Life Simplified - Winner of 2013 Telly Award

Dr. Tseday Abbera Dr. Tseday Abbera Dr. Tseday Abbera

Dr. Tseday Aberra is a clinical psychologist and one of the country's leading experts in marriage, relationships, and self development. She advocates a unique and at times controversial approach to the dynamics of marriage and personal development, the necessary element for a successful relationship.

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Life Simplified Concepts: Well-Designed Value System

There needs to be a philosophy or a moral compass to every person’s life to get them through rough times or simply give their life and existence a purpose. Even though value systems are not often talked about in a relationship, unless both people are expressly religious, couples who share the same values have a very good chance in coexisting for a long time. And if the values each person holds dear to their heart is different than the ones their partner believes in, each has to be able to present their case to their partner in a way that is intellectually sound and reputable. They must convince their partner that their value system is worth supporting, and if they otherwise fail to do so, then the partner will find it hard to respect the person because they would not respect their value system. This is skill that is often ignored but comes up in relationships very often.

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Life Simplified Concepts: Financial Compatibility

Financial Compatibility is a bit different than the other four in that it is all about eliminating vulnerability and the possibility of being leveraged. Ever since human beings settled in a monogamous relationship, sex and money have played a part in settling scores, which is why any relationship guide or counselor should put extra emphasis on these two matters. Money has always been used as the tool to controlling the household and the marriage, and there is nothing more detrimental for a couple than manipulating each other financially, just because the economic realities were aligned on one side more than the other. But that is not the case anymore.

Everybody, irrespective of gender, societal, or familial standing, can earn a living and declare themselves financial independent. This independence is a big part of being self-sufficient. Self-Sufficiency is to eliminate all points of weaknesses where, intentionally or not, one side of the relationship has the opportunity to manipulate and control the other. This chapter teaches the readers that in order to eliminate financial vulnerability and give others the opportunity to leverage that against them, people must establish a long-term relationship where they can afford the bare necessities individually, without the financial assistance of their partner. It means to have the earning capability that can support the necessity of a family (not anything extra or luxurious), so that both people in a relationship are convinced that they can manage the household by themselves and not be put in vulnerable position by their partner.

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Life Simplified Concepts: Physical Compatibility

Physical compatibility is primarily about sex but it also about intimacy. The sexual act itself may be generic, but each person has their own idiosyncrasies or even deviancies (meant in a non-desecrating way) that they want met or satisfied. It is between two consenting adults so the parameters are set by each couple alone. Since the Life Simplified Concepts (LSC), is designed for longevity, the underlying message of this chapter is threefold: choose a person who can handle your crazy stuff; make sure you can handle their crazy stuff, and lastly, your standard should not be looking for perfection but what type and level of sexual package you are able to settle with as your steady diet, and whether your partner is capable of delivering that for you as requested. The arrangement also goes for you delivering for your partner.

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Life Simplified Concepts: Minimum Intellectual Threshold

Some people are born smart, some choose to become smarter later in life, and some achieve it because of necessity. No matter which one you see yourself as, be sure to invest in yourself intellectually. The pertinent question is not whether you should invest in yourself but how much should you invest, and the answer is relative to you and to your circumstance. Before you even understand the details of what this concept is, you should understand one important aspect of this skill. Your minimum intellectual threshold is not my minimum threshold. I don’t care how smart and intelligent you are, and you should not care about my—or any other person’s—intelligence either. The goal is for you to push yourself intellectually as much as your potential takes you, but once you reach your threshold, you need to settle with whatever level you have reached and be comfortable with the result.

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Emotional Stability

You have heard of emotional baggage; I have heard of emotional baggage, and every Jane and John Doe on the street know what emotional baggage is. There is no secret there. We all cringe and make a face when we hear the term, especially when it is directed at us. Don’t worry; you have baggage and so do I, and there is absolutely no problem with having baggage. Having personal or emotional baggage is not a problem, so long as you don’t bring it with you into your relationship and make it your partner’s problem. Your emotional baggage—emotional issues—that you amassed when you were single—is your mess and not your partner’s. These problems are totally your responsibility and yours to deal with, and they will remain yours for the duration of the relationship. Whether you have Mommy Issues, or Daddy Issues, or Old-Flame Issues, or whatever issues you have that you have yet to resolve, keep them to yourself—out of and away from the relationship.

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Self-Sufficiency: The Ultimate Equalizer In A Relationship

One critical thing to remember about the overall concept of Life Simplified is that it is built on the notion of empowering the self. Empowering people so that there is no vulnerability or weakness in the way they live their lives, and of course in the way they negotiate a relationship that is conducive to bringing them long-term happiness. People do each other wrong when they sense there is leverage of which they can take advantage. It is human nature to look for advantageous circumstances to benefit ourselves. It is not done out of malice but opportunism. Without leverage however, people cannot take advantage of each other; and as it refers to relationships, without leverage or vulnerability, there is no using or abusing one’s partner.

Life Simplified is constructed with the plan of leveling the playing field in any relationship by minimizing, if not eliminating, every single leverage one person can have over their partner, thereby empowering all people when they decide to be in a long-term relationship. Even if the primary, basic premise of the LSC is to bring about happiness, it is really the elimination of all obstacles to happiness that I was focused on when developing this concept. My main inquiry when developing the idea of LSC is, “why do relationships break and why do people hurt the ones they love?”

