existed long before I got to graduate school and will exist long after. :)

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