Elegant Solution. Dr. Albert Ellis
The work of Albert Ellis is valuable and still relevant primarily because the author of rational-emotional-behavioural therapy (REPT) and co-founder of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) himself presents his views on the nature of human problems and how to solve them. Readers of this book are truly fortunate to be able to learn these important ideas directly from their creator rather than in a paraphrase.
In my social life I have been faced with a decision within a romantic relationship. Should I continue seeing this person or not? Although I had many reasons to continue the relationship, part of me realised that they just weren't right for each other. However, a voice inside me said: What if you never meet anyone else? You'll be miserable forever! Although in the past I used to make anxiety decisions, this time I turned to an elegant solution. Even if I think I'll never meet anyone, I can't continue in a relationship that doesn't suit me. Accepting the worst-case scenario, I began to realise that there was a lot of untruth in it. That was all what the inside voice said.
I'm not sure how Dr Ellis would have reacted to my anxiety in the therapy room, but I now understand how the worst-case scenario can be elegant. Elegance is not necessarily promise and optimism, but rather realism. Although cognitively we struggle with realism, when we embrace it, we can use a rational perspective more effectively. Did I make the wrong decision to end the relationship? I'm not sure. But by accepting the possibility that I did, I now see it as a less likely event. So perhaps sometimes we can try to make an elegant decision. By assuming the worst, we can hope for the best.