In truth, I don’t promise happiness, nor do I have the ability to do so even if I wanted to. But I can tell you what people do to mess up their relationships thereby denying themselves the chance for happiness. Beginning with that premise, I try to teach people what to do and what not to do to miss out on their chance of long-term happiness, and the first and most important thing I teach them, above all else, is Self-Sufficiency.

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Self-Sufficiency Defined

According to the Life Simplified Concepts (LSC), Self-Sufficiency is more than independence, especially financial independence. The concept is about achieving independence from all possible influence and reliance on other people where such dependence might create vulnerability in the person. Once there is vulnerability in a person, it is possible that others, intentionally or by accident, will try to leverage the weakness and use it to their advantage.

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What are the Life Simplified Concepts?

This is a short passage to give people the overall intellectual setup which precipitated the creation of the Life Simplified Concepts (LSC). The background to this setup emanates from looking at relationships as a form of an agreement between two consenting adults who come together and agree to exchange favors. And this analogy is applicable and if the premise of creating a relationship is the same as reaching a relationship agreement, then like any other contractual agreement, the reasons for it failing would be limited to two things: the people not performing as they promised, or the relationship they created being flawed therefore failing to meet their expectation.
The Life Simplified Concepts were developed to help people understand why their relationships fail and what they have to do to fix it. I make it clear that the reason for the breakup of any relationship, is either the people inside or the badly constructed relationship agreement, and for that, I propose a solution for each. But to do so, I emphatically state that I can only work with couples who are willing to learn. I say that any relevant and worthy change can only take place if the people with whom I work are of “quality.”

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Why This Marriage/Relationship Book

The main reason for writing a book comes from my disappointment that our higher institutions have not recognized the need to teach about marriage and long-term relationships, even if the concept is similar to one in which they are actively investing their brainpower; People management. I assert that a relationship is about managing people, and People Management is taught and celebrated in our universities under the umbrella of Leadership and Leadership Skills. However, the people who run our institutions have not made the connection between the issues of leadership and marriage and relationships, therefore, they are not spending their intellectual capital on the latter subjects. This means that the public is left on its own to figure out in the dark the intricacies of marriage, while at the same time they are asked to make sense of their careers and future occupations; a dual responsibility that is too much for anyone.

When it is left up to the general public to teach themselves about marriage and long-term relationships, the result should not be surprising to any of us because the general public is overwhelmed with this dual responsibility. They do not have the time nor the inclination to figure out marriage even if it means it is in their best interest to do so, while trying to figure out their economic and professional futures at the same time.
On a more subtle but nonetheless important point, the result should not be a surprise since people, overwhelmed with feelings, tend to think about the type and shape of their relationship only when they are filled with love and emotions for their partner and not anytime soon.

I concludes that, at this specific stage, it is not the right time for people to try to define the nature and quality of their relationship because doing it right would require a deliberative, reasonable approach and that is hard to have when everything is hot and heavy. If we do not want people to try to solve their marital and relationship problems by themselves in a vacuum, then the decent, prudent, and sensible thing to do is to provide them with a simple, applicable formula they can refer to beforehand, so they don’t wreck their lives forever. This formula or the secret to the formula is to study Life Simplified Concepts (LSC) by reading this book.

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Life Simplified Concepts (LSC): 1-3-5-10 (excerpt from my upcoming book)

Before I go into depth detailing the outline of the book, I must preface it by introducing the four important sections which correspond to the exact breakdown of the Life Simplified Concepts (LSC), and the numeric acronym 1-3-5-10 of its methodology. The four sections chronologically are (1) Self-Sufficiency, (2) The Three Entities, (3) The Five Levels of Compatibility, and (4) The Ten Proactive Verbs. To begin to understand the overall concept and how it applies to relationships, we must first start by examining why relationships fail or why do people break up? The examination is swift because the answer is short and simple; either it is the people’s personal fault or the relationship itself was not meant to be.
The source of every couple’s problem falls into two categories; (1) it is either the couple—the people inside the relationship, whether this applies to one person individually or both—who are at fault, or (2) it is the relationship itself that is faulty. Depending on the source of any given problem, there is a different explanation and remedy for it, but the source of any marital problem is always limited to these two possible categories only. If the source of a couple’s problem are the people themselves, then the issue of Self Sufficiency is the reason, but if the couple’s problem arises out of a faulty relationship, then the issue of Compatibility is the reason. The challenge for every couple is to try to determine first which source of the two categories—the people or the relationship—apply to their problem? The answer to their challenging question is found in the section titled The Three Entities.
The Three Entities section is probably the most important and most challenging section of this book and of the entire Life Simplified Concepts philosophy. The section is preceded by the Self-Sufficiency section and followed by the Five Levels of Compatibility section. The arrangement of the sections follows the 1-3-5-10 methodology of the Life Simplified Concepts. The methodology behind the concept, better known with the 1-3-5-10 numeric acronym, serves as a prelude to the outline of the book. And as stated previously, the methodology has four sections and the book is pretty much broken into four sections following the 1-3-5-10 acronym.
The breakdown of the book into four sections is directly related to the 1-3-5-10. This numeric acronym is an abbreviated representation of Self-Sufficiency (1), The Three Entities (3), The Five Levels of Compatibility (5), and The 10 Proactive Verbs (10). These four sections are further broken down into chapters where I go into a detailed explanation of each mini-concept to further flesh out the overall LSC principles methodology. Self-Sufficiency is broken down into 5+1 chapters, The Entities into three, The Levels of Compatibility into five, and the last section into two chapters.

(more tomorrow)

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